Parenting from Our Quiet Center - A Heart Talks Workshop

Parenting from Our Quiet Center - A Heart Talks Workshop

This Heart Talks workshop invites parents and caregivers to come together, settle into their quiet center, and from there make even wiser decisions as parents. You will leave with a clearer sense of your purpose, strengths, and intentions and how your truest self can transform your parenting.

Co-facilitators are Dagmar Kauffman of On Balance Parenting and Dr. Kelly Flanagan of Artisan Clinical Associates.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019

Time: 9:00-12Noon

Ticket: $45 each—includes 3-hour workshop and light breakfast Get your ticket here.

Location: Clarus Center 28379 Davis Pkwy, Warrenville, Il 60555 (behind Target)

Questions? Please contact dagmar@onbalanceparenting.org

Beyond Grades: Parenting for Kids' Success in Life

#SXSW EDU 2020 #PANELPICKER #PARENT #K-12 #ENGAGEMENT #MENTALHEALTH

#SXSW EDU 2020 #PANELPICKER #PARENT #K-12 #ENGAGEMENT #MENTALHEALTH


We invite you to vote for our SXSW EDU 2020 session proposal:

“Beyond Grades: Parenting for Kids’ Success in Life”

Starting today, Monday, August 5, the greater online community is invited to vote on our session idea through Friday, August 23. The community's input will amount to 30% of the total score for our proposal.

To vote, please sign in to PanelPicker or create a free SXSW account with just your email.

https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/99864

Presenters: Dagmar Kauffman and Suniya Luthar

Thank you for your support!

Study finds Students at High-Achieving Schools are at Greater Risk of Addiction

Photo credit: siora photography on Unsplash

Photo credit: siora photography on Unsplash

A 2017 research study led by Dr. Suniya S. Luthar, psychology professor at Arizona State University and professor emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and others, present evidence that students in affluent communities who attend high-achieving schools are at significantly higher risk of substance misuse and addiction relative to national norms across early adulthood.

The New England Study of Suburban Youth (NESSY) followed two groups of students attending schools in affluent, suburban communities in Northeast U.S. The first group was assessed from 6th through 12th grade, and across five years after college graduation at ages 23-27 (older cohort). The second group was assessed as high school seniors and each of the four years of college at ages 18-22 (younger cohort). In this article, Luthar describes the study’s findings:

“We found rates of addiction to drugs or alcohol among 19 to 24 percent of women in the older cohort by the age of 26, and 23 to 40 percent among men. These rates were three and two times as high respectively as compared to national norms.

Among the younger cohort by the age of 22 years, rates of addiction were between 11 and 16 percent among women (close to national norms) but 19 to 27 percent among, men or about twice as high as national norms.”

~Dr. Suniya Luthar

Causes. Luthar cites various reasons for the elevated risk of addiction among students at high-achieving schools in affluent communities, including (1) students at high-achieving schools are under tremendous pressure to achieve, (2) parental and student expectations to attend highly selective universities, and (3) students in affluent communities have disposable income that makes it easy to purchase alcohol and drugs. Complicating this issue further might be that parents do not recognize that their kids are struggling with substance misuse because they are doing well academically.

Parental Containment. Study findings underscore the protective role that parents play in containing children’s substance at age 18 and its inverse correlation with the " frequency of drunkenness, and marijuana and stimulant use in adulthood.”

Recommendations. Luthar recommends (1) reducing the tremendous academic pressure that students are under in order to gain admission into highly selective colleges, (2) introducing students to adults who were successful and had picked a school that was a right fit for them, (3) raising awareness among “science, public health and social policy to take seriously the fact that youth at high-achieving schools could be a population that is at inordinately high risk of addiction,” and (4) dedicating more research to kids who grow up in a “pressure cooker.”

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Copyright © 2019 by Dagmar Kauffman, founder & executive director, On Balance Parenting.

All rights reserved.


References:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 18-5068, NSDUH Series H-53). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHFFR2017/NSDUHFFR2017.pdf

University of Illinois, Center for Prevention Research & Development. (2018). Illinois Youth Survey.

https://iys.cprd.illinois.edu/results

Illinois county reports

SXSW EDU 2020 - Join me in Austin!

SXSW EDU 2020  Discover, learn, connect with education thought leaders across the country!

SXSW EDU 2020 Discover, learn, connect with education thought leaders across the country!

I am honored and thrilled to share that I have been invited to serve on SXSW EDU 2020 Advisory Board. Mark your calendars for March 9-12, 2020 in Austin, TX.

Are you interested in learning, discovering and connecting with educators, K-12 & higher education administrators, students, non-profit & government, business & industry leaders?

Then SXSW EDU is for you.

Celebrating 10 years, SXSW EDU 2020 is accepting your session proposals from July 1-19th.

Get excited! JOIN ME IN AUSTIN!

