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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

GPS Event: A Day with Dr. Laura Kastner on Calm Parenting, March 8 2018

On March 8, 2018, Glenbard Parent Series hosted Dr. Laura Kastner for three events: "Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Raising Independent 3- to 7-Year-Olds"; "Getting to Calm: Cool Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens"; and "Calm Parenting for Tough Teen Topics: Healthy Relationships, Substance Use, Media Management and Worry"

Kastner is a clinical psychologist, author of several books on pediatric psychology and professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington.

Amy Crowley
Parents share takeaways from Calm Parenting workshops

The following are takeaways from individuals who attended a Day with Dr. Laura Kastner.

Glenbard West parent Amy Crowley share this takeaway from Calm Parenting for Teens: "A calm
parent is an approachable parent, and the presentation discussed parenting skills which help us to support and encourage our teen-agers in the face of challenges. Self-calming strategies can help us break the circular anxiety which escalates during parent-child discussions. The use of third-party information, such as news articles or research, can help us introduce conversations on timely topics and provide a neutral way to exchange ideas. And most importantly, emphasizing empathy and acceptance of our teens will always produce the most effective results, while we work toward eventual growth and change."

Anna Strati and Laura Kastner
Anna Strati, Glenbard coordinator for data and analysis, shared this takeaway from Cool-Headed Strategies for Raising Independent 3-7 Year Olds: "Dr. Kastner offered wonderful advice on how to reach a
calm state of mind when things get challenging. With her C.A.L.M. approach she advised parents to use breathing exercises to Cool down, to Assess their options, Listen with Empathy and here she noted that empathy doesn't mean to agree with the child but rather to validate their emotions, and to Make a wise-minded plan of action. If we understand where they are developmentally, we know they are doing the best they can."

Laura Kastner's web site HERE

Parent Map web site HERE

Parent Notes from Dr. Laura Kastner "Calm Parenting for Tough Teen Topics: Healthy Relationships, Substance Use, Media Management and Worry" 7:00 pm presentation at Glenbard West, March 8, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Resources for Parents following the Parkland shooting

It seems there are no words...

Our hearts go out to the Parkland , Florida community who suffered this unspeakable tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Here are resource links that may assist parents with the challenges of the important conversations.to help kids cope.

Talking to Children About the Shooting

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage

Age-Related Reactions to the Traumatic Event

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal

ABC's How to talk to kids and teens about the deadly school shooting in Florida - interviewed a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Takeaways and resources from A Day with Shimi Kang MD - Glenbard Parent Series events on January 31

GPS hosted two presentations with Shimi Kang MD on Wed. January 31, 2018.  Dr. Kang spoke on The Myth of Normal: Understanding Anxiety, Depression and Addiction at a noon program to Community Youth Leaders, and in the evening spoke to parents on Self-Motivated Kids. Dr Kang is an Harvard trained, award-winning physician, researcher, and author on human motivation, mental health, addictions, and wellness,

Rabbi shares takeaway from Youth Leader Forum

Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky of Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard shared the following takeaway
Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky
from our Youth Leaders Community Forum and Glenbard Parent Series program with psychiatrist Shimi Kang, MD yesterday.

"Optimal health and learning can't take place when our kids are in the flight, fight and freeze response to stress. Thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain there is much we can control.

Dr. Shimi Kang reminds us to get back to an intuitive parenting style concentrating on POD - Play (healthy exploration), Others (more social connectedness-less technology), and Downtime (relaxed wakefulness). Activities that are critical for our kids, along with simple breathing techniques, adequate water intake, exercise, and sleep. Simple is not easy. Knowing is not doing.

When helping our kids problem solve, we need to consider a dolphin style of parenting - firm yet flexible (neither authoritarian like a tiger, nor permissive like a jellyfish). Show empathy; ask permission to help; let them come up with a solution we can support; and show our optimism about the outcome. Working with our kids in this way will help them develop the necessary 21st century skills."

Parent appreciates message about importance of adaptability

Ted Estes and Shimi Kang, MD
Glenbard West parent Ted Estes shared the following takeaway from last night's Glenbard Parent Series program with Shimi Kang, MD called The Self-Motivated Kid: Raising Happy, Healthy Kids Today.

