Welcome To The Spring 2018
HAPPILY FAMILY ONLINE CONFERENCE NOTES
Dr. Daniel Siegel
Helping Kids through Difficult Emotions with a Yes Brain
Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute. He has authored or co-authored several books including Parenting from the Inside Out, the Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline, and most recently, The Yes Brain.
Dr. Daniel Siegel talks about how some parents think their job is to discipline and manage their child’s behavior, but if we only focus on behavior then our children are not learning the deep skills of balance, resilience, insight, and empathy, and their social and emotional intelligence is compromised. He gives examples of how we can talk with our children to help them develop mindsight–understanding their feelings, intentions, thoughts, and curiosity about others. Mindset is something that we can use to change our most difficult challenges into opportunities. If we help kids take a moment to reflect on a situation that is hard, our children can transform their circumstances from “toxic stress” to “helpful challenge”. Dr. Siegel also to speaks about how to know when our kids need a “little pushin’ or a little cushion”.
Dr. Mark Bertin
Raising Kids Who Thrive by Doing Less and Having More Fun
Dr. Mark Bertin specializes in integrating mindfulness with other evidence-based neurodevelopmental care. He is a bestselling author who most recently wrote How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids. His previous books include Mindful Parenting for ADHD and The Family ADHD Solution.
Dr. Mark Bertin talks about how we can do less for our kids and have more fun with them. He speaks about how childhood experiences can help develop children’s executive functioning skills–vital life management skills that help children become resilient and regulate their behavior and emotions. He offers practical advice about how technology can be a part of a balanced “brain nutrition plate” and about the importance of unstructured time. Dr. Bertin is wonderfully reassuring. It’s inevitable that we will find ourselves on shaky ground as parents, and during those times we can let go of our inner critic and perfectionism, and have some compassion for ourselves.
Connection and Healthy Separation in Conscious Parenting
Leslie Potter is a psychotherapist, parenting coach, and spiritual inquirer. She became a mom at 44, when she adopted her daughter. Her life’s work is sharing with other parents how they can shift from a controlling fear based relationship with their child to a loving enjoyable reality. She created Purejoy Parenting to help families understand their child’s behavior, accept their feelings, and allow the relationship to flourish.
Leslie Potter speaks with wisdom and clarity about creating connection and healthy separation with our kids. She shares delightful stories and examples of young and older children, showing how we can support them and create safety, while also giving them the freedom and space they need. Leslie shares with us her personal mindsets that are very helpful for everyday life as a parent.
Dr. Mary Barbera
Is This Autism, ADHD or Normal Toddler Tantrum?
Dr. Mary Barbera is an autism mom, board certified behavior analyst, and best selling author of The Verbal Behavior Approach. For nearly 20 years she has been studying autism, developing her own step-by-step procedures, and working with families, professionals, and schools. In 2015 she took her training online and since then it’s been completed by several hundred of participants from 40 countries.
If you have a child with a diagnosis or a you are worried about a developmental delay, Dr. Mary Barbera offers hope. Instead of worrying or waiting on a waitlist, she shares 3 practical steps that you can do today for your child. Mary also shares her personal story of how her son got diagnosed with autism and how she struggled through the feelings of denial and grief. Mary is passionate about parents being empowered and how early intervention can make all the difference for a child who is struggling.
Luis Carlos Flores
Four Stages of Child Development
Luis Carlos Flores, a psychotherapist, and his wife Gaby González, a Gestalt therapist, have a mission to help parents raise a generation of awakened, free, passionate, emotionally healthy and empowered children to face the challenges of modern life. He has studied early childhood education, human development, and trained as a Montessori teacher. He and Gaby support a thriving virtual community, Niños de Ahora, with 2.2 million parents and professionals, offering online programs to people throughout Latin American and other Spanish-speaking countries.
Luis Carlos Flores shares how we can help our children develop trust in us and in the world, self esteem, connection, and passion for their own interests. He talks about 4 distinct developmental stages that children go through in their first 7 years of life and how we can support them through these phases. Children can behave in challenging ways, but hearing Luis put these behavior in the context of normal development is a relief!
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children can Succeed
Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. She writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, and the New York Times and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the educational curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. Jessica earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts and a J.D. with a concentration in juvenile and education law from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two sons and teaches high school English and writing in Vermont.
For parents “Failure” is the new “F-word”. But what if we have it all wrong? What if failure is the fast track to success, learning, resilience, and grit? Jessica Lahey knows about the gift of failure and the dangers of overprotection, from her experience as a parent and middle school teacher. She shares stories that will inspire you, and a perspective that will reassure you. Jess tells us how we can worry less, give our children more freedom, and still prepare them for life.
Dr. Joseph Lee
How Parenting Prevents Kids from Becoming Violent Adults
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.
