Our Mission

Friday, December 9, 2016

GPS event helped parent learn new social media trends

The Glenbard Parent Series: (GPS) Navigating Healthy Families presented Tweens,Teens and the Tech Trends of Today with Liz Repking on Thursday, December 8 at the Community Consolidated School District 93 in Bloomingdale

Liz Repking and Lynn Dugan
Glenbard West parent Lynn Dugan shared the following takeaway:  "I hope to teach my teens to make good decisions regarding social media and cyberspace in general but the landscape is challenging because it is ever-changing. Of course, we need to model good online behavior and help kids understand 'What goes online stays online.' This presentation gave me a chance to learn new things (have you heard of Kik?) and equipped me for the important dialogue I want to continue with my kids."

View the presentation on the Glenbard Parent Series YouTube Channel here

Liz Repking's Cyber Safety Consulting web site here

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Strategies for Improving Executive Function Skills to Plan, Organize, and Problem Solve for School Success with Sarah Ward

The Glenbard Parent Series: (GPS) Navigating Healthy Families presented Strategies for Improving Executive Function Skills to Plan, Organize, and Problem Solve for School Success with Sarah Ward on Tuesday, December 6 at Glenbard South.  

Sarah Ward spoke to a packed house of students and parents at the GPS  Dec. 6.  Two students share their take aways:

Glenbard South Senior-
Thank you GPS for bringing in a speaker who confirmed what I have been trying to convince my father of- forever.  Listening to music helps me drown out the other distractions when doing homework. So great to have my dad now understand, since he heard it from an expert. Nice!!

Glenbrd West Junior-

What a helpful program for all students. So glad I attended. I will now " plan backward to execute forward".  This won't be my last GPS.

Glenbard North parent Cindy Allston shared the following take-away:  

"It was fascinating to hear that kids with Executive Functioning Deficits have time blindness and are unable to see the future.  We need to help them become a future stretcher to actually visualize the passage of time, so they can plan and go toward that future/project completion. Consider shading in "time to work" on a wall clock to actually make time visible, was one helpful strategy.  And always plan backward to execute forward."


Friday, November 18, 2016

GPS event with Julie Lythcott-Haims "How to Raise an Adult" - takeaways and resources

On Nov. 16 and 17, former Stanford University dean Julie Lythcott-Haims presented Glenbard Parent Series programs based on her best-selling book, "How to Raise an Adult:  Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success."

Glenbard East parent Ruth Vitale (left)
with  Julie Lythcott-Haims and
Glenbard West Principal Peter Monaghan 
Glenbard East parent Ruth Vitale shared the following takeaway: "When we over-parent, it sends a message to our kids, `You can't do this without me.' It also deprives them of the opportunity to feel good about their own accomplishments (which can lead to depression) and learn important life skills like self-efficacy. Our job as parents is to teach our children to become problem-solvers and to ultimately put ourselves out of a job."

Paul Gordon, Glen Ellyn School District 41 superintendent, attended the presentation on Nov. 17 and shared this takeaway: "We have to increasingly and deliberately put opportunities for our students' independence before them.  Parents succeed when we have raised our children to successful adulthood."


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our Friends at The Family Institute at Northwestern University shares with Family Tip on Emotions

Source:  http://www.family-institute.org/about-us/tip-of-the-month/


Naming Emotions

Your daughter comes home in tears. She can barely choke out words to describe the mean things some girls said to her on the school bus. You listen to her story and try to comfort her. If you're really skilled, you'll offer her attunement (Are You Okay? March, 2014).

After a couple months practicing for his first driver's license, your son fails the behind-the-wheel test at the motor vehicle department. On the way home, you sense his distress as he complains about the unfair examiner and how he deserved to pass. You try to comfort him.

Recent research suggests that there's something else -- something enormously helpful -- that you can do that may reduce the intensity and duration of a child's distress: coach your kids to identify and name the specific emotions they're feeling during moments of emotional pain.

Studies have found that when people identify and specifically name their emotions, they are "less likely to be overwhelmed in stressful situations."i That's because when we use precise labels for our feelings, we understand more about what's happening to us emotionally, which then can lead to identifying a smart (and healthy) course of action. Clearly labeled emotions become easier to regulate ("I'm sad" rather than "I feel bad," or "I'm disappointed" rather than "I'm really bummed out"). Once we know the feeling we're dealing with, we can tailor our response to it rather than just fall back on the customary habits we rely on in order to feel better (especially unhealthy habits like erupting into anger, turning to alcohol, bottling up the pain, bingeing on food, etc.)

