Welcome To The Spring 2017
Happily Family Online Conference Notes
How Difficult Times Help Us Heal
Elizabeth Lesser is the author of The Seeker’s Guide, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and Marrow: A Love Story. She is the cofounder of the Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences in health, wellness, spirituality, creativity, and social change. Founded in 1977, the institute welcomes more than 30,000 participants each year to its campus in Rhinebeck, New York. Prior to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and childbirth educator. She attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University, and lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.
Elizabeth Lesser talks about how parenting is like the Phoenix Process, a process of being open to struggle in order to give birth to a new version of ourselves. She reminds us to let go of the stories we’ve made up about other people and to let go of the shame we feel about ourselves. Elizabeth shares what it means to be an emotional first responder and gives us practical tools to meet our deepest needs to connect, to truly see others and be seen by others.
Healthy Friendships for Girls in a Socially Complex World
Rosalind Wiseman has had only one job since graduating from college—to help communities shift the way we think about children and teens’ emotional and physical wellbeing. She is the author of several award winning and bestselling books including Queen Bees and Wannabes which was the basis for the movie Mean Girls.
Because Rosalind Wiseman is in conversations with teens constantly, she understands deeply their emotional and social struggles. In this interview and in her work, she allows parents an honest, sometimes uncomfortable and challenging, glimpse into what it means to be a girl or a boy in our current culture. She talks about the needs for teens to have privacy, in a technological world in which there is no privacy. She shares the importance of parents truly listening to their kids and responding from a place of wholeness (rather than reacting with fear). Rosalind offers valuable tools for how to help a child navigate the complexities of friendships and intimate relationships.
Mindful Parenting in a Messy World
Michelle Gale loves working with parents who are interested in parenting from a whole new paradigm…the one where we look to ourselves for all the trouble we find “out there”. She spends her days writing, coaching executives and parents, and speaking locally. She is currently an advisor to the Mindful Schools, Wisdom 2.0, Tilt365, and on the board of the Holistic Life Foundation. She is a Strategic Partner with The Trium Group and on Faculty with Wisdom Labs. Prior to her work in mindfulness, she was the Head of Learning and Leadership Development at Twitter and other technology start-ups.
Michelle is the author of the forthcoming book Mindful Parenting in a Messy World and the creator of a podcast of the same name. She lives and works in beautiful Marin County, California with her family, dogs and two sons.
We all know that mindfulness in parenting is important, but Michelle Gale shares strategies that even the busiest, most distracted parent can use to put mindfulness into place in their family. She talks about how to be mindful even when your child is having a tantrum or a melt down, or when we are triggered. She also shares candidly about the importance of having compassion and gentleness for ourselves, and that kids don’t need “perfect parents”.
Connecting with the Struggling Child
Lori Petro is a Speaker, Child Advocate, Certified Parent Educator and mom with Aspergers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and she founded TEACH through Love as a vehicle to help families heal multi-generational cycles of anger, abuse, and emotional neglect by providing parents with new tools for communicating.
As an adult with Asperger's, Lori understands the demands of parenting kids with special needs and believes that by building strong relationships and communicating in respectful ways, we can help all children reach their full potential. She is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and compassionate parent educator known for leaving audiences feeling empowered, inspired, and prepared with practical tools for creating long-lasting changes in their homes and classrooms. She conducts online classes and consults privately with clients as well as offering weekly parenting tips and tools in her popular YouTube series, TEACHable Moments and with her Mindful Monday communication tips.
In our heartfelt conversation, Lori describes how her own experiences of being misunderstood as a child, inspired her to support parents to understand their children and create trust and safety with them. When a child is struggling, she encourages parents to look at the 3 S’s – what Stresses we can remove, what Support can we offer, and what Skills we want the child to develop. She also gives practical tools for parents and kids to handle their feelings.
