2019-2020 Programs


Anxious Parents, Anxious Children with
Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 12 from 7:00-9:00 PM at Winchester High School Auditorium

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., well known psychologist and best selling author, is coming back by popular demand to give
his new talk, Anxious Parents, Anxious Children. Today’s parents have never been more attuned to their children yet pediatricians and psychologists are seeing record levels of anxiety in our children.

Come learn:
• Why parents may be more anxious today and what to do about it
• How children’s challenges can be developmentally positive
• Strategies to lessen your child’s anxiety

Transition to Kindergarten Panel and
Resource Fair

March 2020

Parents and Guardians joined us for an interactive panel to learn about the non-academic aspects of transitioning to Kindergarten. Panelists included Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judith Evans, a school nurse, a kindergarten teacher, a school psychologist and a principal. The Resource Fair included parent representatives from each elementary school, enrichment opportunities and after-school care options.

Previous 2019-2020 Programs


Sarah Ward: Teach Children to Manage their Time, Space and Materials (and keep their emotions in check!)

In this practical strategies seminar by Sarah Ward, MS, CCC/SLP, Co-Director of Cognitive Connections, parents developed a solid understanding of what the executive function skills are and how they impact a student’s academic and personal performance. This program was co-sponsored with the McCall Parents Association. Ms. Ward taught parents dozens of easy-to-implement strategies to improve motivation and task initiation, shared ideas to help children plan homework and long term projects/papers and taught how to coach children to think in an organized way.

Past Programs

Dr. Zachary Rossetti: Friendship Matters: Providing Authentic Friendships For All

In his talk, Dr. Rossetti discussed why having friendships is so beneficial for your child’s development; how to help your child understand what genuine friendship is; the value of diverse and inclusive friendships; how parents and educators can create opportunities to help children expand their circles of friendship. Event was Co-Sponsored with Winchester Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

Lisa Damour: Translating Teenagers: Connecting and Communicating with your Adolescent

Dr. Damour discussed the common challenges that come with raising teenagers, the many pressures confronting young people today and how parents can stay connected to their teens every step of the way. The lecture was cosponsored with Winchester Coalition For A Safer Community. Lisa Damour, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author of the award-winning New York Times best seller Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through The Seven Transitions Into Adulthood. Her new book is Under Pressure.

Time to Parent

Organizational guru and New York Times best-selling author, Julie Morgenstern, discussed proven strategies from her latest book, Time to Parent, for prioritizing what really matters to one’s family.  Her realistic, achievable methods help parents savor their time with the kids and without.

Boys Decoded: Raising Boys to Be Their Best in A Rapidly Changing World

Dr. Anthony Rao, author of The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys, explored how to better understand who boys really are and the best way to raise them.

  • How do they think?

  • How do they develop?

  • What can we do to help them succeed in the digital age?

Dr. Rao shared his insights into how we can shepherd boys successfully into their teenage years and beyond and help them discover their true selves.

Anxiety and Depression Prevention: Skills We Can (and Should!) Be Teaching Our Children

Lynn Lyons, LICSW, introduced techniques that help families learn to deal with anxiety and gave parents and children the skills to: 

  • Understand and respond to a body's physical stress responses

  • Move families out of the "worry cult" (most parents unknowingly make anxiety STRONGER!)

  • Step into difficult situations rather than avoid them

  • Focus clearly on goals, problem solving, and making adjustments...without being ruled by anxiety and worry

"Alphabet Soup: Deciphering the LGBTQIA+" with SpeakOUT Boston

We presented an evening of learning more about the LGBTQIA+ community.  Members of SpeakOUT Boston shared their personal stories to help create a world free of homo-bi-transphobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of their lives. Co-Sponsored with the Winchester Multicultural Network.

See Me for Who I Am: How to listen and respond, so your child will develop a strong sense of self

Rick Irving, LICSW, a clinical social worker with more than 40-years of experience with children, families and schools, covered what our teenagers' lives feel like to them - both positive and worrisome - so that we, as parents, can support them.

LET'S BE HONEST: Communication in Families That Keeps Kids Healthy

Learn How to talk to kids about sex and sexuality and help them make the right choices.  This workshop provided parents with age-appropriate strategies for responding to their children's hard-to-answer questions, as well as gave techniques for talking about sexuality in a skilled and comfortable manner.  Co-Sponsored with the Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community.

How to Help Your Teens and Tweens Navigate Social Media

Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D., Social Media Expert, Founder and Director of the Massachusetts Center for Aggression Reduction., shared tips on texting, how to talk to your child about sexting, how to respond to cyberbullying, and provided parental guidelines for healthy cell phone use.

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

Jessica Lahey, New York Times Columnist, educator and best-selling author, provided a path toward solutions and most importantly set forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures.

