Archive for Parenting

Joyful Parenting – Sat. April 16

Joyful Parenting:Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 1.06.04 PM

Creative ideas to prioritize joy, build wellness, strengthen relationships, and delight in the times when children are young

April 16, 2016  2 to 4 p.m.

The Heartwood Center for Body, Mind, Spirit
1818 Dempster Street   Evanston, IL 60202
Ph: 847-491-1122

Cost: Suggested donation of $10 for Heartwood’s Women & Cancer Program

RSVP by 4/14/16 to

  • Hear about 5 ways to parent from a place of joy
  • Learn powerful ways to be gentle with & unwaveringly good to yourself
  • Reflect on the immense changes parenthood has brought to your identity, lifestyle, and relationships
  • Access research-supported strategies to consciously feed relationships with children, partners, and friends
  • Get tools for growing gratitude & noticing more joy & grace in your life
  • Meet like-minded parents

Erin Leyba, LCSW, PhD, will be speaking about ideas – including gratitude, mindfulness, relationships, intuition, and self-compassion – from her forthcoming book, The Joy Fix for Parents.


Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 1.06.21 PMErin Leyba, LCSW, PhD provides private counseling for individuals and couples in Oak Brook, IL She specializes in working with parents of young children who want to consciously take care of themselves as they cope with life transitions, grief and loss, stress, anxiety, or other challenges. Erin writes theJoyful Parenting blog for Psychology Today, shares tools for personal and family joy on Facebook, and blogs at

Special Needs Parent Support Groups

CASEPlease join us for our April Parent Connections Support Group meetings:

Evening Parent Connections Support Group Meeting 
April 13th 7:00-9:00 pm at 1940 Sherman, Suite A. in Evanston.

Brown Bag Lunch Parent Connections Support Group Meeting
April 20th 11:301:00 at 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A in Evanston.
Bring your lunch and join us!

Let us know you are coming by calling (847) 556-8676 or email at   Drop-in’s are welcome.

Dyslexia Panel Discussion – Thurs. April 14

Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education) will be hosting a program onDyslexia at the Evanston Public Library.  Special Ed legal counsel and a developmental psychologist will join Cari Levin, CASE Executive Director and social worker for a panel discussion about diagnosis, interventions, and how to advocate for your child.
Dyslexia Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 14, 2016
7:00 – 8:30pm
Evanston Public Library – Main Community Meeting Room
No registration required, however if you have questions please feel free to contact Katie Smith

Anxiety and Depression in Adopted Children – Thurs. April 7

Anxiety and Depression Webinar: Thursday, April 7 8PM CentralREGISTER NOW

Studies show that the rate of anxiety and depression in adopted children is more than double that of the general population.

Depression, while usually associated with lethargy in adults, often looks like anger in kids. Anxiety typically sounds fearful in adults, but looks more like avoidance, annoyance or off-the-wall behavior in children.
Specific topics will include:

  • The incidence of depression and anxiety in our adopted or foster children
  • The role of early trauma and how it can play out over time
  • What depression and/or anxiety looks like at different ages and stages
  • How to help kids develop more coping tools
  • When to consider professional help

Our featured experts:

Learn more and click here to register now

Navigating Real Life Diversity: Becoming Allies – Tues. March 22

DiversityBecoming Allies: Inspiring Our Kids to Understand and Stand with Each Other

Practical tips for ally development. Build capacity to model and guide kids in their continual development as an effective ally.

Facilitated by Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan and Sunny Nakae

March 22, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm,
Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave, Room E112

Park in the lot on Dodge that is just south of Lake St.
Walk through the courtyard to enter through the door marked Main Entrance.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Sat. March 19

ActionsLatino parents, students, teachers, and community members are invited to participate in a conversation about the future for our children. This discussion will be held Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Parasol Room in the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston.

For more information, see the Spanish version of the flyer here, and the English version, here.

Paper Tigers – Sun. March 13

Paper Tigers Flier - Evanston finalPaper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities – a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

Exposure to chronic and adverse stress (and the altered brain function that results) leaves a child in a fruitless search for comfort and escape from a brain and body that is permanently stuck in flight or fight. That comfort comes in the form of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, sex, food and more.

Every year, millions of unloved and traumatized youth enter adulthood with damaged brains and hearts. They are highly predisposed to die from self-destructive behaviors, and highly likely to continue the cycle of abuse. Even those who do not engage in self destructive behaviors are highly predisposed to get cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and immune disorders.

The impact of unloved and traumatized children on society is profound and widespread. 85% of inmates were traumatized as youth. 27% of hospital visits can be traced to causes linked to childhood trauma. Hurt kids grow up to hurt people. The generational cycles of trauma and abuse are as stubborn as they are tragic.

