Monday, December 7, 2015

Marc Brackett

December 2: Raising a Happier, Healthier, More Competent and Compassionate Teen

Take Aways and Resources

Yale University's Dr Marc Brackett was a hit at the GPS last week on Emotional Intelligence.  Participants were entertained and inspired by the discussion of his important research. We learned emotions matter for attention, memory, learning in decision-making, judgment  relationship quality (emotions are signals, you either approach or avoid)  physical and mental health  and in everyday effectiveness.  

*Maya Angelou “People forget what you say, people forget what you do, but they will never
        forget how you made them feel.”

*Once you hire someone with negativity, it sabotages the environment = EMOTIONAL

  • Be your best self
  • THINK OF our personal ideals of how you see yourself (supportive, compassionate, caring); do your behaviors align with the self you are. In turn, you choose better strategies
  • THINK OF your reputation (how do you want to be remembered after this incident)
  • THINK OF outcome
  • THINK of the blueprint (from ME to WE) everything happens in relationship, not in isolation; have the courage to deal with problems and confront the person… itís a process, not just 1 meeting 

Dr. Marc Brackett speaking to GPS audience on December 2
From Mireya Vera, Community and Patient Relations Director, Holy Cross Hospital

"What a phenomenal presenter. He not only had a wealth of critical information, his delivery style had the audience engaged and falling off of our seats in laughter.  What a great way to end the evening!  Here is my take away:
 Why do Emotions matter? Dr. Marc Brackett delivered a powerful message on this topic.  I was amazed to hear how much emotional intelligence influences academic performance. Emotional intelligence is as equally important as academic achievement according to his research.  Studies have demonstrated that student performance (test scores, grades, etc.) improves with emotional intelligence clearly emphasizing the positive impact these skills have on students who possess them. The data he shared on students state of mind was mouth dropping!  Emotional intelligence skills are not difficult to learn and adapt to but they must be intentionally taught. Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulation emotions are critical to everyday life that students as well as adults can benefit from. This RULER tool Dr. Brackett recommends can and should be taught at home and at school. Teaching strategies to manage emotions is a skill that is needed throughout life.  I walked away feeling that intentionally using the RULER will provide better outcomes emotionally and academically for our children."  

Comment from parent Julie Bruns 
"Please send my regards to Marc.  I was at the event last night and it was a joy to hear him talk about his research.  I learned a lot and his humor was very endearing.
Thanks for advocating for these great speakers.  It's a pleasure to learn more about being a great parent, in an audience of other great parents who just want to do the best for their kids."


InspirED facebook 

YouTube: Marc Brackett: Developing Emotionally Intelligent Schools

Emotional Intelligence: Our Best Hope for Safe,Caring, and Effective Schools - Powerpoint presentation

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tips from two of our favorite speakers and from The Family Institute at Northwestern University

 Ken Ginsburg MD , November 2015 GPS speaker, shares views on teens and perfectionism .....and his artistic talent at creating the perfect paper Turkey in second grade:

"All parents want the same thing—that young people become happy, successful adults. To evaluate whether they are moving toward genuine success, we need to look less at accomplishments and more at kids themselves. The process of producing students who are perfect on paper may be working for some and seriously harming others. Those who seem to be thriving may be budding perfectionists who are headed for elite colleges as a reward for their accomplishments. But they may not be headed toward a lifetime of success and are unlikely to achieve a lifetime of happiness, satisfaction, and contentment.

Some materials mention “Big Lies” that parents shouldn't project on the next generation. The first Big Lie—that successful adults are good at everything—is applicable here in a discussion of perfectionism. When was the last time any of us was good at everything? Probably in second grade—we got gold stars on our spelling papers; we were told we were great artists when we made construction paper Thanksgiving turkeys. Since those halcyon days, how many adults can say, “I’m good at everything”?

Most of us do quite well at one or two things and are less talented in many more. Successful people usually excel in one or two areas. Interesting people excel in a couple areas but also enjoy exposure to several fields even if they can’t be a star in all.

