Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dr. Chris Willard speaks to GPS on Mindfulness Practices to Foster Focused, Relaxed and Happy Children & Growing Up Mindful, Capable and Resilient

All parents can use assistance in finding balance and increasing happiness and calm. And introducing mindfulness into the lives of our children and teenagers is perhaps the greatest gift we can offer. Mindfulness builds emotional intelligence, boosts happiness, increases curiosity and engagement, reduces anxiety and depression, soothes the pain of trauma, and helps kids (and adults) focus, learn, and make better choices. If that weren’t enough, research in neuroscience now shows that mindfulness significantly enhances what psychologists call “flourishing”—the opposite of depression and avoidance.

Dr Willard presented two programs on Mindfulness: Mindfulness Practices to Foster, Relaxed and Happy Children (ages 3-8)and Growing Up Mindful, Capable and Resilient (pre-teens and teens).

Dr Willard is an international educational consultant and author or over 10 books on mindfulness. He teaches at Harvard Medical School and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at several TedX conferences, and he is frequently profiled in the national media.

Dr. Willard with Dr. Jones

On Wednesday, March 11, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted clinical psychologist and author Dr Christopher Willard in a  program titled: Growing Up Mindful, Capable and Resilient. Glenbard South psychologist Dr Caicina Jones attended the program at noon and shared the following takeaway:

Dr Willard defines mindfulness as paying attention to the here and now with kindness and curiosity.  Adults need to model healthy ways to respond to stress as a protective factor to help teens build the resilience skills that will be useful for a lifetime.

Simple breathing techniques  and other mindfulness practices can be an empowering way for young people to regulate themselves and  regain composure in a variety of situations.  Create a space where your children can calm down, and check in rather than check and understand "Don't believe everything you think”.

Dr. Willard with Rachel Solomon

Churchill Elementary School Principal Rachel Solomon attended a presentation  at 9:30 a.m. titled Mindfulness Practices to Foster, Focused, Relaxed and Happy Children and shared the following takeaway:

Dr.Willard shared information about the positive impact of mindful breathing and how it can calm the body and clear the mind.  He stressed the importance of becoming more aware of our body and asked the question  -are we “mind full or mindful.”  There is power in our day- to -day interactions among humans starting at a young age.

We don’t realize the positive impact that our voices, attention  and body language play on infants through each stage of development.  We can easily incorporate simple strategies into what we already do every day, at home with our families as well as in our work with teachers and students.



Friday, February 14, 2020

Cathy Adams speaks on Self-Awareness, Self-Compassion, Self-Care at February 12 GPS event

Self awareness is about learning to better understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave in a particular way.  If we are open to it, we can learn a great deal about ourselves through parenting.  But becoming a self-aware parent is not always easy. Too often parents fall into the trap of using other peoples’ ideas and values or outdated child-rearing techniques in raising their kids. By developing self-understanding it is possible to parent in a more peaceful and compassionate way.

Cathy Adams empowered parents to take care of themselves and trust their instincts at our February 12 event. This talk reminds parents of their importance and help them to reconnect to the joys of parenting. Here are the strategies to become a grounded and intuitive parent. Accepting your children for who they are is the key to their self worth. Adams gives us permission not to be perfect and to take the time to find ourselves again.

Cathy Adams is a licensed clinical social worker LCSW and educator whose work focuses on the personal empowerment of women and young girls. She is the author of several books including The Self Aware Parent. Ms. Adams is also the co-host, with her husband Todd, of the popular podcast Zen Parenting Radio.

Parent reflects on program re: self-awareness, self-care

Glenbard South parent Noreen O'Keefe shared the following takeaway from Glenbard Parent Series program Self-Awareness/Self-Compassion/Self-Care with author and therapist Cathy Adams: “How I think of myself and take care of myself, translates into how well I interact with others. We can best nurture our children by caring for ourselves. I understand I still have a lot to practice and learn – how to appreciate myself and look at myself more objectively. The more self-aware we are, the more likely we will behave in ways that are consistent with who we want our children to be. Cathy Adams reminded us to stay curious and give ourselves the same kindness we would give to a good friend. We need to become comfortable with mistakes and with uncomfortable emotions. Then we need to guide our children to do the same.”


