For Immediate Release - October 20, 2011

DA Blodgett Hosts Forums for Grandparents to Understand Adolescent Grandchildren

Representatives of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s Office will host numerous forums to help grandparents understand the issues facing their adolescent grandchildren, including substance abuse, today’s technology and violence.

“There are 56 million grandparents in this country, with 4.5 million children living in households headed by grandparents, and another 6.1 million children are living in a home with a grandparent residing there,” said District Attorney Blodgett.  “Almost 7 of every 10 grandparents say they see a grandchild every week or two.  They are very actively involved in these children’s lives, and research shows that many grandparents are looking for guidance on how to talk with their grandchildren about difficult topics.”

In the first part of the presentations, given by either Debra MacGregor or Carrie Kimball Monahan, substance abuse is discussed, including the use of alcohol by teens, social host liability, and trends in drugs including marijuana, inhalants and prescription drugs.

The second segment focuses on today’s technology, explaining the benefits and risks of the use of computers, the Internet, cell phones and other electronic media.  The discussion includes the issues of cyberbullying and sexting, and the need for kids to think before they send messages or images. 

The final part of the presentation concentrates on violence, including bullying, and the alarming incidences of teen dating violence. Presentations are free and open to the public.  The upcoming schedule includes:

Friday, October 21, 10:00 a.m., at the Groveland Library.

Friday, October 21, 1:00 p.m., at the Nichols Village, Groveland.

Tuesday, October 25, 1:00 p.m., at the Boxford Library.

Wednesday, October 26, 1:00 p.m., at the Amesbury Library.

Friday, October 28, 11:30 a.m., at the West Newbury Senior Center.

Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 p.m., Haverhill Library

Monday, January 23, 11:00 a.m., Topsfield Library