So why do we push the Big Lie on teenagers that they must be good at math, science, foreign languages, English, history, the arts, and athletics? Doesn’t this unrealistic expectation only foster the drive toward a perfectionism that is bound to crash land?"

Christine Carter,  a former GPS speaker, continues the conversation on perfectionism - when she suggests we prioritize completing   projects over perfecting them.

"My perfectionism is still solidly in remission, but at times I'm a little anxious that I don't feel guiltier for not constantly striving to earn myself an A+ in every little realm of my life.

For this reason and many others, I am totally in love with Liz Gilbert's new book Big Magic. In it, she clarifies: Success and happiness aren't just about not being perfectionistic. They come when we actually allow ourselves to be mediocre, if that's what it takes to complete a project or task. We don't need to feel guilty about the areas in our lives where we're half-assing it, she assures us, when we prioritize completing tasks and projects over perfecting them. She explains: 

The great American novelist Robert Stone once joked that he possessed the two worst qualities imaginable in a writer: He was lazy, and he was a perfectionist. Indeed, those are the essential ingredients for torpor and misery, right there. If you want to live a contented creative life, you do not want to cultivate either one of those traits, trust me. What you want is to cultivate quite the opposite: You must learn how to become a deeply disciplined half-ass.

It starts by forgetting about perfect. We don't have time for perfect. In any event, perfection is unachievable: It's a myth and a trap and a hamster wheel that will run you to death. The writer Rebecca Solnit puts it well: "So many of us believe in perfection, which ruins everything else, because the perfect is not only the enemy of the good; it's also the enemy of the realistic, the possible, and the fun."

"Become a deeply disciplined half-ass" is some of the best happiness advice I've ever heard. And in a world where people begin loads of projects but are too busy (or afraid of not being good enough) to complete much of anything, completion is a strategy that will put you ahead of the pack.

Which part of the deeply disciplined/half-ass equation do you need to cultivate in yourself?"

The following couples tip about partnering to attain healthy goals comes to us from the Family Institute of Northwestern University. And of course when we model healthy habits for our youth its a win-win for the entire family!!

Healthy Together
When it comes to couples' health, the adage seems to be true that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Partners teaming up are more likely to reach certain health goals than when one partner pursues those goals alone.
A large British study published earlier this year found that when one partner seeks to make a positive health-related change -- giving up smoking, increasing physical activity, or losing weight -- the odds for success increase significantly if the other partner signs on to work toward the same change. When it came to smoking cessation, 48% of men whose partner also attempted to give up cigarettes were successful in reaching their goal, compared to only 8% of men who attempted it on their own. A similarly large difference was found for women: 50% success rate in the partnership approach versus 8% success rate as a solo endeavor.
When it came to increasing physical activity, 67% of men reached their goal when their partners joined with them, compared to 26% of men who attempted it on their own. For the women, the percentages were 66% versus 24%.
And when it came to losing weight, 26% of men lost five percent or more of their body weight when their partner also attempted weight loss, compared to 10% of the men who attempted it on their own. For women, the percentages were 36% versus 15%.
Interestingly, the partnership approach -- we're working on this together -- proved even more effective than when the second partner was already living a more healthy lifestyle and might have served as a "good example."  In other words, when a less-active spouse wants to increase her activity level to more closely approximate the level of her already-active partner, the likelihood of her success isn't as high as it would be if both partners started out less active and teamed together to reach the shared goal. Perhaps there's something intrinsically more difficult about "catching up" to match a level already attained by one's partner, than when both strive together toward the same end.
Might we extrapolate from this research that any number of health-related goals are more attainable when partners team up for the task: reducing alcohol intake, cutting back on sugary sodas, bringing down cholesterol? When it comes to living healthfully, teamwork seems the way to go.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Follow Ups, Suggestions and Take Aways from Glenbard Parent Series eventswith Dr. Ken Ginsburg on November 17  & 18

At last weeks GPS Dr Ginsberg discussed the 7 C's (listed below) which are the essential building blocks of resilience.  Also below is a suggestion from  Dr Christine Carter with a suggestion on how to foster family conncetion.  Share a story from your family history.

