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Helping parents raise healthy and responsible kids.

Presentations

My presentations and workshops are tailored to meet the needs of the organization I am working with. I take the time to understand what the community is looking for, what challenges they are facing, and what resources are available. Participants develop the skills and strategies for effectively working with children and teens, and are motivated to create an on-going network of support.

I. The Freedom of Self-Control

Our children are swimming in a culture that is constantly stimulating their desire. More is better, new is better, fast is better. Happiness is equated with getting what you want.

In a world flooded with desire, research shows that one of the most important skills we can teach our children is how to exercise the muscle of self-control—to delay gratification and develop the capacity to say “no” to immediate pleasure. Exercising the muscle of self-control, the child is free to engage with the world in ways that support growth and self-esteem.

In this presentation, Dr. Maxwell gives parents the language to teach children about the power of desire and help children develop the muscle of self-control.

II.  iChild or I, child? Aligning Media Technology with Values that Nurture a Healthy Child, Community, and World 

The developing brain is an interactive work in progress, constantly engaging with the environment, creating a universe of connections that become how we understand ourselves, the world, and our place in the world.

From smartphones to laptops, from texting to Facebook, media technology delivers to our children a new cyber environment, providing an infinite source of information, stimulation, and opportunities for communication. This environment is having a profound impact on how our children think about themselves and is changing the way our children socialize and communicate. How do we best use this amazing resource to enhance our lives? How do we keep it from shaping our children and undermining the values we want to impart?

This two hour presentation shows parents how kids are using and abusing media technology and helps parents set balanced, realistic guidelines that bring the Internet into alignment with family schedules and values.

III. In a Hyper-Sexualized Culture, We CAN Raise Healthy, Responsible Kids: It’s Time to Have THE TALK 

Smart phones, Facebook, boy/girl sleepovers, reality TV, older siblings—our children are overwhelmed with information and stimulation by a culture that pushes them to be sexy before puberty begins. The social currency of sexy embeds itself into their self-image before they have any context for understanding what it means. How can they make sense of it all if we don’t provide an integrated framework for understanding sexuality?

This two hour presentation offers a comprehensive and positive framework for talking to kids  K – 12 about sex and sexuality—connecting the dots between:

  • Reproduction
  • The social power that comes from looking sexy
  • Sexual desire
  • Intimacy and love
  • The spiritual/moral aspects of sexuality

Our kids are looking for a way of understanding sexuality that will help them make sense out of what they see around them and guide their decision-making. Starting and sustaining a dialogue about sex with our children is an essential part of parenting.

Educators, health professionals, and parents are using this innovative approach to prepare kids for a hypersexualized world and lay the foundation for ethical sexual behavior that will guide our children from elementary school through college.

IV. Lets Talk About Love: A Workshop for Mothers and Daughters

From Cinderella to The Bachelor, from Twilight to One Direction, girls are taught from a young age to base some of their most important life decisions on love-an all-encompassing, magical power that captivates our being-mind, body, and soul. But, who is teaching our daughters what love actually is? Who is helping them navigate this exciting world of emotions and answering the many questions that emerge?

  • How do I know if I am in love?
  • How do I know if someone loves me?
  • What does it mean to be in love?

Movies, sitcoms, music, and advertisements inundate girls with direct and subliminal answers to these questions. Often these answers are designed to increase insecurities and sell products. As mothers, we must add our voices to this conversation.

Led by a mother/daughter team, Let’s Talk About Love guides mothers and daughters in beginning and sustaining a dialogue about love and healthy relationships. Participants will explore:

  • What is the relationship between love and sexuality?
  • How the media shapes our understanding of love
  • The qualities of a healthy romantic relationship
  • How the Internet and smart phones make relationships more confusing

As mothers, we want the best for our daughters; we long to give them all the information and wisdom we wish we’d been given. These conversations do not have to be stressful and embarrassing. With compassion and a sense of humor, Let’s Talk About Love begins a life long dialogue about the adventure of being in love.

V. Nurturing the Bond that Grows Strong, Confident Women: A Workshop for Mothers and Daughters

As mothers of preadolescent and adolescent daughters, we find ourselves faced with the daunting task of nurturing our daughters into womanhood. Overwhelmed by a culture that pushes them to be sexy even before puberty, many girls begin to lose confidence.

  • How do we help them deal with peer pressure and the media images of perfection?
  • What do we tell them about sex and love?
  • How can we foster a positive body image that will keep them from obsessing about food and looks?
  • What guidelines can we give about the Internet and smartphones?

Led by a mother/daughter team, this workshop guides mothers and daughters in beginning and sustaining a healthy dialogue about romantic relationships, sex, love, and how to nurture a strong sense of your own worth.

Through creative activities and small group discussions, participants will explore:

  • How you can tell if you are in a healthy relationship
  • The relationship between love and sexuality
  • How to engage with the media in a healthy way and stay true to your dreams
  • How to keep the dialogue open when things get difficult

VI. Preparing Our Daughters for Puberty

Our daughters face a daunting transition into womanhood during a time when many girls lose confidence. Once strong and involved young girls become tentative, anxious, and self-critical adolescents. Faced with the challenges of a changing body, peer pressure and media images of perfection, our daughters need our support and guidance more than ever.

This workshop enlists our power as mothers to maintain strong relationship with our daughters. It explores the social realities that our daughters face and examines concrete ways of inspiring our daughters to experience their femininity as a source of power and pride.