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Special Events and Signature Seminars

Parenting Quests offers a comprehensive nine-week curriculum grounded in the principles of Positive Discipline (CLASSES).  We also feature stand-alone SEMINARS on a variety of child-rearing topics.  Our attendees include those involved with teaching, raising or caring for kids aged 18 months to 18 years.  The focus is directed at those interested in POSITIVE & EFFECTIVE ways to improve their relationships and their work with children.  We will introduce you to powerful tools, principles and strategies that are encapsulated with the words mutual dignity and respect.  Our classes are fun and our instructors are funny!

Our most popular and perhaps the most important of the Parenting Quests' individual classes is our Connections Before Corrections seminar.  Our children misbehave for a reason . . . and their goal, surprisingly, is not to drive us crazy!  Decoding their misbehaviors and addressing the unmet needs that fuel them is the Ace-in-the-Hole of parenting or any work involving teaching and guiding young people.

Signature Seminars

Connections Before Corrections — Understanding Why Children Misbehave. Bad decisions made by goods kids sometimes lead to visits to the Emergency Department. Not all poor choices of course have a medical outcome. Decisions our kids make can impact their wellbeing and the achievement of their goals. There can be educational, moral, social and even legal consequences. Our job as parents is to help our children make better choices as well as to guide them to learn from the decisions they have already made. In order to do that, we must first establish a vital CONNECTION of trust and empathy with them that let's them know we have a willingness to listen and to understand. They NEED to know that we are on THEIR side. Strong loving connections are required so that CORRECTIONS are delivered and RECEIVED with the greatest effectiveness. This seminar provides a blueprint to understand misbehaviors and treat root causes rather than simply addressing surface symptoms. If a doctor treats your cough only by prescribing cough syrup . . . you will lose faith and perhaps have a poor result. Identifying and treating the underlying cause is critical to a successful outcome . . . Asthma? Pneumonia? Fish Bone? Bronchitis? or Post Nasal drip? Connections Before Corrections will help Adults both understand their children more and develop greater closeness with them. Adults will be able to encourage and help them effect better decision-making. For Parents, Teachers and Childcare Providers.

Talking to Your Children about Race, Ethnicity and Culture.  Our children are excellent observers but sometimes they are poor interpreters. This is why an older child may suddenly become less capable after the arrival of an infant sibling in the home.  They correctly observe all the favorable attention the new arrival is getting but they poorly interpret that wetting their own clothes and crying more frequently is a way for them to garner warm fuzzies.  Our kids are also excellent observers of race and cultural differences.  Indeed they are hard wired to detect and investigate any similarities or distinctions.  "Does Matthew see the same things out of his skinny eyes as we do?"  Nor are our kids culture-blind: "Jackson says Christians are the best, are they really better than us?"  Regrettably it is not enough to set a good example or to cling to the faulty belief that children are naturally free of prejudice.  Between the ages of five and eight children generally start making value judgments about differences . . . in this critical period the predilection is to value those similar to us more than those who are different, "in-group bias".  If we leave them without a VERBAL component to our good example they will make their own inferences and frequently develop the very biases we would want them to avoid.  When we address the regression to infantile behavior described above, we talk to our kids and teach them to value the differences between the baby and themselves — without either child marked as "better".  It is as important that we BOTH walk and TALK our values on race, ethnicity and diversity with our kids.  In the 21st century, the ability to communicate and work with people from different racial, ethnic and religious groups will be as essential as computer skills — helping our children approach diversity with grace and understanding will add immeasurably to the quality of their future.  One five year old shared this about Black History Month: "It's the time when we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and Beyonce; White History Month is for Lady Gaga, right Mama?"  Humor, life experience and the wisdom of good research allow a topic that might otherwise be delicate and strained to be fun and informative.  For Parents, Teachers and Childcare Providers.

Emotional Control and Brain Development - This seminar is designed to help parents, teachers and childcare workers develop skills that encourage kids to develop literacy about their feelings and empower them to understand that they are NOT governed by their emotions.  Even our very young ones can begin to learn that they ARE "the boss of" their feelings.  This is a healthier and more emotional growth oriented approach to managing anger as well as the full spectrum of emotions.  The important relationship of brain development to learning effective emotional self-management is addressed.  Learning strategies to help our children identify that they are in a feeling state and consciously make CHOICES on how to act on those feelings is the first brick and indeed the keystone to maturity.  The Hierarchy is this:  First to develop Self-Awareness — literacy about their emotions.  Then to develop Self-Control — mastery of the choices they make responding to those feelings.  And ultimately to have Self-Discipline — establishing goals and developing a plan to achieve those goals.  This last step involves strengthening their ability to DELAY GRATIFICATION: "I want a Great thing later so I will delay a Good thing now."    Better understanding of their developing brain can help adults guide them through this terrain more effectively. 

The "Talk" — Adolescent Sexuality - The absence of effective sex education and value sharing has played a significant and unfortunate part in the work of Emergency Physicians. Parents are fortuitously planted in the catbird seat regarding educating their kids about sex and love relationships.  Studies continue to reinforce that adolescents want to receive guidance and information in these areas PRINCIPALLY from their parents.  The goal of this class is to reduce parental anxiety about beginning these conversations and to help parents develop a plan of action to deliver their message and express their values effectively.  These are rarely easy discussions for parents to have with their children.  However allowing "The Streets" — peers, television, advertising or the internet to do the teaching is a dangerous default plan.  This can have physical health risks, emotional wellbeing hazards and can jeopardize values.  Unplanned pregnancies, STD's, family disharmony are but a few of the outcomes.   Help your children become well informed and make safe, value based decisions.  For Parents, Teachers and Childcare workers.



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