People skilled at naming their feelings have been found to drink 40% less alcohol when stressedii, and are 20% to 50% less likely to retaliate with verbal or physical aggression against someone who has hurt them.iii Impressive evidence exists that teaching school-aged children to expand their understanding and use of precise emotion words improves both their social behavior as well as their academic performance.iv

If we're going to teach our kids to speak the language of emotions, we're going to need to speak the language ourselves. It doesn't require a huge lexicon; angry, sad, hurt, afraid, upset, disappointed, discouraged, guilty, and ashamed are the basics. Incorporate those words into your vocabulary, and when your kids are distressed, coach them to do the same.

i Kashdan, T.B., L.F. Barrett, P.E., McKnight. "Unpacking emotion differentiation: transforming unpleasant experience by perceiving emotion differentiation." Current Directions in Psychological Science, February 2015 vol. 24 no. 1, pp.10-16. doi: 10.1177/0963721414550708.

ii Kashdan, T. B., P. Ferssizidis, R.L. Collins, & M. Muraven. "Emotion differentiation as resilience against excessive alcohol use: An ecological momentary assessment in underage social drinkers." Psychological Science, 21, 2010. 1341-1347.

iii Pond, R. S., T.B. Kashdan, C.N. Dewall,  A.A. Savostyanova, N.M. Lambert, & F.D. Fincham. "Emotion differentiation buffers aggressive behavior in angered people: A daily diary analysis." Emotion, 12, 2012. 326-337.

iv Brackett, M. A., S.E. Rivers, M.R. Reyes, & P. Salovey. "Enhancing academic performance and social and emotional competence with the RULER feeling words curriculum." Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 2012, 218-224.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Patrick Donohue: Study Skills Now, Life Skills Forever: The Tools to Help Your Child Achieve - GPS Oct 17 event

K Parmar, a Glenbard North parent, offers this takeaway from GPS Oct 17 event featuring Patrick Donohue:

Pat's 5 Things Good Students Do--it's unfortunate when students do not have a good understanding on how their course grade is structured and what matters to the teacher, because this can literally make or break their grade for the semester no knowing what their overall grade consists of especially if teachers use categories. I was also impressed with the Pomodoro Timing and his Rewrite Shorty Notes techniques, and it's something I will have my children try to implement as part of their study skills.

As a parent, it's important when our children hit that bottom of the curve as Pat stated, that we take time to support and encourage our children to continue to face it, work hard, be persistent, be present, and give their all even when the outcome is unknown. It's important to help our children realize that they are going to be successful and the outcome is likely to be positive when they've prepared in this manner.

As parents, it's also important fir us to keep "failing"and "failure" separate and help our children understand the differences between the two as we encourage a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

And my final takeaway from tonight: Besides the 5 things good students do to be successful in academics, much of Pat's presentation was on how to parent in an encouraging and supportive manner so that our children are motivated to be successful, and to develop and sustain a growth mindset throughout their lives, not just in academics in high school and college!

Dr. David Yeager Speaks at GPS events on October 10 and 11

As we know, to achieve, we need more than inborn ability—we need the right mindset. Dr David Yeager a leading expert in grit, performance, and the growth mindset: the belief that we can change and make progress, spoke to parents and school staff on Oct 10 and 11. He studies the ways students feel like they belong and are respected; that their work is relevant and purposeful; and that they can overcome setbacks and continue to improve.

David Yeager is an experimental development psychologist in the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. In his academic research, he examines the causes of and solutions to adolescent learning such as academic achievement, stress, cheating, trust, and bullying. He focuses on adolescence as a place where there is great opportunity (and risk) for young people’s trajectories.

In May 2014, he was the subject of a major New York Times Magazine article (“Who Gets to Graduate?”) by Paul Tough (a former GPS speaker).  He has co-authored work on grit with Angela Duckworth and on growth mindset with his collaborator (and another former GPS speaker)  Carol Dweck. Dr. Yeager recently chaired a national summit on mindset interventions at the White House. His work appears regularly in places like The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and beyond.

Check out some of his most recent articles here

New York Times article: Teaching Teenagers to Cope With Social Stress

New York Times article: Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated for Good?

Dr. Yeager is interested in understanding the processes shaping adolescent development to create positive or negative trajectories for youth.  He is also interested in learning how to influence these psychological processes, so as to improve educational outcomes for all young people and transform their lives for the better. Yeager's research shows we need to change our perceptions about failure. To be challenged is to grow skills for today and tomorrow. We need to do all we can to instill a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset. Check out the book Mindset by David's mentor Carol Dweck.

Other resources for David Yeager:

Presentation Notes, GPS event - David Yeager on Motivating Teens

Mindset Scholars Network

David Yeager, University of Texas, Austin

Friday, September 30, 2016

Devorah Heitner on her book "Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in the Digital Age"

 The Glenbard Parent Series hosted Devorah Heitner in a presentation based on her book Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in the Digital Age on Sept. 28 at Glenbard West.

Glendale Heights Police Office Michele Cahill appreciated the suggestion that even if parents don't know how a device operates they can be more explicit about teaching kids what to do rather than what not to do. We as adults may not always have the technology "expertise" but we do have the knowledge base and life experience to offer ground rules, and support. 

When kids say "You don’t know what I’m going through” a good response is “You’re right, I haven’t lived through that, but I have lived through conflict and resolved it." When on the phone adults should consider explaining to their kids what they are dong. Its a chance to offer guidance-which in the teen years means listening more than speaking.

Glenbard East parent Don Westerholm appreciated that we need to mentor rather then monitor and also model good technology behaviors A true mentor  is interested in what their mentee(child) can do (with technology) and shows interest. Ask questions; ask the child to help you with your privacy settings; watch them engage in their favorite technology outlets (e.g., your child may be famous in their World of Warcraft circle or YouTube channel, and you might not even know it!)

Web site for Raising Digital Natives

Parent Notes from "Screenwise" with Devorah Heitner