Kate Northrup & Mike Watts
Working and Parenting: A Love Story
Kate Northrup is a author, mom and creative entrepreneur. In her twenties, she built a team of over 3,000 wellness entrepreneurs worldwide. Despite being successful in her business, she had to change her perspective on self-love and value to dig herself out of debt. Now with her husband and business partner, Mike, she works with women in a community called The Freedom Family to help them build a profitable business, grow personally and have fun. Kate is also the author of Money: A Love Story.
Mike Watts is an entrepreneur, speaker, husband, and father. Before radically reinventing his own life, he worked for Philip Morris. Today, he shows business owners how to expand their choices, do less and create the financial lives they want.
Kate Northrup and Mike Watts share personally how they’ve learned to be parents and grow a successful business without sacrificing what they value in life. In this wide ranging conversation, they share mindful tools–like using your intuition and understanding your story–to very practical tools, such as having a shared family calendar. Kate and Mike are dedicated to inspiring others to live passionately, as individuals, and in work, life, and family.
Dr. Laura Markham
Helping Children Calm and Be Friends for Life
Dr. Laura Markham is the author of the books Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings and the founding editor of AhaParenting. Her free weekly newsletters reach over 100,000 parents. Dr. Laura says that earning her PhD in clinical psychology at Columbia University and being a mother of two convinced her that parents need more support. Her aspiration is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents.
In our wide ranging conversation with Dr. Laura Markham she talks about how to help children calm, build self discipline, and how to support sibling relationships. She shares brain research showing why it’s important to help kids soothe, why fighting is essential for teaching relationship skills, and how parenting develops the brain. She demonstrated how to set limits lovingly, how to intervene in a conflict between children, and how to build emotional intelligence.
Ellen Pritchard Dodge
Seven Keys to Communication
Ellen Pritchard Dodge is recognized leader in character education and communication skills in the classroom, and an award winning speech language pathologist. She has published numerous books and articles about social emotional learning. Ellen has taught extensively in public schools in Northern California and collaborated with author of Real Boys, Dr. William Pollack, to create classrooms that are academically and socially engaging for boys. Ellen served on Parenting Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, and worked with the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. Since 2008, she has been the educational director and curriculum author for Kimochis.
Ellen Pritchard Dodge shares practical ways to teach kids about their feelings and develop tools to handle emotions. She shares the 7 Keys to Communication–2 of which are game changers for the world! She is passionate about helping families. Ellen talks specifically about supporting military families and children who have experienced trauma. She shows how to use Kimochis, and shares how you can do the same activities without buying anything. She believes that by teaching kindness, compassion, and courage we can make the world a better place, one feeling at a time.
Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider
7 Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired & Successful Children
Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider is an award-winning therapist and a leading authority on touch and infant massage, and communication. She has worked in early intervention, child development, communication, infant massage training and parenting for over thirty-five years. With a doctorate in Psychology and two Master of Arts degrees, she approaches her work with children and families holistically. She is the Amazon Best-Selling Author of 7 Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired, & Successful Children; she also authored Massaging Your Baby and Baby Massage Basics. Dr. Elaine has written for dozens of periodicals including Parents, Zero to Three, Child, Infants and Young Children, and Young Exceptional Children.
Dr. Elaine founded TouchTime International, to serve children and families, around the world, so that babies can become truly loved, respected and appreciated, while parents gain confidence, learn to read their baby's’ cues, foster secure attachment, and improve physical and social-emotional well-being.
Dr Elaine Schneider shares about the importance of touch and massage for babies, toddlers, kids with special needs, and even teens. Research shows the health and emotional benefits of touch are not just for the child receiving the massage, but also for the giver as well. She encourages parents to find the right time for massage, get permission from the child before touching her, to attune with the child, and to breathe to release any of our own tensions before we touch our child. The stories Dr. Elaine shares are inspirational and informative.