Upcoming Heart Talks Conversation: May 21 Crazy Schools.Sane Boundaries.Thriving Children

How can we set sane boundaries in a high-pressure, high-stakes school culture so our kids can thrive?     Heart Talks  conversation      May 21, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center.      Free ticket here.

How can we set sane boundaries in a high-pressure, high-stakes school culture so our kids can thrive?

Heart Talks conversation May 21, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center. Free ticket here.

Our final Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! session is scheduled for May 21, 2019 from 7:00-8:30PM at the ALIVE Center.

Our topic this month:

Crazy Schools, Sane Boundaries, Thriving Children. How can we set sane boundaries in high-pressure, high-stakes school culture so our children can thrive?

All parents/caregivers are invited! Get your free ticket here.

Questions? dagmar@onbalanceparenting.org

Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! is a free, monthly conversation group hosted by On Balance Parenting and co-moderated with Artisan Clinical Associates.

Our Kids Carry a Hole in their Hearts

cathal-mac-an-bheatha-208192-unsplash.jpg

In a conversation with a friend about the recent college admissions fiasco, we talked about perfectionism. The fear of not being good enough is pervasive in our community and has left our kids feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.* Our kids look great on paper, and they carry a hole in their hearts.

Success. In our single-minded pursuit of success aka college admission, we have hyper-focused on performance-based and external benchmarks like grades, test scores and awards. Instead of choosing classes and extracurricular activities based on their interests and strengths, our kids build a resumé and “[compromise] their mental and physical health in the pursuit of top grades.” Our collective obsession with the college admission process has reduced our children to constant doing, with little time for simply being. For over a decade the kids in our community have been telling us that in order to be fully human they need more time, more sleep, less homework.

In De-bunking College Admission MythsDenise Pope, co-founder of Challenge Success summarizes the issue well: “The sole purpose of high school has become the four years that happen afterward. Lost is the engagement with learning, the ability to have any unscheduled, non-resume building time, and the 8 to 9 hours of sleep that kids truly need.”  **

Autonomy. Competence. Belonging. Research on self-determination by Edward Deci and Richard M. Ryan shows that students' mental health is closely related to their sense of (1) autonomy or having control over their learning, (2) competence (an ability to handle challenging tasks) and (3) relatedness (feeling a sense of belonging).

Self-determination theory (SDT) supposes that human beings are curious about their environment and therefore, interested and engaged in learning. SDT researchers Christopher P. Niemiec and Richard M. Ryan describe how SDT relates to educational practice.  They suggest that "intrinsic motivation and autonomous types of extrinsic motivation"  foster optimal learning and student engagement. They also point out that "evidence suggests that teachers' support of students' basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness facilitates students' autonomous self-regulation for learning, academic performance, and well-being." 

Recent Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) 2018 data for DuPage County, Illinois *** illustrate that many of our students have little sense of autonomy, belonging and are only minimally engaged in their learning.

In gauging meaningful participation/engagement and caring adults the IYS asked 8th, 10th and 12th grade students “how true” the following statements were. Response options included: (1) not true at all, (2) a little true, (3) pretty much true, (4) very much true.

The  percentages below reflect the number of students in DuPage County who responded to the statements with not true at all or a little true.

 At school, I do interesting activities:  44% (8th)  41% (10th)  43% (12th) of students did not think they did interesting activities. (Note: 8th grade response shows an increase of 7% from 37% in IYS 2016)

At school, I help decide things like class activities or rules: 70% (8th) and 71% (10th & 12th) of students reported that they did not help decide class activities or rules. (Note: 8th grade response increased 7% from 63% in IYS 2016)

 At school, I do things that make a difference:  60% (8th)  65% (10th)  61% (12th) of students reported that they did not do things that make a difference. (Note: 8th grade response increased 6 % from 54% in IYS 2016)

Caring Adults. In addition to student reports of not participating meaningfully in school, over a quarter of students, do not feel seen by an adult at their school: 26% (8th), 29% (10th) and 28% (12th) of students reported that it is not at all true or a little true that there is a teacher/other adult at [their] school who notices when I am not there.

Furthermore, 32% (8th) 38% (10th) 37% (12th) of students reported that it was not true at all or a little true that at school, there is a teacher/other adult notices if I have trouble learning something.

“On the other side of our anxiety is our alignment with the path best suited for us.”

~ Amber Rae

The Truth of the Matter.

The truth is that our kids do not experience agency, feel little sense of belonging in school nor are they particularly engaged in their learning. We have forgotten that our kids are human beings. Humans become alive when we are fully engaged with our external and internal lives; when we feel competent and have agency; when we feel we belong; when we have space to listen to and follow what is in our hearts.

In the pursuit of college admission, we take much pride in our kids’ academic schedules packed with AP classes, their carefully selected extra-curricular activities, service hours in prominent community organizations, and participation in highly rated tutoring services. And all the while, our kids are stressed and anxious because they have no time to connect with their hearts, explore their emotions or follow their innate curiosity and be creative. We have sacrificed our kids’ well-being, health and sense of aliveness at the altar of a “college admissions process that puts achievement and status anxiety at the center of their lives.”

