Parent Empowerment University Workshops Announced

Workshops are filling quickly for the 5th Parent Empowerment University (PEU) set for Saturday, March 22, from 8 am to 2:30 pm, at Newtown Middle School.

Newtown Parent Connection, in partnership with Brookfield CARES is, once again offering this popular, education day for parents and caregivers who wish to be proactive and learn positive parenting strategies for raising children of all ages.

Check-in will run and complimentary continental breakfast will be served from 8 to 8:40 am. Lunch will be served from noon until 12:40.

Session 1, from 8:45 until 11:45 am, will feature this year’s keynote speaker, Dr Jane Nelsen, EdD, LMFT. The author of Positive Discipline, Dr Nelson’s workshop will be “How to Empower Your Children & Yourselves.”

Presented by the founder of Positive Discipline, this dynamic, interactive presentation will teach participants how effective methods of parenting can mitigate issues involving spoiled children, bullying, school violence, power struggles, lack of cooperation, back-talk, and all forms of disrespect.

With her program, Dr Nelsen teaches how to view and address children of all ages in a mutually respectful manner. Parents will learn what’s behind the strategies such as “I Love You and the Answer is ‘NO,’” “Connection Before Correction, “Empowering vs. Enabling” and what to do “When Parents Lose It!”

Following lunch, at 12:45 , participants will move to their pre- registered Session 2 workshop of choice, listed below:

“Creating Compassion in Our Homes, Schools, & Communities,” by Christopher L. Kukk, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Western Connecticut State University, a Fulbright Scholar, and founding director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity & Innovation.

What is compassion & can it be taught?

Dr Kukk’s workshop will focus upon how to weave compassion into the fabric of learning (schools) and living (homes, cities, towns).  Recent examples of integrating compassion into K-12 schools, university classrooms and city projects will be used to highlight how such an infusion strengthens all of the links within a community.

“What Works: The Myths and Realities of Raising Healthy Children” by Charlie Manos, MS, LMFT, Director of Special Services, Brookfield Public Schools, and a nationally certified school psychologist.

For parents who would you like to unravel the mysteries of understanding today’s children & teens, this workshop will focus on how media has bombarded adults with conflicting and confusing views on children and teen mental health, discipline, and substance abuse issues.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an integrated understanding of what is known about children and teens to help parents build relationships of trust, respect, collaboration, connection, and healthy parameters.

“Clarity, Kindness, Confidence, Mindfulness & Awareness for Families — A 5-Step Process” by Mary Ronan, RN, family life and sex educator; and Maggie Ronan Gavin, BFA, senior yoga instructor at the Perri Institute for Mind and Body.

Explore the issues that arise in families using these five powerful qualifiers as a process for parents to make decisions for their children and to help their children make decisions for themselves. Parents will learn to use this approach, which will support the relationship between parent and child and bring calmness to discipline and decision-making within the family.

“The Kids Speak Out” by John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC, CEO of Recovery Network of Programs.

Do you wonder what real pressures today’s young people face growing up through adolescence and young adulthood? John Hamilton is an expert on the home and societal influences that challenge young people. He will share his wisdom regarding substance abuse and prevention, and facilitate a panel of young people who will candidly discuss their thoughts and feelings about their experiences growing up in our local area.

Attendees will hear their successes and struggles as they help others understand what they have learned and what they need from the adults in their lives.

“Are You Feeling Trauma Fatigue? Stress Relief and Resiliency For Parents & Children” by Lori Leyden, PhD, MBA, internationally known stress and trauma healing professional.

Learn a powerful, proven stress relief and resiliency technique known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)/Tapping.

Tapping is simple to learn, provides great resources for parent coping skills, and is child-friendly as well. The technique was developed in the early 90s and used in international disaster relief work. Participants will learn how to release frustration and anger in order to promote improvements in clarity and focus, pain relief, and many other symptoms of stress.

“Be Tech Savvy, Not Tech Sorry: The Internet, Social Media & Our Kids” by Dawn DeCosta, owner of Tech Savvy, a technology consulting firm in Brookfield.

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram… Does technology and social media overwhelm you?

Today’s kids and young adults know much more about navigating through cyberspace than many adults. Ms DeCosta’s workshop will focus on providing participants an insider’s perspective about the information revolution. She will discuss the landscape of social media today and ways for parents to embrace technology and keep up with an ever-changing and amazing tech world.

“When Worry Becomes Overwhelming: Managing Anxiety in A High Pressured World” by Sarah Jones, MSW, LCSW, social worker, Brookfield Public Schools, and private psychotherapist.

This workshop will examine the roots of anxiety in children and youth, and ways families can help their children manage the pressures of contemporary life.

Recognizing the differences between adaptive worry and paralyzing fear, gaining an understanding of the correlations between anxiety and depression, and exploring family dynamics and stress as key factors in raising confident children – these are all features that underpin the protective factors that guard against the devastating effects of untreated mental disorders and substance abuse.

Tuition is $5 per adult. Registration can be done at  www.newtownparentconnection.org.

For additional information, call the Newtown Parent Connection office at 203-270-1600 and leave a message for Joan.


Kids University

While their parents are attending Parent Empowerment University, children will also have fun and activities to enjoy.

The day will also include Kids University, offering free children’s programs. This age appropriate day of fun is for children 3 to 11 and includes face painting and games from 8:15 until 9 am; a performance by a New York City-based percussion group (9-10:30 am); snack break (10:30); a police dog demonstration (10:45-11:30), more music and games (11:30 am-1 pm), lunch break (1 pm), and a fire truck demonstration and visits with therapy dogs (1:30-2:30).

Children must be registered in advance.


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