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.”