"It really struck a chord when Dr. Kang listed the most important strengths for success in the 21st century ("Consciousness Quotient"): creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. The most important life skill that we can be teaching our children is adaptability. For me, this sums up what I have been trying to do with my children - and I am sometimes successful in doing so!"

Lake County chief of the juvenile trial division gains solutions that address the challenges of raising healthy youth

Claudia Kastin, Chief, Juvenile Trial Division, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, shared the following after hearing Shimi Kang MD speak on "The Myth of Normal: Understanding Anxiety, Depression and Addiction":

"Dr. Kang is an engaging speaker who provides simple, concrete and understandable solutions that
Claudia K. Kasten and Shimi Kang, MD
address the challenges of raising healthy youth. Her focus is on helping each individual realize that the solutions are within themselves if they accept three key principles: (1) Simple is not easy; (2) Knowing is not doing, and; (3)Doing leads to being. She offers hope that we as parents and community leaders invested in youth have a real opportunity to change the current stress filled environment to one that is focused on achieving  health and well-being. I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity to be enlightened . She is a speaker not to be missed!"

Resource links for Dr. Shimi Kang

Website for Shimi Kang MD HERE

Website for the Dolphin Kids Achievement Programs HERE

TedTalk: What one skill = an awesome life? | Dr. Shimi Kang | TEDxKelowna HERE

Notes from the evening presentation with Dr. Shimi Kang HERE (in PDF)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Managing Holiday Stress from The Family Institute at Northwestern University

As the holidays approach and our high  school students  prepare for their final exams we may all be in need of suggestions  for managing stress. 

Validating and  naming our emotions is the first step  in controlling those feelings,. Don't deny the feelings but help your teen build an emotional vocabulary to better cope.   Also, Deborah Gilboa MD a recent GPS presenter reminded us  that encouraging our children to  seek professional help while living at home reduces the stigma when at a later date -like college- professional help may be necessary.  Thanks to the Family Institute for the  tips below.

Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays are times for joyous celebration; enjoying gatherings for family and friends; and having that second pumpkin pie. These same cheerful traditions can cause copious amounts of stress and worry. Here are some ways to tackle the upcoming holidays in a happy and healthy way:

Validate your feelings. Some people will try to ignore feelings of sadness or loneliness to maintain the holiday spirit. Ignoring these feelings can only increase over time and affect your overall mood during the holiday season. Rather than ignore them, make sure to be aware of your feelings and how they are impacting you. This also can give you insight into other strategies of how to handle what is bothering you.

Engage in social activities. Go to your friends’ Christmas open house or to your local religious community. Visit your neighbors or family members. When feeling an increase in sadness or loneliness around the holidays, you should make an effort to see those you care about as feeling isolated only increases feelings of depression. If you do not have friends or family available, you can try participating in your local community or religious community.

Give back to your community. Participate in other holiday activities in light of the season of giving by giving back. Donate toys or buy a Christmas gift for a family in need. Spend time at a food drive, homeless shelter, or even food pantry. Giving back can provide a fulfilling sense of happiness.

Budget your finances. Holiday shopping and sales are endless during this time of year. Make sure to set up a financial budget ahead of time before the shopping takes over your wallet. This can aid in preventing unwanted financial burdens as the New Year rolls in. Perhaps create new traditions of white elephant gifts or secret Santas for larger groups of family or friends as ways to monitor your financial stress with gifts.

Try something new. Traditions are wonderful and can provide nostalgic happiness for some. For others, it can cause impending dread or worry around having to do the same thing each year. Instead, trying something new can make holidays feel more refreshing. This can be anything big such as traveling for the holidays with your family or even smaller such as adding a holiday game or new dish to your spread.

Set aside your airing of grievances. Many families have unresolved issues or unrealistic expectations around gatherings. It is best to try and address these concerns outside of holiday gatherings to avoid unnecessary negative outcomes. Rather than discuss these concerns in the throws of holiday planning, try to set aside time to discuss these issues at a later date as not to make it a focal point during the holiday.