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dr. Andrew Solomon examines depression at Feb 11 GPS event

On February 11, 2020, award winning writer and lecturer Dr. Andrew Solomon examined depression in both personal and scientific of terms. Drawing on his own longtime struggle with depression and interviews with fellow sufferers and doctors, Solomon revealed the subtleties, the complexities, and the agony of this disease.

Solomon's memoir, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and a worldwide bestseller, published in more than twenty languages. He is also the acclaimed author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity, an examination of the means by which families accommodate children with physical, mental and social disabilities and how these unusual situations can be invested with love. A regular contributor to NPR, The New York Times and many other publications, Dr. Solomon is the founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University and is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University.

Board member shares takeaway from program about depression

Glenbard Parent Series hosted writer and lecturer Dr Andrew Solomon in a presentation based on his best-selling book, “The Noonday Demon: The Secret Sadness of Depression.” Glenbard District 87 Board of Education member Margaret DeLaRosa shared the following takeaway: “Andrew Solomon offered an enlightening and powerful description of his depression and shared that the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality. While depression can be cyclical, exhausting and debilitating, it is treatable but not talking about it really does make it worse. As parents, our children need to feel heard and know our love is strong. “Dealing with depression effectively is a mark not of weakness but of strength.”


Monday, December 16, 2019

GPS hosts Dr. David Jernigan, presenting "The Media, the Marketing and Youth Alcohol Use"

Dr. David Jernigan is a professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health, and an advisor for the World Heath Organization. He visited GPS and the DuPage Health Department to share information with parents, youth-serving professionals and school staff, regarding youth alcohol use on December 11, 2019.

The majority of his research is in regards to how marketing and media influence youth to use alcohol. The U.S. is one of the most non-restrictive countries when it comes to alcohol marketing and teens are inundated with pro-alcohol ads multiple times a day on multiple platforms, including social media. Additionally, Dr. Jernigan explained that research shows that youth will model their drinking behaviors off of their parents. Monkey see, monkey do. It is imperative that parents model healthy behavior when it comes to drinking and substance use for the well-being of their kids. He explained that parents who have a lax attitude around drinking, or attempt to “teach” their kids how to drink responsibility, are actually doing a disservice and those kids end up having more substance use related issues once they get to college. A parenting style that is warm but restrictive, meaning parents have clear rules and set restrictions for their kids, is proven to be the most effective style of parenting and leads to youth substance use prevention.

Health department official shares GPS takeaway

Jordan Esser, community initiative coordinator for the DuPage County Health Department, a co-sponsor of the event, shared the following takeaway: “Alcohol is the No. 1 abused substance with teens, according to data collected through the Illinois Youth Survey for DuPage County. Youth alcohol use can have devastating impacts and is linked to the three leading causes of deaths among young people: motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide. High youth use rates of alcohol can be attributed to alcohol being readily available, socially acceptable and the fact that the U.S. is one of the least restrictive countries when it comes to marketing alcohol products. Teens are inundated with pro-alcohol ads multiple times a day on multiple platforms, including social media. Even with all of these outside factors, the single biggest influence on young people’s drinking is adults around them drinking. Thus, it is imperative that parents’ model healthy behavior when it comes to drinking. Dr. Jernigan explained that parents who have a lax attitude toward alcohol, or even who attempt to “teach” their kids how to drink responsibility by providing alcohol to "supervised" events in the home, are causing harm – and those teens will have a higher potential for alcohol use-related issues once they get to college. A responsible parenting style is one where parents communicate clear rules and set limits.”
To view Take Five videos with Jernigan and others, click here. There is a five-minute video for teens and one for adults.


GPS Take 5: Teen Talk - Dr. David Jernigan on Be Resilient (YouTube) HERE 

GPS Take 5: For Adults - Dr. David Jernigan on Kids and Alcohol, Parents Matter (YouTube) HERE

Presentation Slides from Dr. Jernigan's event (PDF) HERE

Notes from this presentation with Dr. Jernigan (PDF) HERE

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dr. Jess Shatkin visits GPS on November 12 and 13 for three programs

Dr. Jess Shatkin joined GPS, presenting programs to both parents/caregivers of young children and parents/caregivers of teens. 

