Parenting the Teenage Brain





with Jennifer S. Kennett, MA, MBA, LMHC

Have you ever wondered just why teenagers seem so alien and so likely to take risks? There is new research showing the answer lies in the brain. Discover how the teenage brain differs from an adult’s, and what you can do to communicate with a brain still under construction!

Jennifer Kennett

Jennifer S. Kennett is passionate about the human spirit, and has have an intuitive understanding of how people experience connection to one another. Her work as a psychotherapist and parent educator empowers people to build strong relationships that support connectedness as well as individual growth and development. She is the owner of Eastside Family Counseling, offering child, teen, couple, family & individual adult counseling services to Seattle's Eastside communities.

She has over 20 years of experience creating safe space in which her clients can explore and pursue new possibilities. Her collaborative coaching style invites her clients to be the expert in their own experience, which improves their ability to choose the right solutions.

She has provided counseling and parent education to individuals and families at community mental health agencies and in private practice in Canada & in Washington State.  She has also devoted considerable time to building and supporting functional teams in her leadership roles within various organizations.


Anxiety, Stress, and Our Kids



VHS Theater


with Yvonne-Monique Aviva

More and more evidence is pointing to a high level of anxiety in our children. Where does it come from? How can we manage it? And when is it too much? Find out how to help you and your child successfully navigate life’s stressful situations in healthy ways.

Yvonne-Monique Aviva

Yvonne-Monique Aviva is founder of Parent Tool School, where through parent education and parent and teen coaching, she helps transition and transform parent and teen relationships during the middle and high school years.

Yvonne Monique is drug and alcohol prevention educator and project management consultant working with school districts, social service agencies and parent groups. She has been featured by NPR, Parent Map, Microsoft and was recently a keynote speaker for the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps RD Conference in Washington DC.

She has taught life skills and emotion management strategies in middle schools across Seattle and Vashon. Yvonne-Monique is mother to a twenty two year old recent college graduate and a twelve year old seventh grader.


Birds + Bees + Middle School





with Amy Lang, MA

What is the #1 unavoidable fact about teen sexuality? What are typical middle schoolers up to in the sexuality department? What’s the key to getting them to listen to you about appropriate expectations and boundaries? Spend a humorous and informative evening with child sexuality expert, Amy Lang.

Amy Lang

Amy Lang uses humor and a healthy dose of well researched advice to help you wholeheartedly jump into the sex talks with your children.

She is fiercely committed to guiding parents and other adults to become empowered to have regular, open and effective conversations about the birds and the bees with the kids they love. Her goal is to help you raise up your children into healthy, happy and whole adults who understand and embrace their unique sexuality.

With over 10 years of experience working with amazing clients with similar worries and concerns and guiding them to achieve remarkable success, her mission and commitment is to change and challenge cultural beliefs about children and sexuality. She provides research based, high quality, keynotes, workshops, webinars, books and other tools for adults so they can be true champions for the kids they care for and love.

Suggested Reading

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
by Daniel J. Siegel MD

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adult
By Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt

Parenting the Teenage Brain: Understanding a Work in Progress
By Sheryl Feinstein

Turnaround Tools for the Teenage Brain: Helping Underperforming Students Become Lifelong Learners
By Eric Jensen

How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

The Worried Child

by Paul Foxman

The Mindful Child

By Susan Kaiser Greenland

Helping your Anxious Teen

By Sheila Achar Josephs PhD

Birds, Bees, and Your Kids

by Amy Lang, MA

Dating Smarts

By Amy Lang, MA

Its Perfectly Normal

By Obie H Harris & Michael Ember

Girls & Sex

By Peggy Orenstein

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
by John Krakauer

Thanks to VARSA for bringing these engaging, practical and dynamic resources to Vashon. Parents will gain insights on the adolescent world and be able to connect up with other parents and community members in these sessions.

Greg Allison, McMurray Principal