On Tuesday May 8, I will be giving an all-day workshop organized by the Ohel Mel and Phyllis Zachter Institute for professional training. The workshop will take place at the Kingsway Jewish Center at 2902 Kings Highway, in Brooklyn.
I like to start my presentations about parenting with a quote by an unknown, that states: “The reason parenting remains an amateur sport is that, just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, the kids get older and throw you new curves.”
Indeed, parenting has always been a challenging life-long commitment to which one comes with no prior experience other than our own experiences of what it felt like to be a child in our family of origin. Research has shown that parenting has a pervasive impact on children’s development. In fact, parenting continues to be very important in the lives of young adults. This history of our relationships with our parents, which was very benign for some and less benign for others, is in every step we take as the adults we have become and as the parents to our children. However, child-rearing practices have changed dramatically over the recent decades, adding to the confusion of parents as to which are the ways to best handle the challenges of raising children today. The workshop will address key concepts relevant to parenting, family risk factors, and protective factors for children’s development, and the view of parenting as a growth process for parents as well.
The workshop will address specific issues related to the role of parents in the treatment of a child or adolescent who is the “identified patient”, whether in joint treatment or in the individual psychotherapy of the child. A strong emphasis will be given to models of parenting interventions that involve the parents without the children and aim to reduce family risk factors and enhance positive factors across the entire range from families who struggle with severe emotional and behavioral problems in a child, to families who seek guidance towards growth-promoting positive parenting due to relatively minor issues they’ve encountered. The workshop will provide participants with knowledge of specific tools that can be used in educating parents and in treatment, including some excellent online tools which can be incorporated into the work with individuals or groups.