The Seven Cs: Building Blocks of Resilience
Bottom Line #1:
Young people live up or down to expectations we set for them. They need adults who believe in them unconditionally and hold them to the high expectations oding blocks of resilience. f being compassionate, generous, and creative.
Competence: When we notice what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills, they feel competent. We undermine competence when we don't allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.    
Confidence: Young people need confidence to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges.     
Connection: Connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions.    
Character: Young people need a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity.    
Contribution: Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude rather than condemnation. They will learn that contributing feels good and may therefore more easily turn to others, and do so without shame.   
Coping: Young people who possess a variety of healthy coping strategies will be less likely to turn to dangerous quick fixes when stressed.
Control: Young people who understand privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility will learn to make wise choices and feel a sense of control.

Bottom Line #2:
What we do to model healthy resilience strategies for our children is more important than anything we say about them.

Christine Carter's Tip: Tell a Story from Your Family History

Here's a way to foster family connection: Share a story from your family history. It doesn't even have to be a good story! 
Research shows that one way people foster happiness is by creating a particular type of narrative about their history, one that demonstrates that family members have been through both good and bad times together, but through it all they've stuck together. 

Kids who know a lot about their family history--the parts that they didn't experience themselves, but that were passed down to them through stories--feel that they are a part of something much larger than themselves. This, in turn, gives kids enormous emotional benefits according to researchers Marshall Duke, Amber Lazarus and Robyn Fivush. These benefits include: 
  • a greater sense of control over their lives; 
  • higher self-esteem; better family functioning; 
  • greater family cohesiveness; 
  • lower levels of anxiety; 
  • fewer behavior problems. 
In fact, in Duke, Lazarus, and Fivush's research, knowledge of family narrative was more strongly associated with children's emotional well-being than any other factor. (Read more about this research here.)

So one way to foster family happiness is to make time for family conversations. Why not start this week? To help, I've created this list of 20 Questions to Ask at a Family Dinner

Community Take Aways from Ken Ginsburg Event

On November 17, Ken Ginsburg, MD was the featured speaker at a Glenbard Parent 
David Majewski (left)
and Ken Ginsburg, MD
Series program at the College of DuPage MAC. Glenbard West parent David Majewski shared the following takeaway from the program titled Helping Kids Thrive:  Mastering the Tools to Succeed in a High Pressure Culture:

"I enjoyed the suggestions about "lighthouse parenting," which focuses on the relationship. Not having all the answers with your kids but problem solving with them as they face things. Make sure your children know they are loved unconditionally. Hold them to high expectations. Help them to be their personal best. Success is not defined by a grade - the goal is to have your child become a successful 35-year-old adult. Praise effort over results. Strive to strike a balance between protection and guidance. Guard against raising children who are afraid to experience failure; it is what creates their ability to bounce back. Model healthy ways to deal with stress, such as exercise, good nutrition and sleep."

Jay Wojcik & Ken Ginsburg, MD
On November 18, Jay Wojcik attended our Youth Leaders Community Forum and Glenbard Parent Series presentation about resilience by Ken Ginsburg, MD and shared the following takeaway: "This was one fantastic presentation. "Lighthouse parenting" is an effective, pragmatic approach to developing young people. It is a great guide for all those who live with and work with young people. I especially enjoyed the doctor's remarks about the importance of exercise, nutrition and sleep as a way of helping to develop a resilient teen-ager. We know exercise is one of the best stress-busting strategies available. It enhances sleep and concentration, which is key to learning. And exercise is especially critical for students with ADHD, depression and anxiety. This translates beautifully to our work with younger children, which is the main focus of Healthy Lombard."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Takeaway, Resources and Video from Bullying Discussion

After the Oct. 22 Glenbard Parent Series (GPS) Navigating Healthy Families program about bullying with school psychologist John Dominguez, Glenbard North school counselor Julie Shannon shared the following takeaway:
John Dominguez and Julie Shannon
"Bullying is not the problem. It is a symptom of a larger problem.  The larger and real problem is the unhealthy culture in which bullying and other negative behaviors are able to survive. We need to create a culture where everyone shares the same values, such as being kind, courageous and selfless.  We need to create an environment where everyone feels valued and build an environment that will change negative behaviors. I learned a few short steps to repair a relationship: apologize sincerely, provide an explanation, commit to doing better, and follow through with the commitment. In this way, we can empower victims and bystanders and help repair the negative culture. It should be our goal for all students to be excellent at being kind."

