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Parents Forum: fostering caring, honest and respectful
communications throughout society, starting in families

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Parent Peer Support

We all want the best for our kids! But at one time or another, despite good intentions, we may stray from the good path we envision. Parents Forum strategies can help you establish strong relationships with other caring adults and stay on that good path.
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employer-workshop

Workforce Development

The way we were raised has enormous influence on how we behave and on whether we succeed at work. Empathy, and training to develop empathy, is gaining attention as a key contributor to productivity and effective leadership. Let Parents Forum mini-sessions improve the emotional climate in your workplace.
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community-groups

Community-Based Activities

Community groups serving all ages often face challenges in motivating and engaging members. Your parent association, youth group or senior center may want to improve internal communications or outreach. Parents Forum can help you enhance communication and leadership in your group whether it is based at a school, agency or faith community.
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“This is what is missing in a lot of other parents’
programs! The workshop gave me information I can use immediately, at home and everywhere.”
—Workshop Participant, Chicago Illinois

book-wheretheheartlistensRead The Book

Where the Heart Listens describes Parents Forum, a program based on thoughtful examination of eight original questions about family life issues. The workshops, designed by Eve Sullivan and Christine Bates, develop parenting skills and are suitable for various settings. While nothing replaces the experience of a Parents Forum workshop, Where the Heart Listens serves as a “workshop in your pocket” and can help parents, children and all family members improve their communications skills.
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Watch the video

With heartfelt thanks to Therese Ockenden, community coordinator for Winthrop Parents Forum, we want to share this five-minute video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. In it Dr. Shonkoff highlights the urgent necessity of skill-building in adults, specifically parents and others in parenting roles. The points he makes are right in line with our goals and approach in Parents Forum. Watch this video, then be in touch with its inspired creators developingchild.harvard.edu and get back to us too!
Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change
 

This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children’s lifelong learning, health and behavior.

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A revelation and a plea

The revelation:
Parents Forum should be free, in part because support that is freely offered is simply priceless/ The other reason, which leads to the plea, is that nobody seems to want to pay for what we offer. Sad face.

The heartfelt plea:
Could you kindly make a small donation, or a large one, to support our peer support program as we move into our second quarter century? With a lot of volunteer effort over many years and wonderful support from community-minded businesses, Parents Forum is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. I cannot quite believe it, but it’s true.

If you are in or near Cambridge, Mass. please join us next Monday, May 15th, on International Day of Families
bit.ly/2ogng0z
for our anniversary celebration. Tickets are still available.

And, wherever you are, please take a look at this article
http://bit.ly/2qCLuUj
in the spring newsletter of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Our collective blind spot

Almost every day I read an article on children's issues that completely ignores parents. What is wrong with this picture? The Economist's otherwise terrific article "Poor children fall behind early in life. Better pre-school education could help" (June 25, 2016) did...
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Be the Change . . . award nomination

This quick word, with profound thanks to Sophia Luthuli in Soweto, South Africa, who nominated me, is to share a link: http://bit.ly/1TjMMKK The nomination for a Nelson Mandela - Graça Machel Award in the individual activist category is a great honor. It would be...
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Ch-ch-ch-changes

It seems that I was the 12,733,144-th person to listen online to this song by David Bowie, who is now, sadly, gone from us. I confess that I did not follow him ... something about being busy raising children, working and all that ... during his heyday. I have been...
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The wilderness right outside our doors

Scott Sampson's How to Raise a Wild Child affirms what I have long felt but couldn't explain: All of us, especially kids, need to connect with nature in all sorts of ways, large and small. He lays out the arguments for connecting children with the natural world and...
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If the people lead . . .

Bartletts, or else my search technique, has failed me. The quote I am looking for is, "If the people lead, the leaders will follow," and it came to mind yesterday when Parents Forum board and friends gathered yesterday to mark Respect for Parents Day. I think we need...
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Why do we so often think . . .

that economic justice is a problem only for poor people? that gender equity, along with sexual assault and sex trafficking, are concerns only for women? that intimate partner violence can be resolved by helping only the victims? that racial equality is an issue only...
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Today’s the day for donuts …and discussions

What's more important, treats or talk? Both are of course and I am a big fan of chatting. I hope to see some of the readers of this (very occasional) blog at Davis Square in Somerville (Mass.) this afternoon between 1pm and 3pm. The address is 250 Elm Street, near the...
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Report from Tunis, and FIEP

Steven Pinker ... a quote I read on a Chipotle bag, of all places ... said, "We will never have a perfect world, but it is not romantic or naive to work toward a better one." I am in Tunis this week for the 50th anniversary conference of the International Federation...
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Jay Z said "Dream Big, Be Unrealistic" …I’m ready!

The beginning of my horoscope today – which ends 'Start small' – is much more inspirational: 'Travel, connect with old friends and... consider offering a service that is in dire need in your community.' January looks right in line with this advice. In a week's time I...
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