Todd & Cathy Adams
Self Awareness in Parenting and Coparenting
Cathy Adams is a self awareness expert focused on parenting and the personal empowerment of women and young girls. Her most recent book, Living What You Want Your Kids to Learn, won a Nautilus Award. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Parent Coach, Certified Elementary School Teacher, Certified Yoga Teacher, and a professor in the Sociology Department at Dominican University.
Todd Adams is a coach and advocate for men supporting healthy masculinity, conscious relationships and prosperous careers. He co-created the Tribe men’s group. He is a member of The Mankind Project, a staff member for the New Warrior Training Adventure, blogger for The Good Men Project, a certified instructor for the Institute of Heartmath, and a certified Life Coach through Tony Robbins Coaching Program.
For six years Cathy and Todd Adams have hosted Zen Parenting Radio, a top-ten kids and family podcast on iTunes and they created the “Let’s Get Real” Annual Zen Parenting Conference. They are the parents to three girls.
Todd and Cathy Adams talk about how to they bring awareness into their relationship. They share their process of doing their own self growth, and how self growth is the foundation of their marriage and their parenting. They remind us of the importance of self care, being aware of our old wounds, being in the present, and loving “what is”.
Teaching Mindfulness to Children
“Daniel Rechtschaffen, MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook. He is the founding director of Mindful Education, a mindfulness and social emotional learning platform for educators.
He organizes the annual Mindfulness in Education Conference and Teacher Training at the Omega Institute. Daniel offers keynote speeches and mindfulness trainings at conferences, communities, and businesses, such as University of Wisconsin Madison, Google, Esalen Institute, and schools around the globe.
Daniel Rechtschaffen teaches mindfulness through music, sports, storytelling, games and other creative and engaging ways. He is inspired to utilize mindfulness to help us become more conscious, compassionate, and committed to taking care of this miraculous world we live in.”
Daniel Rechtschaffen encourages parents and teachers to begin with themselves first before trying to use mindfulness with kids. He explains how mindfulness with children helps them to calm, learn, focus, manage stress, handle difficult emotions, and be kind. Daniel talks about how to set an intention. He reveals the 5 Realms of Mindful Literacy: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, and Global. And he shares important considerations for using mindfulness with kids who have experienced trauma.
The Parenting PATH: Partnership, Authenticity, Trust & Heart
Scott is a coach, mentor, writer, and speaker. His passion is helping people develop their parenting, relationship, and self-empowerment skills, so they can raise confident, connected, and creative children.
He collaborated with the late Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept, and currently collaborates with Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn. His background as a voice teacher helping adult singers overcome inner and outer obstacles to creative expression laid much of the foundation for his work as a parenting and life coach beginning in 2003.
Scott created The Daily Groove, a free short daily email, when he realized that parents need reminders to change their way of thinking about children and parenting.
He lives in Portland with his wife and two children.
Scott Noelle talks about his PATH parenting philosophy–partnership, authenticity, trust, and heart. His work reminds us that when we let go of attempting to control our children, we can embrace authentic power and true connection in our parenting relationship, rather than the pseudo-power that comes from fear, intimidation, manipulation, or threats. When we have partnership in parenting we create, win-win-win situations, in which the child and parent both benefit, as well as the parent-child relationship!
- Subscribe to The Daily Groove and get a daily dose of brief, inspiring tips for empowered parenting
- Accelerate your growth as a parent through private sessions with Scott Noelle by telephone or Skype
- Learn about the Alliance for Self-Directed Education and join the movement to unleash children's natural learning capacities
Being a Wonder Woman: Self Care and Community for Moms
Erin DiMaggio is a mom, wife, blogger, children's book author and illustrator, personal trainer, and creator of Wonder Women Unite–a Women's Wellness Group–and Empowering Mamas–an online mothering resource. Erin is active. She’s run a yoga and personal training business, and she’s run marathons. She done adventure racing, hiking, rock climbing, martial arts, and even fitness competitions.
She has a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology. She is a certified yoga instructor and parent educator.
