Lectures for Adults
General Parenting Topics
Boy Friendships - A single presentation, 1-1½ hours in length, with information on boy-style socialization including small group scenarios for discussion. This topic is suitable for parent groups as well as professionals who work with teens.
Boys: Ya Gotta Love'm! - This class highlights what brain research and the state of boys in our world tell us about how guys are and what they need to learn to direct their energy, fierceness and love.
Bringing Our Boys Through The Second Decade - A series of 1 ½ hour sessions including information on brain research on gender differences; ways in which our boys are increasingly at risk; boys’ styles of socializing; boys’ developing sexuality; roles of dads and roles of moms; strategies parents may implement to support and enhance their sons’ healthy development. Offered in two parts with four weekly session in each, for a total of eight sessions.
Fathers Are NOT Assistant Mothers - A series of four 1½ hour sessions designed to bring fathers of teens up to speed, and then some, as dads offer unique perspectives and skills in helping their kids navigate adolescence. Topics include: adolescent development; differences in a dad's relationships with their sons and with their daughters; and cultural issues with which teens need their dad's help.
The Giggle-and-Braid-Hair Society versus The Burp-the-Alphabet Club - While every boy and girl is an individual, recent brain studies indicate that from the very beginning, males and females perceive and interact with their worlds differently. This offering presents basics on gender differences and how they impact parenting.
Right Here, Right Now - A series with four weekly 1½ hour sessions. Specifically considers the developmental issues of early adolescence, it’s unique opportunities, and ways to “get started on the right foot.”
A Series of Gracious Retreats - Parenting High School Teens - A four to six week series, with 1½ hour weekly sessions, considers stages of adolescence, current cultural pressures, girl development, boy development and managing risky behavior. Appropriate “homework” assignments are given to encourage participants to apply class lessons to their own kids.
Setting A Pace We Can Keep - A single presentation that addresses what "busy-ness" costs our families; offers tips on slowing down.
Simple but NOT Easy: Conversations You'd Like to Have with Your Kids - (Can be adapted in length to suit a group's needs) In an increasingly complex and confusing world, more than ever before, family conversation is key to helping kids make sense of cultural pressures. This offering considers road blocks to communication, taking advantage of natural opportunities for connection, and thoughtful challenges to rehearse communication skills.
Sugar & Spice...Reflecting on Our Teen Daughters - A series of four 1 ½ hour sessions will begin by considering girl development and continue with special concerns for teen girls of popularity and sexuality. Finally, there will be practice of some approaches for turning down the “heat” in parent/daughter conflicts.
What Chores, Hobbies, Oral Sex, SAT Scores, and Volunteer Work Have in Common: Finding Identity and True Vocation - In a society that so often places emphasis on the wrong things, this 1½ hour offering invites parents to consider which adolescent activities really do help teens discover their identity and fulfilling vocation.
Grade Level Special Topics Presentations
A series of presentations specific to the developmental stage at each grade. From "Off to a Good Start" (5th grade) to "Fasten your Seal Belt: Preparing For Departure," these provide a perfect once-a-year parent gathering, complete with small group discussions if desired.
Topics Related to Dating and Sexuality of Teens
Heads, Hearts and Hormones - This offering is adapted to the time and needs of particular groups, from a single presentation to a series of sessions. Depending on time available, information includes a brief overview of “normal” teen social development, boy development, girl development and considerations for guiding boys and girls together. The bulk of the presentation focuses on social issues surrounding dating. This topic is suitable for parent groups as well as professionals who work with teens.
Making Sense of SEX: Guiding Your Teens - A series of four 1 ½ hour sessions designed to offer parents an in-depth consideration of biological pressures, cultural pressures and social pressures on their teen age kids (middle school through high school) with regard to dating and sexuality. The class offers challenging discussion to help individual families think through and articulate their values on difficult topics. Assignments include practical ways to begin conversation with teens at home.
When Boy Meets Girl - A single presentation, generally ranging from 1-1 ½ hours in length, with information for adults to guide middle school teens in their initial interactions with the opposite sex. Scenarios for discussion are included to help participants apply concepts presented.
Topics on High Ability Kids
Trick or Treat?: Meeting the Needs of High Ability Kids - A series of four weekly 1½ hour sessions, directed to nurturing gifted kids. Topics include definitions of “gifted,” descriptions of the particular social and emotional issues, delineation of educational needs, and suggestions for any adult dealing with high ability kids.
Keeping The Balance: Parenting Leadership Teens - A one hour session focusing on the pressures and challenges high ability/leadership teens often face and parents’ roles in helping them keep their balance.
