Via Christi, YMCA classes offer help for parents of teens

03/01/2013 7:00 AM

03/01/2013 7:01 AM

Wichita-area parents can get helpful tips for navigating their children’s preteen and teen years at a series of free classes offered by Via Christi Health and the Greater Wichita YMCA.

The program is funded through a grant of more than $81,000 from Kohl’s Cares to the Via Christi Foundation for Kohl’s Parents Academy programs.

There is no cost to participate, but seating is limited and preregistration is required. Call Via Christi Health Connection at 316-689-5700 to sign up for one or more of the following seminars:

• “Navigating the Teenage Years: A Life Raft for Parents” – 7-8:30 p.m. March 7 at the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA, 402 N. Market; 7-8:30 p.m. April 9 at the YMCA Farha Sport Center, 3405 S. Meridian.

Jennifer Harms, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and Matthew Gallagher, a licensed clinical professional counselor, will help parents learn how to deal with a difficult child, effectively set boundaries and build relationships and self-esteem while preserving their own sanity.

• “Teenage Brain: Under Construction” – 7-8:30 p.m. March 14 at the Downtown YMCA; 7-8:30 p.m. April 16 at the Farha Sport Center.

Kelli Netson, who specializes in child and adolescent psychology, and Nicole Klaus, a pediatric neuropsychologist, both with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, will talk about the biological processes that control the teenage brain, providing insight into the teen’s perception of the world so parents can communicate with them more effectively.

• “Change, Challenges and Choices: If You’re Not in Charge of Your Life, Who Is?” – 7-8:30 p.m. March 21 at the Downtown YMCA; 7-8:30 p.m. April 23 at the Farha Sport Center.

Shiloh Jiwanlal, a clinical nurse specialist with Via Christi Behavioral Health Center, and Susan Bumstead, assistant chief nursing officer with Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, will help parents learn to take control of their lives through self-awareness, assertive communication and personal growth.

For more information about these programs and others offered through Kohl’s Parents Academy, go to or call 316-689-5700.

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