Professor and physician Jess P. Shatkin MD, MPH leads the educational efforts of the Child Study Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center, where he supervises the training programs in child and adolescent psychiatry and pediatrics. He developed and continues to direct the nation’s largest undergraduate college program in child and adolescent mental health studies at the NYU College of Arts and Science, in addition to managing research studies designed to enhance student resilience and improve sleep. He is one of the country’s foremost voices in youth mental health, the radio host of About Our Kids. and the author of more than 100 publications, including Born to be Wild: Decoding the Adolescent Brain 12-26.. You can learn more about his work at: drjesspshatkin.com

Parent shares takeaway from Helping Young Children Thrive

On Nov. 12, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Dr. Jess Shatkin in a presentation at the Glen Ellyn Public Library titled Helping Young Children Thrive Mentally and Physically. The program is the first in a mini-series of four programs for caregivers of our youngest children.

Caryn Neumann, parent of a Glen Ellyn School District 41 student, shared the following takeaway:

“Most preventable deaths (smoking, obesity, alcohol, etc.) are the result of childhood behaviors/stress. An authoritative parenting style that focuses on positive reinforcement, being present/paying attention, setting limits with consequences and having clear rules with our children will result in children with less anxiety, higher self-esteem and better school performance. Kids need enhanced supervision where parents not only show up and are present but communicate with their children to build trust. Screen time, especially over one hour a day, exposes children to violence, prohibits creativity/learning, and too much light exposure disrupts melatonin, which can contribute to early puberty. Stop screens one hour before bedtime and use an app like Flux, which adjusts screen brightness depending on the time of the day. Exercise one hour per day four times per week to enhance cognitive and academic development and decrease depression. Adequate sleep is critical – have your child spend one hour more in bed which will lead to about 27 more minutes of sleep. Gardening and cooking with your child will lead to healthier nutrition habits. Find your best breathing and relaxation technique. We need 30 minutes per day where we just space out and do nothing. This reduces stress and enhances learning and focus.”

Dean shares takeaway from GPS program

On Nov. 13, Dr. Jess Shatkin, author of “Born to Be WILD: Why Teens Take Risks –
How We Can Keep Them Safe” presented at both our Youth Leaders Community Forum and a Glenbard Parent Series evening event.

Glenbard North Dean of Students Erika Willis attended and shared the following takeaway:

“The parent relationship is the very strongest of relationships. And the style of parents that works best is authoritative parenting – kind, loving and limit setting. It benefits your child's learning and behavior, and these teens will engage in less risky behavior because they are less sensitive to the rewarding effect of risk. Praise (not punishments) teaches our children how to behave instead of how not to behave. Wait for the behavior you want and then reward that. Use effective commands; make it specific and clear – don't ask. Know your child's schedule and be there. The more you know about your child, the fewer risks they will take. Role play how you would handle being in a challenging situation. Help them be prepared with a plan if it comes up. Be a positive role model. They are watching. They learn from us.”

Click HERE to view several Take Five videos with Shatkin and others. There is a five-minute video for teens, and one each for caregivers of parents of adolescents and one for caregivers of young children.


Take 5: Parents of Young Children – Jess Shatkin on How to Help Your Kids Thrive (YouTube video) HERE

Web site for Dr. Jess Shatkin HERE

Thursday, September 26, 2019

GPS hosts programs on youth depression and suicide

On August 28, the Glenbard Parent Series – Navigating Healthy Families hosted Jonathan Singer in a program titled the Signs and Symptoms of Youth Depression for Parent and School Staff. Rachel Tsen, youth program director for NAMI DuPage, shared the following takeaway: "One life lost is one too many. Suicide prevention is truly a team effort: from the individual, family, school, and community working together. It involves communication, education, resources and support, and sometimes grief.

Dr. Jonathan Singer with Rachel Tsen
Research shows that talking about suicide actually helps and even decreases the stress of a student with suicidal thoughts.

  • ACT (Good acronym for anyone, from student to parent):
  • Acknowledge - validate rather than dismiss their thoughts and feelings.
  • Care - listen without judgment 
  • Tell/Treatment - offer to accompany them to get help or suggest a step they can take. 