Raising Caring and Respectful Children:

Rick Weissbourd, of Making Caring Common, and author of the book The Parents We Mean To Be, discussed ways in which parents can focus on raising caring and respectful children. Dr. Weissbourd helped parents learn how to guide children in: making caring for others a priority; developing empathy, including those different from them; promoting justice and challenging bias constructively.

Transition to Kindergarten Panel and Resource Fair

Parents and Guardians were invited to join us for this interactive panel to learn about the non-academic aspects of transitioning to Kindergarten.

Panelists included: superintendent of schools, elementary school nurse, kindergarten teacher, school psychologist and principal. 

Resource Fair included: parent representatives from each elementary school, enrichment opportunities and after-school care.

Free Range Kids:  How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)

Lenore Skenazy advocated anti-helicopter parenting and teaching styles to promote independent, self-reliant and resilient kids.

Music-Making and Your Child's Developing Mind

Tufts Professor, Dr. Ani Patel described current research findings, which provide empirical support for the importance of active music-making during the school years.

Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D. revealed practical hands-on approaches that parents can take to create a safe, open and imaginative environment in which kids can relish childhood and flourish as human beings. Dr. Carlsson-Paige helped parents navigate the social currents shaping -- and too often harming -- the lives of kids today and provided tips on how we can restore childhood to the very best of what it can and should be.

Successful Sleep Strategies for KidsDennis Rosen, M.D.

Dr. Rosen discussed how much sleep children and teens really need. He delved into what underlying issues drive our sleep patterns and determine how easy it is (or not) for children to fall asleep and wake up, and he discussed how sleep patterns interface with brain development and impact academic strengths and weaknesses.

A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids about Sexting, Drinking, Drugs and Other Things That Freak You Out. 

Joani Geltman, MSW, a clinician, parenting coach, college professor and public speaker, used humor, storytelling and her unique brand of "infotainment" to provide the most up to date commentary on teen behavior and helpful parenting strategies.

Helping Your Kids Be All That They Can Be: Using a Positive, Strength-Based Approach for Effective Parenting

Charlie Appelstein, MSW author of No Such Thing as A Bad Kid, presented a host of strength-based principles that help parents maximize the greatness that exists in every child. Topics included effective verbal interventions, strategies for enhancing self-esteem, respectful limit-setting and why it's important to use consequences vs. punishments, as well as gave techniques for helping parents manage their own emotions and responses.  Charlie delivered his strength-based approach with humor and hope.

Birth Order: How your Place in the Family Affects your View of the World.

Jack Agati described the many characteristics associated with the various positions in the family. Participants gained a better understanding of the styles of their children's behavior and how to avoid potential conflict between their own styles of behavior and those of their children. Jack identified many of the characteristics associated with the oldest, only, next to the oldest, middle and youngest in the family and looked at ways to better use the positive characteristics of each position.

Slow Tech Parenting: Raising Digital Families with Purpose

Janell Burley-Hofmann explored the many challenges of parenting in the digital age and helped parents discover creative and practical solutions to achieve a healthy tech balance at home.

 I'd Listen to My Parents if They'd Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens.

Anthony Wolf, Ph.D., spoke to parents about the phenomenon of adolescence and provided strategies to deal with today's teens, to be in charge and enjoy them, without threats or punishment. Most of all, he assured us that there is reason to hope; most of our kids will become pleasant young adults.

Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Friendship Development, Popularity and Social Cruelty in Childhood.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., walked through the complex world of childhood and addressed a number of pertinent questions while drawing on research to highlight the differences between friendship and popularity.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age.

Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. discussed how overindulgence, permissiveness, and hyper focus on protecting a child from failure and disappointment often has the opposite effect of what we intend.

Balanced for Success: Foundations for Excellence in Sports and Life.

Adam Naylor, leader of Telos Sports Psychology Consulting and Faculty member at Boston University, spoke about how to integrate sports into family life and make them a lifelong adventure. He outlined the developmentally appropriate goals for children at the various stages of their involvement in sports.

What Kids Need from Their Dads...But Won't Ask For

John Badalament author of The Modern Dad’s Dilemma: How to Stay Connected to Your Kids in a Rapidly Changing World, shared his expertise on the role dads play in children’s lives. In his powerful presentation, Badalament helped parents understand how their children are changing, and he offered road-tested activities that dads can use to lay a foundation for a lasting, loving adult relationship.

Managing Change: Creating Smooth Transitions in Childhood

Lynn Lyons, LICSW, used a concrete and humorous style to give parents and caregivers the language to use – and avoid – to help their children manage “normal” childhood transitions. Parents learned HOW to equip their children with skills and strategies to manage uncertainty and to develop resiliency during times of stress and change.

The Parents We Mean to Be: Raising Happy and Successful Children of Character

Dr. Richard Weissbourd described concrete practices at the heart of being a moral mentor. He discussed ways in which parents can help to imbue their own sense of morality and build quality of character in their children.

