Stephen Wallace To Speak: “REALITY GAP – What Parents Don’t Know And Teens Aren’t Telling

By Abby Gray
Local Parent Debbie Evans, CHAD (Charlestown Against Drugs, a neighborhood in Boston) and CSAC (Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition), along with other community leaders and volunteers, bring renowned scholar, Stephen Wallace, to Charlestown!
What if you, a Parent,  could have better insight into what is really going on with your tween/teen?  What if you could better understand the issues that our youth face on a daily basis as they relate to drugs, alcohol and sex?  Those were some of the thoughts running through my friends head when she started reading “REALITY GAP – WHAT PARENTS DON’T KNOW AND TEENS AREN’T TELLING” by Stephen Wallace. She then thought, “What if we could get Mr. Wallace to come talk to us parents and our community about his book, research and experiences with teens?
Putting together a list in her head of organizations to partner with in Charlestown, Debbie Evans immediately contacted CHAD (Charlestown Against Drugs) and CSAC (Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition) to see if they were interested. They were very interested in bringing Mr. Wallace to Charlestown too. Local Mom & CSAC Board Member, Marjorie Ringrose, brings up a very poignant observation,  “In survey after survey, our teens tell us they want more communication with their parents. More, not less. But when it comes to risky behavior, we parents, often feel at a loss for what to say, how, and when. We hear that times have changed since we were teens. But do we really know how much? Do we know enough about what our kids are experiencing, right now, to have the meaningful conversations our teens tell us they want to have with us?”  On October 11, 2012, at the Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford Street, Charlestown, parents of teens will have the opportunity to hear Stephen Wallace in person speak about the issues we are all concerned about as parents of adolescents; and we will be able to ask him questions to help us better communicate and understand our children.
Mr. Wallace comes to Charlestown with a great deal of experience.  He is the senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), where he served as national chairman and CEO for more than fifteen years. He is also associate research professor and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) at Susquehanna University and the director of counseling training at the Cape Cod Sea Camps. Mr. Wallace has been honored by the White House, the American Camp Association, SADD, and Susquehanna University for his tireless work on behalf of our nation’s youth.  Stephen has contributed to two books on youth development and is the author of the acclaimed book Reality Gap: Alcohol, Drugs, and Sex—What Parents Don’t Know and Teens Aren’t Telling.

As parents, no matter what socio-economic background, address in town, or ethnicity, we all want to see our children into adulthood safely. Times have changed greatly in the 20-30 years – and they change more every single day. The drugs that appear on the streets, the new ways adolescents communicate via text and code, and the lack of awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention is huge threat to our children. Collectively, we can do something about it. It begins with attending Stephen Wallace’s presentation and Q&A session on October 11th that provides parents with a “behind-the-scenes” look at today’s adolescence experience. Wallace aims to empower parents to play an even more influential role in the choices that their children make, emphasizing key parent-child communication and how to make it work.

The program will be presented at the Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford Street on October 11, 2012. The doors open at 6:30 and Mr Wallace will begin his presentation promptly at 7:00 PM.  For more information, please email Ms. Evans directly at or call her directly at (617) 306-8631.

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