When our external life does not intersect with our heart, we experience an emotional hole and a void that often expresses itself as anxiety, When anxiety shows up in our lives, it is a sign that something is out of alignment. Amber Rae, author of Choose Wonder Over Worry calls anxiety a devoted friend” who invites us to “hear our inner truth” and align “with the path best suited for us.” Our kids and all the research tell us as much. We need to recognize, articulate and help our kids’ to conceptualize themselves as more than their external accomplishments.

Healing the Hole in our Kids’ Hearts.

To heal the hole in our kids’ hearts, we all have a role to play.

As parents, we need to engage consciously and deeply with our hearts so we can pay attention to what’s in our kids’ hearts and love them for who they are and not for what they accomplish. We need to  listen to and talk with our kids about how we create meaning in our lives. We need to trust our kids and empower them to try things out. We need to cheer them on as they find their path in life. ****

In schools, we need to consider a school change such as advocated by Challenge Success to create time, space for students, educators and staff to thrive; where everyone is fully engaged and feels supported; where we are curious, create and make mistakes. A place where we learn, teach and lead from the heart. Perhaps a place like Iowa BIG where students “get to learn through projects and work they care about.” Real engagement, real work and growth in preparation for their life in the world.

As a community, we have the power to shift the prevailing paradigm of success that is fueled by fear and competition for approval and belonging to one that focuses on growth and collaboration. We need to connect with the truth that each human being is inherently worthy and in no need of constant perfecting. Let’s teach our kids that their “lesson in this lifetime is to find and trust [their] own precious voiceso they can be truly successful.

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Copyright © 2019 by Dagmar Kauffman, founder & executive director, On Balance Parenting.

All rights reserved.

 

References

Depression: The following percentages are results of affirmative responses by students in DuPage County, Il to the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) question, whether they had felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that [they] stopped doing some usual activities:

  • Affirmative responses by 8th graders increased 4% from 22% in IYS 2016 to 26% in IYS 2018.

  • Affirmative responses by 10th graders held steady at 29% in IYS 2018.

  • Affirmative responses by 12th graders increased by 2% from 29% in IYS 2016 to 31% in IYS 2018.

** At the SXSWEdu (March 4-7, 2019) conference in Austin, I attended a panel discussion presented by Dr. Denise Pope, co-founder of Challenge Success, and Dr. Ian Kelleher, head of research at The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL). Listen to the audio recording of the session: Dialing Down Stress Without Dumbing Down School.

            ***  The Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) assesses social and health indicators of Illinois youth and is administered bi-annually to 8th, 10th and 12th grade students. In 2018, 43 DuPage County, Il public schools participated in the IYS, including all middle and high school students in Indian Prairie Community District (IPSD) 204 and Naperville Community Unit District 203.

            **** Are you interested in thoughtful conversations about raising & launching kids who follow their heart? Join us for Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously!, our monthly conversation that I co-moderate with Dr. Kelly Flanagan and his colleagues from Artisan Clinical Associates. Next session is on Tuesday, May 21st, 7PM at the Alive Center. All parents/caregivers are welcome. Get your free ticket here.

***** Lesser , E. (2005). Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. New York, NY: Villard Books. p.11.

“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”

~Rumi

Heart Talks Series: April 16th - Setting Boundaries with our Children

How do we establish boundaries with our children ?     Heart Talks  conversation      April 16h, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center.      Free ticket here.

How do we establish boundaries with our children?

Heart Talks conversation April 16h, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center. Free ticket here.

This month’s Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! session is scheduled for April 16, 2019 from 7:00-8:30PM at the ALIVE Center.

Our topic in April:

Setting Boundaries with our Children: An Act of Love and Pathway to Connection

All parents/caregivers are invited! Get your free ticket here.

Questions? dagmar@onbalanceparenting.org

Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! is a free, monthly conversation group hosted by On Balance Parenting and co-moderated with Artisan Clinical Associates.

Heart Talks Series: March 19th - Taking Charge of our Electronic Devices

How do we and our kids best take charge of our electronics and live with intention?      Heart Talks  conversation      March 19th, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center.      Free ticket here.

How do we and our kids best take charge of our electronics and live with intention?

Heart Talks conversation March 19th, 7-8:30PM, Alive Center. Free ticket here.

This month’s Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! session is scheduled for March 19, 2019 from 7:00-8:30PM at the ALIVE Center. Our topic this month is how we and our kids can take charge of our electronic devices.

Our topic in March: Taking Charge of our Electronics: From Living Distractedly to Living with Intention

All parents/caregivers are invited! Get your free ticket here.

Questions? dagmar@onbalanceparenting.org

Heart Talks: Parenting Courageously! is a free, monthly conversation group hosted by On Balance Parenting and co-moderated with Artisan Clinical Associates.