Red, Purple But Never Pastel: The Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Kids - This topic can be addressed by a one hour class (suitable for parents) up to a five hour seminar (for professional in-service education). The presentation may include social/emotional traits of giftedness; video clips offering common misconceptions; considerations of how social/emotional traits help and harm high ability kids; and strategies for working with kids to fulfill their personal needs along with their talents.
Topics Dealing with the Spiritual Values of Family Life
Battening the Hatches, Preparing Your Spiritual Life to Parent Teens - A faith-based series for parents of teens is offered in six weekly 1½ hour sessions. Included are: stages of adolescence, current cultural pressures, girl development, boy development, and boys and girls together. Each week includes selected scriptures, prayer focus, discussion assignments to do with teens, and suggested activities. This may be adapted to a retreat format with individual spiritual assignments as well as small group conversations.
Lay Readers at St. Mattress: Why Family is the MOST Important "Church" They'll Ever Attend - The class considers the essential functions of communities of faith and how they can be reconfigured to happen within the family to live out faith at home.
Setting A Pace We Can Keep - A one hour session focusing on the spiritual cost of a hurried life. The presentation offers considerations for making personal change as well as brief readings to support the value of “sabbath moments.” Particular attention is given to families with elementary school age and teen children. This offering adapts from a one hour session to a retreat format, which may include individual reflection time and small group conversations.
Simple, But Not Easy - Two one-hour sessions consider the importance to teens of informal conversation within the family, as well as common roadblocks to communication and techniques to overcoming them. Materials include a variety of “homework” activities to work on with teens.
True North: Mapping Your Family’s Values - In a culture where “looking good” is often valued above “being good,” this presentation considers how to guide our kids toward values that work for a lifetime. We’ll talk about affluence, success and old fashioned notions of generosity, integrity and hard work. This offering adapts from a one hour session to a retreat format, which may include individual reflection time and small group conversations.
What's Urgent? What's Important? What's Required? - In the midst of busy family life, it's easy to get swept away from what truly matters. This class uses a scriptural basis to help refocus on what is required.
Your Family's Definition of Success: A Variation on the Prodigal Son Story - When "risk" results in failure, is that so bad? This class reframes what we imply to kids about the necessity of success.
Lectures for Teens
*When Boys Meets Girl (8th Grade)
*That Guy/ Girl Thing (9th/10th Grades)
*Ah, Romance (11th/12th Grades)
*Sextravaganza (High School Grades Combined)
* These developmentally appropriate sessions are offered in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the group: for example, as a weekend seminar or as a Sunday evening series. If the group numbers over fifteen or so kids, training is provided for additional adults to help with the leadership in small discussion groups. Also included are planning sessions to customize activities, as well as a session for parents of teens prior to their kids’ event. While specific biological teaching may be a part of any offering, most of the sessions are devoted to social and emotional aspects of relationship building. Teaching “games” fill an important role in helping kids understand each other. Abstinence, personal responsibility and consideration of others form the basis for carefully orchestrated conversations.
Nice 2 B Sugar 'n Spice - A session or seminar for teen girls which can include a variety of topics from body image to self esteem to making good sexual choices to how to be a good friend. This topic invites teen girls to see the relationship between thinking well of oneself and relating well to others.
Girlz’ Power Night - An evening for 7th and 8th grade girls, along with their mothers, to talk about dating, sex and relationships. “What’s normal” is discussed along with scenarios highlighting issues in boy/girl relationships. Depending on the group, scripture references may be included. This seminar may be modified to include older girls as role models to add their perspectives on how to “stay on track.” Often the evening begins with a light supper or dessert.
Men 4 Boyz - An evening for 7th and 8th grade boys, along with their fathers, to talk about dating, sex and relationships. “What’s normal” is discussed along with scenarios highlighting issues in boy/girl relationships. Depending on the group, scripture references may be included. This seminar may be modified to include older guys as role models to add their perspectives on how to “stay on track.” Often the evening begins with pizza or dessert.
Four By Four; T 3: Time to Think and Talk; EQ: Social and Emotional Intelligence - These offerings are for very small groups of teens (“4x4” groups are four guys and four girls) to provide intense social coaching on such topics as introducing oneself; keeping up a conversation; listening to others; offering and responding to invitations; planning a date; and communicating with others. Groups are formed based on age so that information offered will be developmentally appropriate. The small setting provides each kid the opportunity to talk and to practice valuable social skills. A series consists of four 1½ hour weekly sessions.