Continue your healthy habits. Many people choose to overindulge during the holidays. Try not to change your eating or sleeping habits during this time. Both greatly impact mood and can significantly affect your holiday cheer during festivities. 

Manage your time. It is easy to get caught up in all of the planning of festivities that you forget to take time to enjoy these activities. Try preparing for things ahead of time as not to overwhelm you the day of such as delegating chores, cooking/freezing food ahead of time, or take time to complete tasks that are important to you.

Seek professional help. If you find that some of these feelings are continuous or exasperated as time continues, it may be helpful to seek professional help. The holidays can bring up many things for so many people such as loss of loved ones, issues in relationships, or reflecting on disappointments. Talking with a professional can assist with developing skills to best manage these continued concerns.

The Family Institute at Northwestern University brings together the right partners to support families, couples, and individuals across the lifespan. As researchers, educators, and therapists, we work with our clients and PARTNER TO SEE CHANGE.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Brenda Nelson speaks to GPS on Nov. 30 on Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning

On Nov. 30, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Brenda Nelson at a presentation called Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning:  An Approach for Sailing the Rough Seas of Adolescence.

Teacher shares takeaway from mindfulness program

Christa Gifford, Glenbard South Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and Glenbard District 87 Wellness Committee chairwoman, shared the following takeaway: "Teenage brains are wired
Christa Gifford (left) and Brenda Nelson
differently and teens have a heightened sense of fight/flight and tend to perceive things much differently than adults. Teens have a natural vulnerability that we need to be aware of.  With all of the stress and pressures from social media, school and family, this "noise" is constant.  Contemplative practices, like mindfulness (i.e. paying attention, on purpose, in the present, without judgment) can help teens deal with stress and be comfortable with the clutter of negative thoughts that teens can get caught up in; feel it and then let it go. Make time for reflection, peaceful moments and gratitude.  Strengthening this practice can lead to better relationships and better physical and mental health."

Notes from Brenda Nelson's mindfulness program

Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Learning:
An Approach for Sailing the Rough Seas of Adolescence

Dr. Brenda Nelson, DSW, LCSW
GPS November 30th 2017

·         Decided and was intrigued with mindfulness after a 2-year span of 5 student suicides and 2 staff suicides
·         Background as a special ed social worker
·         Bias that every kid could get individual help from some sort of PPS employee as the first few suicides she was associated with had had no sort of connection to a mental health professional
·         “When we are stressed, the first thing to go is our breath.”

The Problem
·         Brain and the stress response
o   Anxiety, Depression, Digestive Problems, Headaches, Heart Disease, Sleep Problems, Weight Gain, Memory and Concentration Impairment.
o   Today’s Stresses:
§  Parents making comments about stress related to 4 year plans and naviance and college…
§  Academic, Social, Family
The Unique Adolescent Brain
·         Older Adolescents “display greater stress-induced cortisol levels compared with individuals in late childhood or earlier stages of adolescence. 
o   Brains take things in as an extreme.  i.e. parent yelling at student when in reality there is just a conversation going on that the student does not agree upon.
The opportunity
Social Emotional Learning
·         www.casel.org (Social Emotional Learning and its definition)
o   SEL is a hot bed in Dupage County
§  Good amount of SEL at the elementary level, less at the middle school level and even less at the high school level. 
·         SEL in Illinois Self-awareness, Social Awareness and Decision Making.
Mindfulness, including four central process
·         Defined:
o   Paying Attention
o   In the present moment
o   On purpose
o   Without Judgment (doing it with a sense of curiosity)
·         Secular Mindfulness
o   Mindfulness based stress reduction –Kabat Zinn
o   Since the 1970’s
o   By far, most researched mindfulness program
o   Health care, business, politics media and education
·         What is the big idea?
o   Changes the brain and strengthens the mind.
§  People who have meditated (a Buddhist monk) can control their brain unlike anyone who is not able to dedicate so much time to meditation
§  Where we typically function at is “auto-pilot” (hair conditioner, driving for 20 miles) habitual occurrences. Goal for mindfulness is to get out of auto-pilot and create those new pathways.
o   Notice Thoughts and let them come and go. And that is OK! Remove the judgmental aspect. Many times, adolescents’ thoughts are even more intense than ours.
o   Mindfulness of Emotions
§  “Riding the waves” Cultivating gratitude
·         Mindfulness in schools
o   Programs vs practices
o   Research is compelling
§  BUT – Enthusiasm outpaces research
o   Casel secondary guide off of their website
·         How to go about implementation
o   Core group of Admin, teachers and parents. (practice)
§  Go slow. Anything that is valuable, doesn’t happen overnight!
o   Programs vs. practices
o   Targeted vs. universal
·         MBSR or other teacher prep – CARE for teachers
·         Last core aspect
o   Self-Compassion
o   Loving Kindness
·         CAN WE….
o   Ride the waves with the teens in our lives
o   Prioritize our own well-being and calm
o   Sit with unpleasant and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings
o   Create time and space for quiet
·         40- day challenge
o   can you take 10 minutes a day to put your tush in a cush…
·         www.learning 2breathe.org