Video of this presentation by John Dominguez

A Paradigm Shift: Helping Kids Create an Environment Where Bullying is Obsolete

    Glenbard Parent Series presentation made by Dr. John Dominguez on 10/22/15.

To really hear and understand his important message, please watch this entire video 


Bullying Prevention in School: A Major Paradigm Shift (notes from this event)

What to do if your child is being cyberbullied (from the Center on Media and Child Health)

Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention and Advocacy Collaborative 
(Boston Children's Hospital)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Brain Differences Seen in Teenage Heavy Drinkers

Red Ribbon Week Oct 22-31 serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.  Here is an interesting article from HealthDay News on the addiction cycle of binge drinking and brain development.

Brain Differences Seen in Teenage Heavy Drinkers

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Parent Take-away and Resource from GPS: Raising the Selfie Generation 

Glenbard West parent Sandy Gelfer shared the following takeaway from the Oct. 13 Glenbard Parent Series program Raising the Selfie Generation with Alec Couros:

Alec Couros and Sandy Gelfer
"It's important to help our students take control of their digital identity to define who they are. We need to embrace the technology and then help them create a positive digital footprint.  Our identity is being linked to our reputation and online history.  Parents can forgive; the web does not. We should educate our kids on strategies to keep themselves more private and less public, to effectively utilize technology and manage multiple stems of simultaneous information. Put your phones down and enjoy life."

For more information, check out Alec Couros

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

At the Glenbard Parent Series program with Randy Sprick on Tuesday, Oct 12, Positive Parenting: Mastering Motivation, Attitude and Responsibility Glenbard South parent Janet Wolf shared this take -away:

Dr. Randy Sprick with Glenbard South parent Janet Wolf
"Thank for for sponsoring this presentation with Dr. Sprick.  Some of his points that were especially helpful included the message that it is important to keep the end goal for your children in mind - the traits that you want to see in your child when he /she is an adult.  Then look for opportunities to reinforce these traits.  Specific and descriptive praise can be so meaningful to children (and to adults).  And while there is also a place for the consequences of misbehavior, it is important to give more time and attention to those things that your children do well. Model the behaviors you want your child to develop, and do monitor your teens activities-increase independence gradually.   His comments about how to set limits, especially related to electronics, were also appreciated.  

Thank you again for arranging this speaker!"

Resource information:

Dr. Sprick's handout from this event:  Positive Parenting: Practical Solutions for
Positive Results

Dr. Sprick's website: Safe and Civil Schools

Friday, October 9, 2015

Over 200 attend Oct. 8 noon Glenbard Parent Series Event Julie Lythcott-Haims “How to Raise an Adult!”

The Glenbard Parent Series was honored to host Julie Lythcott-Haims former dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University on a book tour for her first book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. She has written and spoken widely on the phenomenon of helicopter parenting and her work has appeared on TEDX talks, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune and others. She holds a BA from Stanford and a JD from Harvard Law. The author congratulated GPS on the breath and quality of its offerings. Here is what some participants shared after her presentation on Oct 8.

Diane Vallerugo
Diane Vallerugo, Stratford Middle School and Glenbard North Parent, shares her take away:

The speakers personal insights as a parent and experience as a college dean has her perfectly placed to bring this important message to our community-overparenting can lead to less confident and less competent kids.  Our children need to experience failure to acquire resilience. Let your child advocate for themselves. Lets reclaim childhood. Stop the focus on brand name colleges Not every moment is a make or break moment. Do one thing each day to grow your child's  independence.