Erin DiMaggio talks about how to tap into the “inner counsellor” when faced with a parenting challenge. She offers a framework for heart-centered listening, that is useful in parenting and in friendships. Erin shows us that parenting is a creative process and reminds is that when we get triggered, we have tools. We can choose who we want to be, and we can choose our response to our family.
Dads Creating Connection in Families
Julian Ivey-Caldwell is the creator of getconnectdad.com whose goal is to connect more fathers to their kids. Julian works a day job and, because he travels a lot, he is intensely focused on trying to find better ways for fathers (and mothers) who work long hours, different hours, or unusual hours to be engaged in their families.
Julian Ivey-Caldwell offers practical tools for connecting in meaningful ways with kids. His habits for spending time with kids, include telling stories, getting outside, being faithful, and saying “I love you”. These habits are powerful reminders for parents of children of all ages. He shares openly about the pain that disconnection creates in families. And he talks about the platform he created–My Dear Child–for parents and children to begin to heal, and possibly re-connect, when a family member has become estranged.
Assertive Communication for Kids: Being a Kindness Warrior
Katie Hurley is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, writer and speaker in Los Angeles, CA. Katie earned her BA in psychology and women’s studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. Katie has extensive experience treating children and adolescents with learning differences, anxiety and low self-esteem. She is also trained in Play Therapy. Katie has written for The Washington Post, PBS Parents, Everyday Family, Momtastic, and The Huffington Post. She is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World and a forthcoming parenting book exploring how mean girls are developing much younger, with tips to proactively raise kind, confident girls.
Katie Hurley tells us about her work with children, especially girls, and how she teaches them about empathy, self expression, friendships, and assertive communication. She reminds us that rather than labeling someone as a “bully” or a “mean girl” it’s more helpful to teach all kids to stand up for themselves, and be a “kindness warrior”. Katie encourages all parents to be gentle with themselves, slow down, listen, and role model what we want our kids to learn.
Fostering Independence, Curiosity & Gentleness
A parent of two children, Jeanne-Marie Paynel launched Voila Montessori in response to the demand from parents for advice and guidance for raising children in a gentle, peaceful, and supportive environment conducive to their full development–psychological, academic, artistic, spiritual, physical, cultural.
Her mission is to help parents appreciate the true importance of their role–not as servants or teachers, but as supporters and guides of their children's natural development.
Jeanne-Marie Paynel provides examples of how we can respectfully engage with children in our home, showing how parenting can be grounded in principles of Montessori philosophy. Jeanne-Marie highlights ways in which we can engage children especially in the kitchen and doing tasks, as well as how to foster independence, curiosity, gentleness, and guidance.
Dr. Joseph Lee
How Parenting Impacts Children’s Brains in the Present and the Future
Dr. Joseph Lee is a psychiatrist with a practice in Southern California. Early in his practice he saw that his patients were clearly getting better, but didn’t seem to be quite “well.” His search to help people truly thrive, led him to a truth-based perspective that he’s been applying personally and professionally, built around developing self-worth, meaningful relationships, and lifelong optimal healthiness. Becoming a parent, made him more intentional about every aspect of his own life – trying to figure out the best way to raise his kids, while maintaining his own health and wellbeing. Dr. Lee presented at UXPA and the Headspace Headquarters on the role of Empathy on User Design and he teaches community mental healthiness classes.
If you look at the human brain and examine how it develops in healthy (and unhealthy) ways, one thing becomes very clear… parenting matters a lot. Dr. Joseph Lee shows us how influential our parenting style is, with our children’s self worth, current and future relationships, learning, memory, recovering from mental illness, and other struggles. The science shows us that we don’t have to be perfect parents, but there are 4 things our children must experience to truly thrive.