No parent wants their child to use violence. But what causes violence? Does parenting have an impact? What about violent video games? Dr. Joseph Lee helps us sort out fact from fiction by delving into the research. What Joseph shares may cause you to think differently about everything from school shootings to your parenting style. He talks about one parenting practice that you’ll want to avoid in order to raise non-violent kids.
Sexually Healthy Families from Toddler to Teen
Parenting Consultant and Educator and a mother of 4. Her work supporting families professionally has been informed by her own experiences with postpartum depression, loss of community, and balancing a career while raising a family. She has a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, and has worked as Doula, and Preschool teacher. Her passion is helping others understand children.
Patience Bleskan tackles a tough topic for parents–how (and when) to talk to children about sex. Starting at preschool age, teaching sex education is important, if children are educated they are LESS likely to become sexually active at an early age and less likely to be victimized! But many parents feel that they lack the skills and don’t know how to start this potentially awkward conversation. Find out what to say, when and how to say it, in this informative conversation with Patience.
Sue DeCaro and Erin Taylor
Conscious Parenting and Community Making
Sue DeCaro is a mom, thought leader, PCI Certified Parent Coach®, educator, and motivational speaker focused on conscious living and loving. She is a writer, trainer and co-founder of Building Connected Communities and Building Connected Families. With a BA in psychology, Sue has been an invited guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts. Sue’s passion is helping people to deeply connect to themselves, to their children, and the world around them.
Erin Taylor is a conscious living thought leader, PCI Certified Parent Coach® and motivational speaker and author. She is also a co-founder of Building Connected Communities and Building Connected Families and co-host of the Maximizing Life in the Middle Podcast that she produces with her husband. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and is the author of Connection and Kindness: The Key to Changing the World Through Parenting.
Sue DeCaro and Erin Taylor talk about conscious parenting and community making. They share their guidance about how to shift away from triggers and reactive parenting. They explain how we can listen to our children, how to care for our feelings of anger or fear, and care for ourselves. Erin talks about using a journal to understand her past and grow into the kind of parent that she wants to be. Sue shares about the communities that they’ve created and how they work together to support families. They generously offer an expert interviews series focused on how to navigate screen time and technology with children; this is a wonderful free resource!
Dr. Christopher Willard
How to Raise Resilient Kids
Dr. Christopher Willard is a psychologist and educational consultant specializing in mindfulness. He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and leads workshops nationally and internationally. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of several books including Child’s Mind, Growing Up Mindful, and Raising Resilience. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.
What we appreciate about Dr. Christopher Willard is that, while he’s connecting neuroscience, parenting, and mindfulness, he’s also the kind of a guy you want to have a drink with. We discuss how to teach generosity to a 2 year old who doesn’t want to share, why you don’t ever want to tell your child to “calm down”, and how to teach your kids to live simply when American children own 70% of the toys in the world. Chris talks about real world parenting through the lense of eastern and western spirituality in this entertaining conversation.
Using Mindfulness for Emotions: Tools for the Messiness of Everyday Life
Michelle Gale, M.A. is the author of Mindful Parenting in a Messy World, Living with Presence and Parenting with Purpose and hosts a podcast by the same name. She is a Mindfulness Teacher and Executive Coach specializing in working with parents, women leaders, and organizations interested in awareness based practices. Previously the head of learning and leadership development at Twitter, she has spent most of her career working in high growth start-ups and technology companies. Michelle serves on the board of the Holistic Life Foundation and is an advisor to the Wisdom 2.0 Conference and the Mindful Schools. She has studied mindfulness education with Mark Coleman, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
Summary: When mindfulness seems too hard to do in everyday life, we turn to Michelle Gale. She’s used mindfulness through the ups and downs of young adult life and in family life. She’s real and she “gets it”. We talk about how we manage our own feelings, our kids feelings during the explosion, and how to prevent the explosion.
Dr. Michele Borba
UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World
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.
Summary: What if you could give you child a “magic potion” that would improve their health, wealth, happiness, relationships, resilience, kindness, moral courage, reading and math scores, critical thinking, that would prepare them for the global world and the job market, and that is also an antidote to bullying, aggression, prejudice, and racism? You’d give your kids that magic potion, wouldn’t you? That potion–according to a small mountain of scientific study–is empathy. And you CAN give it to your child! In this lively conversation Dr. Michele Borba explains how to raise kids who care.
Dr. Lynyetta Willis
How to Be Mindful During a Meltdown
Dr. Lynyetta Willis is a licensed psychologist whose specialities include trauma; parenting and couples issues; mindfulness, stress reduction, and spiritually-centered therapy. She has provided therapy in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, hospitals, and youth detention centers and has been featured on television and radio. Dr. Willis is also the author of the spiritual children's book, entitled, My Forgotten Self: A Story about a Girl, a Powerful Encounter and a Universal Message.