Overheard in the discussions after:

  • I need to stop hovering, back off and let my child experience some fairlures -so they can learn from their mistakes
  • My overparenting can lead to less confidence and a lack of self-efficacy.
  • We need to stop the focus on 5 schools in the country! Our children are not failures if they don't get in there! Check out the list of Colleges that Change Lives.
  • Our overprotective culture need to charge-our kids feel we don't trust them to do it without us
  • Stops saying "we" are going to college, "we" are on the team.
  • Stop doing their homework!
  • Think long term not short term
  • As parents we need to think about putting ourselves out of a job
  • As a parent -you can have a dream- but don't shape your child's dreams.
Matthew John Rodriguez Illinois PTA President
and author Julie Lythcott-Haims

Resources for Julie Lythcott-Haims and Raising an Adult:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Follow up on "Conquering the Challenges of College Costs"with Frank Palmasani GPS speaker, Saturday, Sept. 26.


Frank Palmasani

Frank Palmasani, author of "Right College, Right Price" and creator of the financial fit online program, highlighted 30 steps you can take to save thousands of dollars in college costs and pay for college without excessive debt. This seminar shared the latest information about scholarships, financial aid, student loans and the college search process.

For more information, please take a look at Frank Palmasani's:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Follow-up on Dr. Kelly McGonigal's "The Upside to Stress" and the Use of "Values Affirmation" 

Dr. Kelly McGonigal, GPS speaker on September 15 and 16, spoke of the successful use of "Values Affirmation" in decreasing stress and increasing performance.

The Value of "Values Affirmation"

Research shows that modest school interventions can help raise grades and improve health and happiness.

Research shows that modest school interventions can help raise grades and improve health and happiness.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The importance of "Being Still"

This tip was forwarded to us by The Family Institute of Northwestern, with a challenge (not easy at this busy time of year) be still. It reminds me of the times I would ask my son about his day at high school just as he walked in the door or got in my car at the end of his school day.  We figured out that was the worst time to talk.  He needed time to "chill" and process what had happened in his day before he could even consider sharing it with his parents. The tip below also mentions the importance of  modeling the behaviors we wish to instill in our children. Hope this tip is useful to your family.

Link to this TFI Tip 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Christine Carter sociologist, happiness expert and former GPS speaker shares a simple meditation practice. Learn more at our GPS event with Kelly McGonigal on Sept. 15, 7pm at Glenbard West and Sept. 16, noon at District 15 Marquardt Administration Center.

Start your own meditation practice

Portrait of a young business woman at office

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dr. Laurence Steinberg on Teen Behavior

Dr Laurence Steinberg joins us for two GPS events in January. He frowarded this article "The Terrible Teens: Whats Wrong With Them" published in this month's New Yorker magazine.

In adolescence, the brain is wired to experience pleasure more intensely than before or after. Credit Illustration by Édith Carron

Mark your calendar for the GPS events with Dr. Laurence Steinberg:

Tuesday January 26, 2016 
“Age of Opportunity: The New Science of Adolescence”
Myth-shattering, research-based information on the capacity of the teenage brain
7:00pm College of DuPage McAninch Arts Center

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Essential Guide to Adolescence ages 10-25: Teen Behavior Explained
12:00PM-2:30PM CCSD District 93 Administration Center

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Carlotta Walls LaNier

Parents and Students Share Takeaways from GPS event "A Mighty Long Way"

At Glenbard Parent Series/Family Read kickoff event, Carlotta Walls LaNier, author of "A Might Long Way: My Walk to Justice at Little Rock Central High School," gave a first-hand account of her experience as the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine to integrate her segregated high school in 1957.

Shondra Rhodes (left) and Catera Thompson

Glenbard East student Catera Thompson and her mother, Shondra Rhodes:
Catera Thompson said, "It was an honor to listen to Carlotta Walls LaNier's presentation tonight.  What I will take away from her talk is the courage to never give up.  She never gave up when it would have been so much easier to just go home and go back to her old school.  Her ability to go back to high school - day to day and with pride - was awe-inspiring. This was a school that didn't want her and where people wanted her dead.  All she wanted was to get a better education, no matter what. Her integrity and courage are faith strengthening."