Dr. Michele Borba
Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally recognized educational psychologist and expert in bullying, social-emotional learning, and character development. Michelle has spoken to over one million participants on five continents. She has appeared on TODAY, Dateline, The View, Dr. Phil, CNN, MSNBC, Dr. Oz, Dr. Drew, and The Early Show, among others, and is the author of 24 books. Dr. Borba’s latest book is called UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World.
Dr. Michele Borba talked about the importance of empathy in today’s world, especially for this current generation of children who have higher levels of stress and competitiveness than earlier generations. She illustrated 9 habits to raise kids who are empathetic, including practical tools and tips. Michele shared entertaining and touching stories from her travels around the world about how kids–and their parents–can move from “me” to “we”.
Using Social Emotional Learning to Create a Partnership with Your Child’s School
For over twenty years, Jennifer Miller has worked with educators and families to help them become more effective with children through social and emotional learning. She is author and illustrator of the blog, Confident Parents, Confident Kids and writes for numerous publications. She's an expert contributor to NBC Universal's Parent Toolkit. She has contributed to two books, “Smart Parents, Parenting for Powerful Learning” and “Building Powerful Learning Environments from Schools to Communities.” She does coaching, webinars, curriculum development, consultation and workshops in Ohio and nationally. She has her master’s degree in Instructional Leadership with a focus on social and emotional development. She lives with her husband and nine-year-old son in Columbus, Ohio.
Creating partnership with your child’s teachers is important–whether your kids are in school, after school activity, or summer camp–and Jennifer Miller shows us how to do it. She shares 3 practical tools to help create a partnership between parents and teachers. These 3 tools also help your children to develop their own social emotional skills. Jennifer shares with us how social emotional skills are essential for kids to succeed in life.
Dr. Michael Thompson
The Emotional Life of Boys
Dr. Michael Thompson is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He has worked in more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
With Dan Kindlon, Dr. Thompson wrote the New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. He is also the author or co-author several other books including Speaking of Boys, Best Friends/Worst Enemies, Mom, They're Teasing Me, The Pressured Child, and Homesick and Happy.
Michael Thompson has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC 20/20, CBS, 60 Minutes, The Early Show and Good Morning America. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News and World Report and NPR.
Dr. Michael Thompson presents a reassuring perspective reminding parents that we don’t need to “over parent” or overprotect. Helping our children develop competence not only makes them feel confident, but it also allows us to feel reassured about the gradual process of letting go. Our parenting is most effective when we trust in our children, give them independence, understand their feelings–especially anger, and trust the process of human development.
Using Free & Natural Materials to Play and Connect with Your Child
Kim Lyons has been working with children and families in educational settings and in private practice for over 25 years. As both an educator and a facilitator, she brings many diverse talents to her work, including early childhood development, doula support, yoga and bodywork. She has a masters degree in early childhood development, and she worked for a hospital based HIV and drug treatment program. She has taught preschool, infant massage classes, and she’s been a program coordinator for an early intervention center.
She is the author of Homemade Play and currently teaches Tum e Time: Creative Ways To Play With Your Baby classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kim Lyons shares how parents can use low/no cost materials, common household objects, and things from nature (leaves, grass, fruit) as toys for their babies and toddlers. She shares a wealth of simple activities for parents to create a relationship with their children, develop movement and sensory skills, encourage curiosity, calming, connection, and language. She encourages parents to let their children engage with nature, get messy, and explore their surroundings. Ultimately when parents can understand the world from the perspective of their child they can also be a bridge, helping their child understand the world!
Soft Skills To Help Parents/Teens Navigate Life
Theo Koffler is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of Mindfulness Without Borders, which advances mindfulness-based social and emotional competencies in educational, healthcare and corporate settings around the world. Author, public speaker, philanthropist and Instructor at The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education, she passionately advocates for ‘whole-student” education, with a special focus in conflict and post-conflict countries. Most recently, Theo launched RETHINK Digital Kit a digital educational resource with over 100 activities to help strengthen mental health in youth.