·         Tarabrach.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

Scott Barry Kaufman speaks to GPS on October 9 and 10 on "The Many Paths to Greatness"

Parents, administrator share takeaways from Many Paths to Greatness

The Glenbard Parent Series hosted Scott Barry Kaufman on October 9 at an event called The Many
Paths to Greatness: Intelligence and Creativity Re-examined. Glenbard West parent Joannie Ruhstorfer shared the following takeaway: "This was an enlightening talk about the amazing potential and ability of every mind. Dr. Kaufman encouraged parents to re-examine play, daydreams and failure. He shared great information about how every child can be successful by recognizing the whole person and encouraging/focusing on the individual's strengths, creativity and their "many paths to greatness".

Joannie Ruhstorfer with
Scott Barry Kaufman
Glenbard West parent Molly Hoerster also shared her takeaway: "The idea that IQ is a predictor of achievement is not only inadequate but disregards other important factors including intrinsic motivation, active learning strategies, self-control, emotional intelligence and a cognitively stimulating home environment. The positive psychology movement is upon us (thankfully) and promotes a definition of intelligence as the interplay of engagement with ability in the pursuit of personal goals (which are not all about achievement in the first place).  Creativity is another exciting and relevant factor that, if fostered properly, greatly increases openness to experience, which translates into enrichment in life"

Scott Barry Kaufman and Debra Cartwright

Kaufman also addressed Glenbard faculty on October 10. Debra Cartwright, Glenbard North assistant principal of student services, shared this takeaway: "Kaufman's definition of intelligence as "the dynamic interplay of engagement and abilities in pursuit of personal goals" offersa more holistic and accurate view of intelligence where abilities and disabilities can co-exist and all kinds of minds can live creative and fulfilling lives."


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Glenbard Parent Series hosted Kevin Sabet PhD: "The Myths of Marijuana"

The Glenbard Parent Series hosted Kevin Sabet PhD at a presentation on Thursday, Sept. 28 entitled The Myths of Marijuana.

Parent appreciates scientific data re: marijuana

Ann Marie Andexler
Glenbard South parent, Ann Marie Andexler shared this takeaway: Dr. Sabet brought a scientific perspective to the marijuana dilemma that our country faces today. He educates his audience with truths to counter the falsehoods and manipulation (as in big tobacco) linked to the legalization and commercialization of marijuana.

Examining virtually every scientific review, marijuana is dangerous to the adolescent brain and today's marijuana is more potent than ever -with increased THC.  It can be addictive, impact motivation, may lower IQ and interferes with judgement and well being. In Colorado and Washington costs of legalization outweigh revenue.   More high school seniors are using pot now than a decade ago, even as the use of cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs have declined.

Resources (click on text)

Drug Policy…and My Journey Into The Arena by Kevin Sabet

Myths of Marijuana, Is Marijuana the New Big Tobacco? 

Web site for Kevin A. Sabet: Clear thinking about drug policy

Web site for SAM here (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Marijuana: Past, Present, Future by Aaron Weiner, PhD

Monday, September 25, 2017

Take aways and resources from Conquering the Challenges of College Costs

Financial aid seminars outline key tips

Frank Palmasani and Raina Gollins
The Glenbard Parent Series hosted two financial aid seminars on Sept. 23. Glenbard East parent Raina Gollins attended the workshop with Frank Palmasani and shared this takeaway: "In addition to discussions about the best academic and social fit for selecting a college, families need to have discussions about the best college financial fit for the family. Do the net price calculator found on college websites to find the actual sticker price of the school. And fafsa4caster will help you find the estimated family contribution. Start early and do your research."