But there is hope.

There are doctors, researchers, teachers, nurses, social workers and law enforcement officers that are turning the tide against the cycle of trauma and abuse. A movement is rising, one that sees aberrant behavior in children as a symptom rather than a moral failing. This movement asks not what is wrong with our youth, but rather what has happened to them. The paradigm is shifting from punishment and blame to a deeper commitment to understanding and healing the underlying causes of aberrant behavior. With this shifting paradigm comes the promise of great improvements in many of the society’s costly ills: less crime, less illness, less teen pregnancy, abuse, rape, divorce.

Simply put, it is cheaper to heal than to punish. Paper Tigers takes a look at what is possible.

Keeping Children with Their Families – Thurs. March 10

Community Meeting 2

Sen. Cory Booker – Fri. Feb. 26

WHO: U.S. Senator Cory Booker, junior senator from New Jersey and author, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good
WHAT: “United: An Evening with Cory Booker”
WHEN: Friday, February 26, 7:30 PM. NOTE the later-than-usual start time!
WHERE: Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL, 60201

Motivating Teens – Tues. Feb 23

WHO: David Yeager, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology and Director, Adolescent Development Research Group, The University of Texas at Austin
WHAT: “Motivating Teens”
WHEN: Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 PM
WHERE: North Shore Country Day School Auditorium, 310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, IL, 60093

Northwestern Infant Cognition Lab Wants You!

NU Infantlab

D65 Digital Backpack – Week of Feb. 3

District 65 Digital Backpack
The Digital Backpack includes flyers and announcements from Community organizations that have been approved by District 65.  Click on each event for more information:

FAN Program: Amy Cuddy – Weds. Jan 27

Another FAN program! Amy Cuddy, Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, 7:00 PM, New Trier High School, Northfield Campus, Cornog Auditorium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield, 60093.

Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Ph.D. has captivated viewers worldwide with her 2012 TED Talk about the science of “power posing” – the second most viewed talk in TED’s history, with over 30 million views and counting. Now, in her first book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Dr. Cuddy explains the science underlying power poses and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use this science to become self-assured in life’s most challenging moments.

Cutting-edge science reveals that if we adopt behaviors reflecting power and strength, we liberate ourselves from the fears and doubts that obstruct us. By redirecting our thoughts, actions, and even physiology, we change not only our minds but also our biology, and free ourselves to be our best. The results are not just a change in mental outlook, but actual biological changes – our testosterone increases and our cortisol decreases. More simply, our power increases as our fear decreases.

Free and open to the public — no tickets required.
Suitable for ages 12+

Mindful Parenting – Tues. Jan. 26

Baker is proud to host a series of four parenting roundtables this winter in cooperation with the Family Service Center of Wilmette and Northbrook.

All events are free and open to the public.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your seat(s).

Mindful Parenting
Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
(for Pre-K through 8th grade parents)

Mindfulness is more than a buzzword. Research tells us that practicing mindfulness can enhance focus, reduce stress, increase compassion, and increase our ability to cope with challenges. Sounds perfect for parenting! This roundtable will offer information on the science and benefits of mindfulness, mindful parenting, and methods to share mindfulness with children. Participants will leave with strategies and tools they can use right away.

Tantrums, Frustrations & Explorations: Maintaining a Growth Mindset
Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 8:45-10:00 a.m.
(for Pre-K through 3rd grade parents)

Learn how to incorporate a long-term view toward parenting your young ones while responding effectively to the short-term chaos of tantrums. We’ll explore what is developmentally appropriate behavior during the preschool and early elementary years, highlighting the joys and challenges that parents face daily. We’ll discuss the benefits of using a growth mindset and learn specific tools to help you and your child thrive during the early years.

Navigating Social Dynamics: Conflict, Friendships, Power & Self
Tuesday, March 1, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
(for 5th-8th grade parents)

Staying Organized: Executive Functioning, Balance, and Managing School
Thursday, March 17, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
(for 3rd-8th grade parents)

Baker Demonstration School, 201 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091

More information

Fit4Mom Body Back FREE Preview Class – Weds. Jan. 6

Fit4Mom Body Back FREE preview class Wednesday, January 6th at 7pm in the Little Beans gym. 

Come find out what Body Back is all about! It is a results-based 8 week program consisting of high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts, a meal plan and food journal, group support and individual coaching for moms who want their body back whether they just had a baby or their last child was born 30 years ago. While there certainly are physical results, it is about so much more as well: taking time for yourself as a mom and making your health a priority, improving overall wellness, gaining strength (and energy!) for motherhood, and connecting with other moms in the area.

Moms can sign up at (just click on Jan 6th and enroll). The full 8 week session starts on January 13th.