Shondra Rhodes said, "As a parent, it was wonderful to hear how Carlotta Walls Lanier's parents fortified her for life. I, too, want to prepare my children to do their best and work hard for their dreams. This was very encouraging and very inspiring."

Charhonda McGavock (left) and
Kiante McGavock
Kiante McGavock, Glenbard East Sophomore and mother Charhonda McGavock:
The Carlotta Walls Lanier event I attended tonight truly was a once in a lifetime experience! Not only did I get the chance to learn more about black history but she also helped to encourage me to become a better and more educated person not only in a classroom but life in general. This truly touched my heart to know that if someone as young as only 14 years old can be able to stand up for her rights, then nobody should be afraid to truly express their feelings and beliefs when it comes to standing up for what is right. She also helped me to realize that neither family or friends can take away your education and all young adults today should use all of that learning to their advantage. This event really showed me how I can take a second look at myself and change my motives not just for myself but for others around me so that I can set a good example for them also. ~ Kiante McGavock

The presentation that I attended tonight was an eye opener, it taught me a lot more about my history as an African American woman. Carlotta Walls LaNier was a phenomenal speaker. Sometimes you hear the same that if it didn't come from the horses mouth then you cannot expect it to be true. Well I can definitely say that Carlotta is that horse because she spoke so well of her incident at Little Rock Central High School.   I would like to thank her as well as the Glenbard East staff for allowing her to actually give this presentation about history. She brought a lot of knowledge not only to students, but to parents of those students as well.  As a Glenbard East parent, I would actually like to be able to see her again as well as many other presenters regarding our African American history. ~ Charhonda McGavock.

Aisha Fitzgerald and Gerald Triplett

Hannah Ivy (Glenbard North) and sibling
"Try harder and don't give up."
Jamia Miller GE Junior and
mother, Shondra Rhodes Williams...
"It was the best experience!"

Catera Thompson GE Junior and
mother, Kimberly Lewis:
"It was very 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

GPS Speaker John Underwood Shares Insights Re: Athletes Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle

Glenbard coaches, athletes and their parents welcomed GPS Speaker John Underwood and his important message for both athletes and non-athletes.  John Underwood,  a nationally respected speaker, shared his "Life of an Athlete" program to help  athletes reach their full potential. The program provided information on achieving peak performance through nutrition, sleep and avoiding drugs and alcohol. 

Underwood referred to "Life of an Athlete" Manuals at his presentation, these references and his website can be found here:

Glenbard South parent Kim Woods 
with John Underwood
At  parent and student athlete meetings/Glenbard Parent Series program on August 18, at Glenbard South and Glenbard East, international sports consultant John Underwood shared the science behind living a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding alcohol and drugs.

Glenbard South parent Kim Woods found the presentation to be very informative. "I was especially surprised to learn how detrimental marijuana is to a teen's developing brain - affecting long-term memory, reaction time and general health. The information on blue light/ technology use before bedtime delaying the ability to fall asleep was also very interesting."

Chad Hetlet, Glenbard West
Head Football Coach

The parent and student athlete meetings continued on August 19 at Glenbard North and Glenbard West. Chad Hetlet, Glenbard West Head Football Coach found great information shared at Underwood's "Life of an Athlete" morning workshop for coaches.  "What struck me was not only the importance of sleep, but the need for the body to repair itself during sleep. It was also very useful to hear that the optimal time of day to train is between 7-11 am and that the body will be able to reach its peak performance 35-50 minutes into that practice."

Coach Hetlet also stated "Another take-away for me, was that a few hours a careless partying, can wash away weeks of athletic training."

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Pressures of Perfection"
New York Times article quotes GPS speakers

Here is another important, and difficult read on the pressure of perfectionism and campus suicide.  Inside, find quotes from Frank Bruni, author of "Where You Go, Is Not Who You'll Be", one of our favorites from last year . You will also find quotes from Julie Lythcoth-Haims "How to Raise an Adult :Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success"-  sure to become one of our favorite GPS speakers this school year. Join us on Thursday, Oct 8  at noon at Glenbard South.