Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 27, 2013

Getting to the heart of the stressed-out teen


The Andover Townsman

---- — Parents will glean some insight into the emotional lives of their stressed-out teens next week in the next installment of Parent to Parent’s 2013-14 speaker series.

Sal Caraviello, director of youth ministries at St. Mary’s Parish in Winchester, will be presenting “Kids In Crisis: Stress, Despair and Hope” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. on the third floor of Memorial Hall Library on North Main Street.

While Caraviello does not have children himself, he says he takes pride in having spent more than 27 years working with some 1,100 kids and watching many of them grow into 40-something adults.

With suicide, cutting, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse and depression all seeing dramatic spikes over the past 10 years, especially involving good kids from supportive families, he said the phenomenon often leaves communities asking “why?”

He believes some parents are pushing kids to do more than they can handle, which he calls the biggest pitfall in parenting today.

“I see exhausted, traumatized kids labeled as `depressed or bipolar,’” he says in a release. “Kids aren’t mentally ill, they’re environmentally ill.”

Caraviello, who has a master’s degree in pastoral ministries and pastoral counseling from Boston College, will explore one of his favorite mantras: “Love them, feed them, put them to bed.” He says his approach is a fresh take on a basic premise that he believes resonates with parents of burned-out tweens and teens.

His presentation on the state of today’s youth is geared toward parents, teachers, administrators, coaches and all those concerned with the well-being of children, especially during the holiday season, which he says can exacerbate depression in kids and teens.

Admission is free and the program is open to residents of Andover and the surrounding communities. For more information, visit www.andoverp2p.com.