Duct Tape Parenting - A Less is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible and Resilient Kids

Vicki Hoefle, author and recognized expert in the field of parent-child relationships, shared tips for raising kids from her new book Duct Tape Parenting and from her parenting program, Parenting on Track. Vicki combined humor with facts, broke down old myths that keep parents stuck in useless power struggles with their kids, and presented information parents "get" the minute they hear it.

Adolescent Psychology - The Parent Version

Child Development and Parenting Expert, Joani Geltman, MSW, discussed the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional changes that occur in adolescents and how those changes affect relationships with parents and friends as well as school life.

Responding vs. Reacting to Your Kids:  Techniques for Effective Strength-Based Parenting

Charlie Appelstein, MSW presented ways for parents to keep their cool and respond positively when children are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges.  Communication strategies, building self-esteem and helping children self-manage their behavior were discussed.  Charlie's motto is "There's no such thing as a bad kid," and he delivered his strength-based approach with humor and hope. 

Helping Children and Teens Cope with Stress and Anxiety 

Rick Irving, LICSW discussed how to evaluate the level of stress in certain situations as well as the level of coping skills in each child. He helped parents learn about which responses are part of the child's natural coping processes and which ones may indicate a more serious level of anxiety. Parents were given language and techniques that they can use – as well as those to avoid - for helping children develop the ability to manage worry, decrease anxious response, and feel more confident.

Your Child's Cyber World: Instilling Safe/Healthy Online Habits

Author and Expert in bullying and cyber bullying, Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D., discussed internet safety, cyber-risk behaviors, and how adults can help children achieve social success, both online and offline.

Raising Resilient Children and Adolescents. 

Dr. Robert Brooks, clinical psychologist and author, described factors that help children and adolescents deal more effectively with stress and pressure in today’s culture. Parents learned strategies for nurturing self-discipline, self-esteem, responsibility, caring, hope and resilience in children.

Successful Transitions to High School

Eighth grade parents participated in small group discussions following the Winchester High School’s annual curriculum overview. The discussion groups were facilitated by high school students and parents and provided an excellent forum in which to learn about classes, homework, social life and extracurricular activities.

A Community Dialogue: Parenting in an "Over-sexualized, On-line, In-Your-Face World.” 

This discussion featured Sharon Maxwell, PH.D., clinical psychologist, and Rick Irving, LISCW, with an introduction by Superintendent William McAlduff.  It addressed ways that parents can develop and maintain open lines of communication with their children and provided guidelines for creating safe on-line communication.

“Who Are You Voting For, Mom?" Talking to Children about Power, Leadership and the Presidential Election. 

Dr. Hesse provided an overview of the development of a child’s political understanding from early childhood to adolescence and made recommendations to parents on how to handle political questions and emotions with their children during the election season.

Evening with Superintendent William McAlduff. 

Our annual discussion with the Winchester Superintendent of Schools provided an informal and interactive forum for parents to hear about a wide range of topics and issues in the schools.

Just for Women: Recapturing Balance, Gaining Perspective in a Frenzied Age. 

In this talk, renowned work-life author Maggie Jackson provided insights and ideas to help women combat the daily frenzy and find their new pace, frameworks and definitions of success.  

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: An Evening with Dr. Richard Ferber

Dr. Ferber, Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital and world renowned expert on sleep problems, outlined the main causes of sleeplessness in the young child, helped parents to identify these causes, and he offered ways to address the problems.

Successful Transitions to College: Surviving and Thriving

This program, for parents of high schoolers and first year college students, offered a unique opportunity to learn about navigating a successful transition to college. Rick Irving, LICSW, lead a discussion with recent Winchester High School graduates about the joys and challenges of this major transition, and what parents need to know.  

Whose Homework is it Anyway? Fostering Independence and Responsibility 

This interactive workshop offered approaches to promote a positive attitude toward homework. Parents learned strategies to foster independence and avoid power struggles over school work from Susan Marx, a parent educator from Families First.  

The Pressured Child: Helping your Child Find Success in School and Life

Noted author, Michael Thompson, PhD., spoke to parents, describing the psychological journey that children experience during their thirteen years in school, and he provided valuable insights from the student perspective.

Helping Our Children Navigate Today's Culture 

Sharon Maxwell, PhD., a licensed clinical psychologist, spoke to parents of children in upper elementary and middle school grades on how to empower their children to become critical thinkers.

Growing up and Letting Go: Parenting High Schoolers Toward Successful Transitions and Increased Independence

Author and psychotherapist, Madge Treeger, spoke to parents about the evolution of the parent - child relationship that takes place toward the end of high school and throughout the college years. She suggested ways that parents can encourage self-reliance and the development of their adolescent's own identity, interests and pursuits.

Balanced for Success: Foundations for Excellence in Sport and Life.  