Questions? Email Laura at

Talking With Mom: Essential Communication Skills for Dads – Sat. Dec. 12

12279073_763513547111811_3691210941498542661_nPROGRAMS TO SUPPORT DADS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN brought to you by The D65 Family Center

Talking With Mom: Essential Communication Skills for Dads
This half-day workshop is designed to help fathers become better communicators with the mother(s) of their children. It’s a 4 hour single event.

Topics include:
– Learn about communication patterns
– Create a safe environment for effective communication
– Develop effective listening skills
– Self-awareness, caring for self, relationships
– How to talk openly
– How to listen


Call the Family Center to reserve your seat – (847) 424-2440.

Saturday, December 12, 9:00am – 1:00pm

District 65 Family Center
1500 McDaniel Ave, Evanston, Illinois 60201

Facebook Event

Diaper Donations Needed

Bundled Blessings is a diaper pantry housed within the First United Methodist Church of Evanston.  Their mission is to provide diapers to families in need.  They distribute diapers each month to local service agency partners that in turn distribute the diapers to families in the Evanston community.
The pantry began in September 2013 and today works with six partner agencies and serves up to 150 children in the local community – up to 7,500 diapers each month.

Diapers are a basic necessity along with food and shelter. One in three families struggles to afford adequate diapers to keep their babies and toddlers clean and dry, and this need has been called a “silent crisis.” Bundled Blessings is the only diaper pantry in Evanston.   Click here for more facts on the diaper need.


Read an article about Bundled Blessings

Understanding Dad – Weds. Nov. 18

An Awareness and Communications Program for Moms. FREE this Wednesday! Covering “Me and My Children’s Father” and “The Impact on My Children.”

For all moms. Come to one session or come to them all! This will work to improve your relationship with the father of your children. This Wednesday evening moms are getting together!

Understanding Dad™ focuses building communication and awareness skills that will improve relationships between moms and dads. For moms only, it will help mothers improve the relationships they have with fathers, for the benefit of their children. (4) 2-hour sessions.

Build/reinforce self-awareness and communications skills.
Improve their relationships with the fathers of their children.

My Life as a Mom
My Father’s Impact
My Mother’s Impact
Me and My Children’s Father
The Impact on My Children
Patterns of Communication
Open, Safe Communication
How to Listen

WHAT: Understanding Dad™
WHEN: Wed, Nov 18, 2015 5:30PM – 8:00PM
Sat, Nov 21, 2015 10:00AM – 12:00PM
WHERE: Joseph E Hill Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave
COST: FREE! Childcare is provided.
HOW: Call the Family Center at (847) 424-2440

Come for one session or come for all. Each session builds on the last one but is independent as well.


How to Raise an Adult – Thurs. Oct. 8

Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of “How to Raise an Adult,” speaks at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Her book criticizes helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.

Lythcott-Haims offers a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence.

The event is free. RSVP to or call 847-869-4230 ext. 301.

FAN Event: Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain – Thurs. Sept. 17

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and the Family Action Network (FAN) present two events with Dana Suskind MD., Founder and Director, Thirty Million Words Initiative, Director, Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and Author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. 

EVENT #1: Thursday, September 17, 2015, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, 1:00 PM, With Michael Kaufman, Director, Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago, 60611.
EVENT #2: Thursday, September 17, 2015, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, 7:00 PM, With Diana Mendley Rauner, PH.D., President Ounce of Prevention Fund. Skokie School Auditorium, 520 Glendale Ave., Winnetka, 60093.
A famous study by researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley (1995) found that some children heard thirty million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than others. The children who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school. These same kids, when followed into third grade, had bigger vocabularies, were stronger readers, and got higher test scores. The bottom line: the kids who started out ahead, stayed ahead; the kids who started our behind, stayed behind. This disparity in learning is referred to as the achievement gap.
Dana Suskind, MD, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, learned of this thirty million-word gap in the course of her work as a cochlear implant surgeon. Along with her sister-in-law, Beth Suskind, she founded The Thirty Million Word Initiative, developing programs for parents to show the kind of parent-child communication that enables optimal neural development. The goal is to get parents to follow the three Ts: Tune in to what your child is doing; Talk more to your child using lots of descriptive words; and Take turns with your child as you engage in conversation.
Family Action Network (FAN) offers two events in one day with Dr. Suskind. At the first event at1:00 PM on Sept. 17, Dr. Suskind will be joined on stage after her presentation by Michael Kaufman, Director, Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. At the second event at 7:00 PM on Sept. 17, she will be joined by Diana Mendley Rauner, Ph.D., President, Ounce of Prevention Fund. Both events will be moderated by Heidi Stevens, the “Balancing Act” columnist for the Chicago Tribune.