NAMI DuPage gives in-school mental health awareness education through Ending the Silence, in which they share recovery stories of hope. It is presentations like Dr. Singer's that makes NAMI DuPage proud to be a community partner to the Glenbard Parent Series.”

On Sept. 18, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Dr. Jonathan Singer at a program titled, the Signs and
Erica Nelson and Jonathan Singer
Symptoms of Youth Suicide. Community member Erica Nelson shared the following takeaway: "Parents are the key for our children to be able to honestly talk about their struggles – with their friends, at school, or with us ... their parents. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and Dr. Singer reinforced the critical importance of communities, schools and local agencies to be partners and support positive mental health conversation as he shared tips for all. Communities must see awareness, education, and conversation as a way to support a healthy community. We are in this together."

Dr. Jonathan Singer is a licensed clinical social worker, an Associate Professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago, and the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Dr. Singer’s research interests, numerous publications, and media appearances focus on interventions for today’s suicidal and cyber-bullied youth. He has given over 100 national and international presentations on suicide prevention tools, and is the author of “Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Post-intervention.”

Resources for Dr. Singer and Youth Depression and Suicide

Watch five-minute Take Five video messages from Singer on suicide – one for students and one for parents – HERE.

To view a 30-minute video of Singer's Sept.18 GPS program, click HERE.

Dr. Singer's Podcast:  The Social Work Podcast HERE

Summary of the Dr. Singer's August 28 presentation HERE

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ross Flowers on Positive Psychology For Peak Performance at Back to School Parent and Athlete Night

Glenbard Parent Series hosts first of many speakers this week.

On August 19 and 20, the Glenbard Parent Series and our assistant principals for athletics are hosting sports psychologist, All American athlete, and author Ross Flowers. Monday, August 19, Flowers spoke at events at Glenbard North and Glenbard East. He also gave presentations to families at the Back-to-School Athlete Nights on Tuesday, August 20 at 6 p.m. at Glenbard South and at 6:30 p.m. at Glenbard West.

Glenbard North Assistant Principal for Athletics Matt Bowser; Glenbard North parent Frank Gulik;
and sports psychologist, All American athlete, and author Ross Flowers
Glenbard North parent Frank Gulik shared the following takeaway from last night’s program, “I especially appreciated Dr. Flower’s remarks on motivation and training. The average person’s motivation lasts only 15 days and so the student athlete must consistently reevaluate his or her progress towards their goal and make the necessary changes to keep their motivation toward their goals fresh and relevant (process goals vs. outcome goals).

In regards to training, just showing up to practice and going through the motions of mindless repetitions will not be as effective as deliberate training, which requires focused attention with a specific goal of improving performance.

Finally, the audience was reminded that participating in sports can help build essential life skills such as effective listening, sound articulation of thought, self-discipline and emotional management.”

Dr. Ross Flowers is an experienced psychologist, international sport and performance psychologist, executive coach, author and speaker. He is a partner in Giles Consulting Group and served as the director of sports performance psychology for the Los Angeles Clippers, mental health clinician for the Los Angeles Rams, senior sport psychologist for the United States Olympic Committee, and sport psychology consultant for UCLA track & field.  The author of, Introducing Your Child to Sports: An Expert’s Answers to Parents’ Questions about Raising a Healthy, Balanced, Happy Athlete, Dr. Ross Flowers offers his unique 360 degree perspective – as a noted sport psychologist, former elite athlete and coach, and father of young athletes himself – to answer the 70 most-asked questions of concerned parents contemplating their child’s participation in sports.


Video of Dr. Flower's presentation at Glenbard (GPS YouTube) CLICK HERE

Dr. Flower’s presentation slides for “Positive Psychology For Peak Performance”
  --  in PDF format CLICK HERE
  --  in PPTX format CLICK HERE

Web site for Giles Consulting Group CLICK HERE

Dr. Flowers book Introducing Your Child to Sports, An Expert’s Answers to Parents’ Questions About Raising a Healthy, Balance, Happy Athlete   CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

GPS shares information to the community as the school year concludes

We are sharing with you a great summer opportunity for students, and our 2010-2020 GPS Summer Reading List.