Dr. Adam Naylor, sport psychology coach and coordinator of the BU Athletic Enhancement Center, discussed ways to make sports a lifelong adventure and provided strategies to maintain a healthy perspective in families that leads to enjoyment, commitment, and excellence.

Parenting in a Sexually Charged Culture Author and Harvard Medical School Psychologist Dr. Mark O'Connell spoke to parents about ways they can understand the notion of healthy sexuality, morality, parental authority and their role in shaping their child's emerging relationship skills.

Understanding Your Child's Learning Style 

Guest speaker, Ann Helmus, PhD, addressed children's learning styles, differences, and when to seek help. She explained how the brain processes and explored some of the more common issues we see today, such as ADHD and Executive Functioning weaknesses.

Fostering Social Competence in Young Children 

Rick Irving, LICSW talked to parents of preschool and early elementary aged children on fostering compassion and inclusiveness in children's play and interaction. Rick addressed early social and developmental issues: how to teach tolerance of differences; how to model social skills; and strategies on setting expectations and limit-setting for socially appropriate behavior.

Addressing Young Children's Questions about Sexuality

Author and sex educator, Deborah Roffman, offered parents of preschool and elementary school children an array of communication tips and strategies for addressing sexuality with children of all ages.

Family Matters: Real Life Parenting of Children and teens in Challenging Times

Nationally renowned author and clinical organizational psychologist, Dr. Rob Evans, spoke to parents of children of all ages in a straightforward, common sense way about raising children to be productive members of society in the face of current cultural challenges.  

Risky Behaviors: Understanding Risk Taking Behavior and When to be Concerned.  

Beth Fredericks, a popular Families First speaker, facilitated an interactive two-part program for high school parents, addressing adolescents' need to take risks and sometimes make bad decisions.

Let's Get Real 

In this jointly sponsored this program, parents and educators watched the film Let's Get Real on Bullying Behavior. Rick Irving, LICSW, and Hillary Turkewitz, PhD, led a discussion after the film, addressing ways in which bullying impacts our children.

Parenting to Empower:  Helping Teens Navigate the Social Challenges of Adolescence.  

Developed in conjunction with several community organizations, this program discussed today's social adolescent culture: cliques, teasing, bullying and other common rites of passage. Guest Rosalind Wiseman, well-known author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees," offered strategies and guidance on raising children who can navigate adolescence safely with strong friendships.

Discussing Diversity with Young Children 

Co-sponsored with the Multicultural Network, this program offered guidance to parents on how to discuss the subject of diversity with young children. Facilitators Rachel Wilson, of the Multicultural Network, and Jon Pfeifer, a K-1 grade teacher from the Lesley Ellis School in Arlington, discussed issues such as race, religion, learning differences, sexual preference, and family structures.

Challenges of Adoption 

This program featured Joyce McGuire Pavao, an international expert on adoption issues and challenges. She addressed this topic for all interested adults who are parents, family members, teachers, or friends of adopted individuals and for adults who were adopted themselves or are considering adoption.

The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Strategies for Parents

Best-selling author and child psychologist, Edward N. Hallowell, M.D., spoke about the ingredients for a childhood that leads to happy, responsible adults. He outlined a plan that all parents can use to foster trust, respect, and joy.

Understanding the Fantasy Factory: Counteracting Media Images of Women  

This program explored the impact the media has on our children's self-image and interactions with one another. Guest speaker, Sut Jhally, Professor of Communication at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, focused on what parents can do to counteract the negative impact of the popular culture's images of women and girls.

Weathering the Challenges of Adolescence: Effective Communication and Limit Setting

Rick Irving, LICSW offered a range of parenting strategies and addressed topics such as: how to avoid communication traps and maximize your child’s self-reflection; how to avoid “taking the bait” and letting your child off the hook; and how to use consequences effectively.

Raising Responsible Children

Michael Thompson, co-author of the bestseller Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys,  presented to parents and discussed parenting strategies to strengthen family relationships and promote competence in children.

Both Sides Now: The "Sandwich Generation" Parenting Children and providing Elder Care

This workshop, co-sponsored with the Council on Aging, for both seniors and parents of young children, featured Paul Marosy, President of the Massachusetts Gerontology Association. He discussed various stressors associated with care giving and offered strategies for coping.

Helping Our Kids Make the Right Choices: Talking about Drinking and Driving

Kate Schluter, Director of Prevention Programs in the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, led this workshop. She discussed many of the current trends and statistics involving drinking and driving and showed a video on driving under the influence that is used in high school prevention programs.

Temperaments and Transitions

This program, for parents of early elementary school and pre-school aged children, featured Dr. Leslie Campis, a local pediatric psychologist. In a very interactive session, she addressed different temperaments and what parents can do to anticipate challenges and facilitate transitions, whether it's a trip to the dentist, attending a summer camp, or returning to school in the fall.