Ercilia Jonas and Veronica Rodriguez
Glenbard East parent Veronica Rodriguez attended the financial aid workshop in Spanish with Ercilia Jonas and shared this takeaway: "Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most critical document for families to complete. Completing this free form makes students eligible for grants, loans and Federal Work-Study.  Our children need our help in their college planning. Ask questions and attend the college workshops to learn

Resources from Frank Palmasani's seminar

Jacy Good and Steve Johnson visit GPS to share their message: "Hang Up and Drive"

May 18, 2008 was meant to be one of the best days of Jacy Good’s life. It was the day of her college graduation,when suddenly everything changed. A young man distracted by his mobile phone conversation drove through a red light, collided with an 18-wheeler which hit Jacy’s car head-on. Jacy’s parents were killed instantly and Jacy was left with a permanent brain injury and partial paralysis. Determined to use her family’s tragedy to change minds, behaviors and laws, Jacy’s advocacy for cell-free roads brought her to the Oprah Winfey Show, and the United Nations.

Parent: All have "power to prevent a tragedy"GPS

Rita Crotinger (left) and Jacy Good
On Thursday, September 21, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Jacy Good and Steve Johnson at a presentation called Hang Up and Drive. Glenbard West parent Rita Crotinger shared the following takeaway:
"Jacy Good miraculously recovered from a car crash caused by a distracted driver that claimed the lives of both her parents and left her partially paralyzed. She shares the tragedy with others to remind us of the obligation we all have, both as drivers and passengers, to look out for each other every time we get into a car. Texting, email and social media are devastating distractions to drivers.  Talking to someone you don't see (handheld or hands-free) is a main cognitive distraction while driving because your mind focuses on what you are saying rather than paying attention to what you are seeing on the road. Each one of us has the power to prevent a tragedy - put your phone away while driving.  You never know how many lives you save by your actions, but you definitely know when one or more are lost."

Resource Links

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Take aways and resources from our event "A Day with Dr. Deborah Gilboa MD" on September 13

Police representative appreciates GPS program

Dr. Gilboa (left) with Tanya Macko
At noon yesterday, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Deborah Gilboa, MD ("Dr. G") at a presentation called Get the Behavior You Want Without Being the Parent You Hate: Raising Respectful, Resilient and Responsible Kids. Tanya Macko, community outreach specialist with the Glendale Heights Police Department, shared this takeaway: "If you want to change your child's behavior, you need to change your reaction. Pick one behavior and be consistent in reinforcing it. And try to make your no's into something more positive, so that you are not constantly just saying no."

Parent likes message about balanced approach to parenting balance

Anita Gaikis

Last night, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Deborah Gilboa MD in a program called Start the Year Off Right: Raising, Responsible and Resilient Teens. Glenbard South parent Anita Gaikis shared this takeaway: "Today's focus on resume building undermines character development, autonomy and may leave our kids frozen when faced with adversity. We need a balanced approach to parenting that encourages kids to try new things, take measured risks and navigate/problem solve on their own - all in the hopes of letting them learn from challenging experiences to develop the confidence that is a major factor in adult contentment. Show empathy, show them that we have faith in them, but let your children know they are capable of fixing problems themselves - empathy without intervention.  Parents need to step back so our children can step up."

GPS message for parents of young children resonates

Deb Gilboa (left) and Erin White
At the early program on September 13, the Glenbard Parent Series hosted Deborah Gilboa MD in a program called Raising, Resilient Young Children. Erin White, senior director of youth development at the BR Ryall YMCA of DuPage County, shared this takeaway: "Our job as parents is to allow our children new opportunities to grow and make mistakes so they can build resilience. Resilience is holding two emotions at once; angry and sad, happy and sad, etc. And as problems arise, do seek help with counseling. If we reduce the stigma now, they will be more likely to seek help at college and beyond.


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