Parenting on the Main Line

  what parents need to know about raising
  healthy, well-adjusted, ethically-grounded
  children on the Main Line
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2012-2013 Sessions

Opening Session: Parenting from the Heart with Dan Gottlieb, PhD
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at Main Line Reform Temple

Dan Gottlieb, psychologist, columnist, and radio host introduced our second year of dialogue about parenting and communication. Dan addressed how we all have a quality of wisdom but as we race through life, we cannot hear that quiet voice inside. He asked, "what is the difference between self-discipline and self compassion, between external security and internal security, and between acting human and being human?"

Dan pointed out that the universal complaint in this culture is that we just don't have enough time. Yet the clock ticks at the same rate it did when we were in elementary school waiting for the dismissal bell. Perhaps time flies because we are racing through our lives in pursuit of something we can't quite name. And in that process, we push ourselves harder and harder and do the same with our children.

Fall 2012 Discussion Series facilitated by Tom Winner, MFT, and Hope Nichols-Thal, MFT, from Council for Relationships

Building Positive Dialogue, Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church
This first session of three focused on the strategies for creating and sustaining dialogue between parents and children. We will examine the value of dialogue, external barriers to dialogue and ways of overcoming those barriers. 

Parenting on Purpose, November 13th, 2012 at Main Line Reform Temple
In the second session, we shifted the focus toward the internal to examine ways in which our own thoughts and feelings both help and hinder relationships between parents and children. We also reviewed key paths to self understanding and self acceptance that can help us make better choices.

Building a Parent Community, November 27th, 2012 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church
To round out the three session arc, we pulled back to take stock of the community as a whole to discover what kind core principles and ideals might inform our ideal community of parents. We also began to discuss steps that we can take as a community to help realize those ideals.

2011-2012 Sessions

Opening Session: Keynote speaker Ken Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed 
Sunday, September 25th, 2011 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church  
Our keynote speaker presented on Building Resilience in Today's World.  In a two-hour interactive program, Ken shared his clinical and life experiences interwoven with the parenting practices in his latest book, "Letting Go with Love and Confidence: Raising Responsible, Resilient, Self-Sufficient Teens in the 21st Century." 

Ken also remarked on the breadth of topics in the Parenting on the Main Line series.  Challenging the parents in the room to make a difference, Ken said, "It's not about teaching parents . . . the real question is whether the parents are going to leave here and create a community that's different.  And the only way you are going to create a community that's different, that is going to battle the toxic elements in the world, is if people do it together." 

2nd Session: Positive Parenting with Ruthy Kaiser, RN, LMFT 
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at Main Line Reform Temple   

Ruthy Kaiser led a lively discussion with over 60 parents that covered how to parent multiple children, responding to negative behavior, and handling sibling conflict.  Techniques for parenting "from the inside out" and mindfulness helped participants to identify and manage their own emotional reactions to everyday challenges.

3rd Session: A Discussion on Bullying led by Lisagail Zeitlin 
Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church   

Lisagail led an interactive session where many parents shared their experiences and best practices in helping their children deal with bullies and stand up for their friends. Other topics discussed: the school's role in preventing bullying, how to differentiate bullying from fighting, and research on the prevalence of LGBT slurs. Practical suggestions for parents were provided. 

4th Session: Stressed Out led by Don McCown, MAMS, MSS, LSW 
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at Main Line Reform Temple
Using exercises and a highly informative powerpoint presentation, Don taught about the benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction, how the brain functions in stressful situations, and the relational aspect of being present in one's life.

5th Session: Learning & the School Environment led by Robert Zeitlin, PsyD
Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

Robert led a rotating dialogue process guided by three questions: how to alleviate parental guilt/anxiety, how to maintain balance in light of ever-increasing academic expectations, and finding ways to judge a school's benefit beyond test scores.  Many great ideas were generated in this very interactive format.

6th Session: Self Image and Self Knowledge led by Wendy Cramer, Michael Graziano, Stephanie Newberg, Karen Shapiro, and Tom Winner
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at Main Line Reform Temple

A gifted panel of experts led a large group of parents through several different ways to understand how young people view themselves and their bodies. Targeted presentations helped parents understand the roots of body image difficulties, use methods to discover the strengths that their children possess, and maintain a strong line of communication by listening to teens.

7th Session: A discussion on Acting Out led by Ray Fisher, MSW, LCSW
Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

Ray led a very personal discussion about setting limits and suggested ways for parents to feel less helpless.  Ray suggested that parents who are more conscious of their own parental story can be clearer with themselves about making decisions from the heart.  The discussion included some of the issues that kids and parents often deal with when it comes to acting out behaviors and how to find ways together to help solve those behaviors.

8th Session: Children and Their Sexual Development led by Michele Marsh from Council for Relationships & Al Vernacchio from Friends Central School
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at Main Line Reform Temple 

When is it normal for kids to be sexual beings?  Al and Michele fielded a range of questions from parents eager to teach their children and teenagers what they need to know for healthy sexual development including what qualities in a parent help children/teens adopt healthy sexual attitudes and why teens listen or don't listen to their parents' sexual values and attitudes.

Final 2012 Session: Road Map to Letting Go with Dr. Stephen Treat from Council for Relationships
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

Master presenter Dr. Stephen Treat discussed how parenting style needs to evolve with adolescence including what changes to expect in teens' decision-making process as they grow, what adaptations parents need to make, how to safely grant responsibility, and how to manage privilege and avoid entitlement.  This "season finale" of the Parenting on the Main Line series was truly a powerful discussion on fostering independence and letting go.

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