Raising a child requires a wealth of support, but parenting in the Digital Age has arguably made the undertaking even more challenging.
A New York-based community center and an independent school accreditation agency are teaming up in an effort to arm parents with the knowledge to raise healthy and happy kids while faced with 21st-century challenges.
Debuting in New York in 2012, the SAIS/92nd Street Y Parenting Conference is a joint effort between Serving and Accrediting Independent Schools and the 92nd Street Y, a Jewish nonprofit community and cultural center.
Fretta Reitzes, director of 92nd Street Y Goldman Center for Youth & Family Organizers, said she and other organizers decided to bring the event, which drew about 500 participants last year, to Buckhead to reach more parents.
“We really believe it’s important for parents to have direct contact with experts in a room with other parents, hearing the information face-to-face,” she said.
Attendees will hear from five experts in various fields, including psychologists, language pathologists and pediatric professors. The discussions will culminate with an audience question and answer session.
Ron Taffel, author of eight books including “Childhood Unbound: Authoritative Parenting for the 21st Century” said he will speak on how parents can be confident enough to raise happy and successful children in what he calls the “age of anxiety.”
“As a parent myself, I would have just felt fortunate to be able to go to one place at one time and get so much in the way of accessible and practical information,” Taffel said. “There’s a big difference between searching [for parenting information] on the Internet and getting it in the fragmented ways that we do as opposed to coming together at one time. We’re going to cover a lot [at the conference.]”
Four other presenters include Michael Thompson, a clinical psychologist whose topic is “Eight Things Parents Cannot Do For Their Children (But Wish They Could),” and JoAnn Deak, an educator and psychologist who will discus “The Fantastic Elastic Brain: The Most Updated Information About Brain Development in Children.”
“We want every parent to leave with a better understanding and trust in themselves,” Reitzes said. “We want them to believe that they can… understand what’s best [for their children] and that they are not alone. We certainly want them to connect, feel a sense of community and be able to talk about issues and concerns with other parents.”
If you go:
What: SAIS/92nd Street YParenting Conference
Where: Marriott Buckhead Hotel, 3405 Lenox Road, Buckhead
When: Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $195 for parents; $95 for school faculty/staff of SAIS members schools and $145 for non-members
Information and registration: www.sais.org/92Y