Summary: Dr. Lynyetta Willis describes why she switched her parenting philosophy from behavioral methods to a compassionate approach. She shares how she identifies the 3 different types of meltdowns–and how to respond to each–based on the elements (earth, wind, water, fire). She shares with us how she helps parents, who are trying to avoid knee jerk responses, to not slip back into old patterns of reacting to their children. And she shares a unique perspective of how to handle a meltdown involving more than one child. Lynyetta is passionate, expressive, and heartfelt in her storytelling. After listening to her speak, you just might want her as your best friend!
Raising Kind Boys and the Power of Listening
Tosha Schore is a parent coach, speaker and co-author with Hand in Hand Parenting founder, Patty Wipfler, of Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. Tosha is mom to three boys and an advocate for boys and their families worldwide. She is committed to creating lasting change in families and in the world by supporting parents to care for themselves, connect with their boys deeply, set limits lovingly, and play wildly. Tosha holds a BA in Women’s Studies & Language Studies from UCSC, an MA in Applied Linguistics from UCLA, and is a certified teacher and trainer of instructors in Parenting by Connection. Photo credit: “In Her Image.”
Tosha Schore knows about the emotional life of boys, and how boys need protection from society’s harmful messages about masculinity (just as girls need protection from society’s negative views about femininity). In a culture that is afraid of boys’ aggression or violence, Tosha discusses the importance of talking to boys about their feelings, helping boys develop a feelings vocabulary, and creating emotional safety for the boys in our life. But we can only truly listen to our kids, when we’ve taken care of ourselves… then our own self care and listening partnerships become the foundation of happy, healthy parenting.
Dr. Laura Markham
Becoming a Peaceful Parent: Moving from Anger and Fear
Dr. Laura Markham is the author of the brand new Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook. She also wrote Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings. She is the founding editor of AhaParenting which reaches over 130,000 parents per week. Dr. Laura’s aspiration is to change the world, one child at a time, by supporting parents.
Dr. Laura Markham explains that conflict is part of every human relationship, and all parents sometimes get angry at their children. But when we allow our anger and fear to hijack our reasoning brain… our child begins to look like the enemy. If you say to yourself, “I shouldn’t feel angry,” then you’re trying to repress your anger. Repressed emotions don’t actually go away. Another option, Laura explains, is learning to deal with anger, avoid knee jerk responses, and to use emotion coaching with kids. Laura describes the “Vow of Yellibacy”, a effective and humorous technique, that you can use to stop yelling at your kids. Dr. Laura shares examples and exercises from her brand new Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids workbook she wrote so parents can have resources, tools, examples, and activities to put peaceful parenting into action.
Dr. Carrie Contey
Triggers: How to Tame Your Most Reactive Behaviors
Carrie Contey, PhD is a parenting coach, speaker and author. Her background in prenatal and perinatal psychology offers a unique perspective on children, parenting, family life and what it means to be a healthy, happy, whole human being. In her work with thousands of parents all over the world, she guides, supports and inspires her clients to live with a wide-open and courageous heart so that they can approach parenting with both skill and spaciousness.
Dr. Carrie Contey talks to us about triggers–the big feelings we have, that are usually from unfinished business in our past. Using current neuroscience research, Carrie describes where triggers come from, how we can care for ourselves when we get triggered, how to recover and move beyond a trigger. Carrie is a delight to talk to; lively and non-judgemental. Her warmth and encouragement is infectious. You will be left with practical tools, things to do and say from her presentation.
Parenting with Presence in an Age of Anxiety
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.
Our kids learn how to handle their worries and fears by watching us handle our own. So what do you do if you’re an anxious parent? Jennifer Miller has some answers… for us and for our kids. Her message is reassuring, based on her real-life experience as a parent and educator, plus she’s grounded in the science of social emotional learning. .
Parenting with Presence in an Age of Anxiety
Deirdre Fay, LICSW, integrates traditional trauma and attachment therapy with over 40 years of meditation and yoga practice. The author of Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery (Norton, 2017), co-author of Attachment Disturbances in Adults (Norton, 2016) and the originator of the Becoming Safely Embodied Skills, Deirdre has pioneered using the internet to teach ways to heal trauma and attachment ande creating an international community. A former supervisor at The Trauma Center, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute trainer from 2000–2008, certified in Internal Family Therapy, and qualified trainer in Mindful Self-Compassion, Deirdre is a respected international teacher and mentor for working safely with the body.
