In advance of Norm Shub’s presentation for parents and the community on Tuesday – January 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Mershad Hall at the McCoy we wanted to ask him some questions about what parents can expect to walk away with from the event.
Here is s snapshot of our conversation:
Norm, thank you for leading the first event in our community speaker series at New Albany – Plain Local Schools.
Q: Your presentation to the New Albany Learning Community is focused on seeing warning signs in children and preventing problems. Will there be opportunities for parents in attendance to develop a set of strategies, so to speak, to ultimately enable them to best support their children? What can parents expect?
Absolutely! The way I like to work with parent audiences is from the angle that everything is experiential. I want people to open up, talk about concerns, take specific issues and engage parents in the conversation. It is like taking a close look at what you are doing with your kids. Taking examples, applying strategies that can be effective in working through situations to best support their kids.
Q: What knowledge can parents expect to walk away with as a result of your presentation? What is it you would like them to take away and put into action?
I hope they will grab on to five things:
- Understand what behaviors that they need to be concerned about;
- Learn to create an environment to resolve these issues or prevent these things from happening;
- Become aware of things they are doing that make situations more difficult;
- What are the core skills of parenting – the things you really need to know to help your child be successful;
- Become more aware of themselves as parents. This is not dry-cleaning, you cannot expect to drop your child off somewhere in the morning and expect to get them back neatly pressed and meeting every expectation. Parenting is looking at your own behavior and making the necessary changes
Q: Will you be discussing the differences between what some may term “typical” adolescent behavior or indications of more serious issues and how parents could tell the difference? What type of tools may you share with parents?
Adolescent behavior can be very narcissistic, kids can be incredibly focused on themselves, add in the challenges of puberty, rejecting the parents, “they are not cool” attitudes, etc. We will discuss the differences between what is “typical” adolescent behavior and what is appropriate developmental behavior and identify the those clues or signs for parents.
Q: I understand that you also offer a session for students – “What do you do when you’re not feeling OK?” Will you be able to share some tips from that series with parents? Could you give us a preview?
I will definitely be incorporating these elements for the parents. The core skill of parenting is building the emotional connection with your kid. The power of parenting is not what you say to them, it is what they say to you. Listening to your children, establishing the boundaries, engaging kids, and creating the runway for dialogue and enhanced communication is essential. One of the most rewarding responses is when the communication originates from their child when the parent does not even need to ask the questions.
Q: What is age appropriate for your presentation? Could I bring my student to the evening lecture?
This is an adult conversation regarding children. It is focused on the identification of issues, strategy development and not intended for students.
Q: What are some of the challenges to having the tough discussions for families? Why do some retreat from the conversation?
Parents can get into a situations where the problem is the way the family is engaged. The kids do not want to talk – “here we go again, you want to know about this and that, grades, school, my friends.” Kids will sometimes roll their eyes and close up, let’s be honest who has this not happened to out there? The way communication and engagement has worked over the years and has been built up over time can be one of the major challenges, but parents can work to change that dynamic. The anxiety of parents can also lead to a student shutting the parent out of their lives. We will address these types of issues at the Tuesday night presentation.
The Tuesday presentation should be a powerful tool for district parents and the community. We do hope you can join us!