Theo Koffler shares the story of how many years ago, a personal health crisis she experienced while she was living in Jerusalem, led her to bring mindfulness practice to several countries in Africa. Later, she created an evidence-based mindfulness program that is used in 14 countries around the world. Theo talks about creating mindfulness activities to reach different types of learners, including children with special needs, and children who have experienced trauma and violence. She shares that all over the world, while mindfulness might not change children’s circumstances, it can change how they relate to those circumstances and bring hope.
Dr. Daniel Siegel
Parenting From The Inside Out
Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes.
Dr. Siegel explains why a parent’s self understanding is the number one predictor of a child’s well being. He talks about when uncomfortable feelings emerge–from our own past–that it’s a positive sign. He tells a story about a 91 year old who was able to improve his relationships; this story is a powerful reminder to all of us that it’s never too late for us to improve our relationships with our kids, to change our lives, or the world.
Dr. Arina Bokas
Building Powerful Learning Environments
Dr. Arina Bokas, is an educator, parent, and leader. She is the author of Amazon's #1 release Building Powerful Learning Environments: From School to Community. Her work is focused on elevating family engagement in family-community-school partnerships to create coherent, positive learning eco-systems.
Arina is the Editor and a Vice President of Kids’ Standard Magazine and a faculty member in the department of English at Mott Community College. She is a frequent contributor to ASCD inService and Getting Smart. Her articles have appeared in Education Week, Huffington Post, Teaching English in a Two-Year College, and other publications.
Dr. Arina Bokas talks about how to address false beliefs that erode trust between schools, parents and communities. In her experience as an educator and a parent, she’s seen how miscommunication can happen on both sides, between schools and families. She talks about how to parents and teachers can be involved in creating partnership, and how we can develop empathy in ourselves and our children in the process. Arina talks about how parents can be active in their own child’s learning, and social emotional skill development.
Sandra Fazio is a Conscious Parent and Life Coach, an Author, and the Founder of The Conscious Parent Blog. After leaving the corporate world in 2012 when her daughter turned one, Sandra endured more challenges in her motherhood journey than she ever expected. She was greatly inspired by Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and her book The Conscious Parent. Sandra that found her daughter was “raising her” in ways she never thought possible and she experienced her own re-birthing into motherhood.
Sandra’s goal is to expand and deepen the conversations around conscious parenting for all parents, to raise our collective self-awareness, and to make this world better for our children to live and lead for generations to come.
Sandra Fazio talks openly and honestly about her own journey toward becoming a more conscious parent. She shares with us the function of the ego, what it means to become conscious, how to “pause” when our emotions rise, how to let go of attachments, and how to communicate honestly with children without burdening them with our adult problems. Through the process of conscious parenting we can increase our understanding of ourselves, decrease our fears, move beyond labels, and embrace our life with more joy.
Cecilia & Jason Hilkey
Plays Well With Others: Compassionate Communication for Kids
Cecilia Hilkey, MA and Jason Hilkey have worked professionally with children and families for 20 years. They’ve taught parents and educators to use compassionate methods to talk to kids, worked with children with special needs, and even taught together in the same preschool classroom.
They founded Happily Family to respond to the needs of parents and teachers who wanted access to current research about the brain, and more communication tools to use with the kids in their lives. Their popular blog, classes and conferences touch the lives of tens of thousands of people each week.
Cecilia and Jason have been featured in local and national media including Kiplinger’s magazine and elephant journal. They regularly present at schools and conferences including CAEYC. They have received grants from the Maternal Child and Health Bureau, California First 5, and the Awesome Foundation”
Cecilia and Jason Hilkey believe that our natural language is compassion and connection, rather than competition. They describe how to gracefully handle a tantrum in a public place, how to get out the door in the morning, what to do when people are judging your parenting, and how to stay centered during a parenting challenge. They share how Happily Family was inspired by their time teaching together in the same preschool classroom and how they developed their cooperative, science-based approach of working with kids.
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