Deirdre Fay is just the kind of person you’d want close by if you’re dealing with tough stuff from the past. She’s gentle, she’s encouraging, and she’s been there. She teaches people how to use yoga and meditation to heal trauma and attachment wounds. As parents it’s important to look at our history; and if you’ve had rough patches in the past, this is essential. Deirdre shows a way forward!
Using Love to Stop Terrorism and Violence, and Start Healing
Sana is the owner of Sana Academy in London, a parenting with love expert, and the author of When Our Souls Met. Her work has been featured in TV stations in London, Jordan and Palestine, such as Aljazeera and NBC. She is a frequent contributor to radio, magazines and newspapers in the Western and Arabic world. The focus of Sana’s work is helping parents, especially mothers, create a harmonious relationship with their children. As a Arabic British Muslim, she got out of a challenging marriage, survived a difficult divorce, and created warm, healing relationships with her 5 children, Now her mission is to help other families create love, harmony and peace of mind.
As a 17-year old, Sana Issa moved from Jordan to London with her then-husband and her firstborn 5-month old son. Years later, after having 3 more sons, Sana escaped from her difficult marriage, fought for custody of her children, and dedicated herself to helping her family heal emotionally. As a result of her training as a counsellor, and inspired by the work of Dr. Siegel and Dr. Shefali, Sana now teaches other parents to help their children through sadness, fear or anger with breathing, a pause, empathy, self compassion, and being a facilitator. Sana shares the belief that parenting is powerful. Parenting with love and understanding can prevent children from resorting to violence and even terrorism.
Susan Kaiser Greenland
Having Fun with Your Mindful Child
Susan Kaiser Greenland is an internationally recognized leader in teaching mindfulness and meditation to children, teens, and families. She is the author of The Mindful Child and Mindful Games and has studied meditation with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since 1997. She also developed the Inner Kids program to teach secular mindfulness in schools.
Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Real Simple, and Parents Magazine, and the Huffington Post.
Before “mindfulness” was a hip buzzword, Susan Kaiser Greenland was the leader of a quiet revolution of kids, parents and teachers practicing secular meditation in schools and homes. Years later, Susan has now published her second book, Mindful Games, to meet the needs of those new to mindfulness practice. We asked her to share with us some of her favorite games to develop attention, listening, perspective taking, gratitude, appreciation, and calm feelings.
Developing Self Motivation and Resilience
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’s work and his short daily emails have been an inspiration to us for years. This time, we asked him about fostering self motivation and resilience in kids, what to do when parenting styles differ, and about trusting in kid’s natural development. Through it all, he reminds us to examine our assumptions, trust in our children, and work in partnership with our family members, rather than seeing them as “the enemy”. Also, in talking with Scott, he always has a few surprises up his sleeve!
Cecilia and Jason Hilkey
Help Siblings Be Friends for Life – Feat. Alana and Ciera Hilkey
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.
If you’ve ever wondered how the Hilkeys handled sibling rivalry in their own family, look no further! In this interview–hosted by their children–Jason and Cecilia share what they’ve done to help their kids “play well together”! You’ll also hear Jason and Cecilia ask their kids to share what worked (and didn’t work!) as they were growing up, to help them get along.
How to Create and Sustain a Dream with Your Family (Even if You are Just Surviving)
Aaron Schiller is a life coach who works with entrepreneurs. businesses and anyone with a dream. He is also the founder of Wise Tech Ed and is a coach//trainer for Yale University's Emotional Intelligence Lab. He is a dad, teacher, speaker, spiritual advisor, and all around force for positivity. He loves traveling, swimming, playing soccer, inspired conversations, sweat lodges and ponchos (but not simultaneously), and spending time with his family.
Do you have a dream for your family? A dream for your life? In this conversation, Aaron Schiller explains why it’s so important for us–as parents and as people–to dream. Whether you are smooth sailing or in survival mode, having a dream for your family and your life is possible and necessary. Aaron shares steps to start your dream, how to handle setbacks, what to do if your family doesn’t share your dream, and how to balance our dreams with everyday practicalities. You will not want to miss this inspiring conversation.
Families Who Garden Together, Stay Together
Leila Mireskandari is a mother of 2 and the founder of Kids' Growing City. Since 2013, she has transformed the lives of hundreds of children by training parents and teachers to build kids' gardens. Leila is a Permaculture designer and holds a Master's degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on food-growing education. Leila believes in food justice and her mission is to change the world one kids' garden at a time by educating and empowering young minds to take control of their food.
For busy parents, the idea of starting a garden with your kids might easily get put on the end of a long “to do” list. But what if starting a garden actually made your “to do” list shorter? Leila Mireskandari tells us that caring for a garden accomplishes many things at the same time… your family spends quality time together, your kids eat more healthy foods, everyone gets excited about science, and through it all you develop a closer more cooperative relationship with your kids! Leila also shares tips about how to get started–even for a complete novice.