Also below find a Take 5 GPS video for students (a new series on our GPS YouTube channel) and a public service announcement about vaping recorded by Glenbard Realty leaders. 

Don't forget to check our web site GlenbardGPS.org as we add our new speakers for the upcoming 2019-2020 program year.

Have a restful summer see and thank you for your strong support of GPS!  

GPS Summer Reading List
In anticipation of our upcoming 2019-2020 speaker line-up, GPS is sharing its annual Summer Reading List.  Each year, our nationally renowned program brings award-winning authors to help us help young people succeed in the classroom and in life.

Join us on Thursday, September 5, 7:00 pm  at Glenbard West for our Community Read:  Killers of the Flower Moon with author David Grann

On Tuesday, June 11, the DuPage County Health Department /Prevention Leadership Team will host the third annual Teen PhilanthroParty at the College of DuPage Student Resource Center (Room 2000) from 10:45am – 1:30pm. The PhilanthroParty is a party with a purpose, where students can learn how to create positive change.  This year’s theme is mental wellness. Teens will get a chance to interact with therapy dogs, hear from a local teen activist,, create positive messages that will be distributed in our area and have an opportunity to win White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks Convention tickets! Visit www.DuPagePLT.org/Events to register. Summer Reality/the Teen Board to the Health Dept meets weekly during the summer.(the Tuesday after the kick off PhilanthroParty) and all DuPage County high school students are welcome to join. For information contact gilda_ross@glenbard.org  or 630 942-7668.

Have You Heard our PSA on Vaping?
Reality Illinois/ the Teen Board to the DuPage County Health Department student leaders recently recorded a public service announcement regarding vaping at the WGN  in Chicago. Pictured here from front to back are Matt Hoerster and Steven Ball from Glenbard West and Gabbie Spontak from Glenbard East. Both PSAs can now be heard running on Spotify.
Juuls Vaping PSA:
 Hook you for life Vaping PSA:

GPS Teen Talk Video .Share this five minute video on social media with your teen.
As you may already know, we have a new GPS thread- for students . Below is a link to a 5 minute video for teens and one for their parents showcasing our most recent GPS presenter Dr Jill Walsh titled, The Good, the Bad and the Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. We plan to do more of the same going forward. Thank you for your assistance to get the word out regarding this resource. Thank you for your continued support. Best regards, Gilda

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series below!
Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social
Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh for adults.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Introducing GPS Teen Talk Video Series: Take 5

Delaney Ruston MD (who returns to GPS next year to premier her new documentary Thrive in October 2019) director of the documentary Screenagers (GPS May 2017) shares  this thought: 
"There is no question in my mind that, on average, the most challenging years to parent around screen time is in middle school. It can take a caregiver on a brutal emotional rollercoaster ride". 

All parents (and their students) are encouraged to check out a new GPS resource Take 5 - for students -mentioned recently in the Glenbard News.  Below is a link to a 5 minute video for teens and one for their parents showcasing our most recent GPS presenter Dr Jill Walsh titled, The Good, the Bad and the Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. 

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series below!

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social Media.

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Dr Walsh for adults.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dr. Jill Walsh speaks on Teen Social Media

On May 2, Glenbard Parent Series hosted Jill Walsh in a program titled The Good, the Bad and The Confusing: The Teen Social Media Landscape. Glenbard West parent Jack Dugan shared the following takeaway: “Our kids’ so-called addiction to digital technology is similar to our need as teens to connect socially with our peers. To foster mindful technology, work to “scaffold skills” incrementally. Talk about it. Ask three main questions: What works really well for you? What's hard for you? and Where can I be helpful? Have an action plan/fire drill so kids know what to do when the inevitable bad situation arises. Multi-tasking does impact the quality of work. Use technology in small spurts (20 minutes is ideal), as opposed to big chunks, with a maximum of 90 minutes on, followed by 60 minutes off. It's OK to set limits, we need to walk the walk, drop the power struggle and work together for balance.”

Check out our new GPS Teen Talk Video Series. Click here for a Take 5 Video with Walsh: What Teens Need to Know About Social Media.

Click here for a Take 5 Video with Walsh for adults.

Dr. Jill Walsh's web site, click here

Digital Aged web site click here, founded by Dr. Jill Walsh