Ludlow parents get lesson in “teen communication”

100 people attended "The Secret Life of a Massachusetts Teen" in Ludlow

LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Ludlow Parents got a lesson in communicating with their teens Monday night.  About one hundred people attended a free community even entitled “The Secret Life of a Massachusetts Teen” at Ludlow High School.

Veteran parent and therapist, John Mattleman was the guest speaker.  He told 22News his mission Monday night was to help parents open up the lines of communication with their teenagers.  His first suggestion: listen more.

“We’re always giving them feedback.  We’re always doing analysis.  We’re always doing judgement.  We’re always lecturing them.  So why should they say anything?  I’m actually telling parents to speak less,”  Mattleman said.

Mattleman told 22News that one of the major topics parents ask him about at these events is teen depression and suicide.  He said it’s a widespread problem here and across the country, citing a disturbing statistic: there were more than 550 suicides in Massachusetts last year.

Monday night’s presentation was put on by the Ludlow Cares Coalition, a civic group that addresses any issues that might put the town’s youth at risk.  Coalition Cares president Laura Rooney told 22News the coalition started a few years ago as a way to fight bullying.  She said there is no topic that is off limits for the Ludlow Cares Coalition

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