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CARE celebrates 25th annual parenting conference in Clinton Township

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 17, 2020

 Best-selling author Jessica Lahey will be the keynote speaker at CARE’s annual parenting conference March 7.

Best-selling author Jessica Lahey will be the keynote speaker at CARE’s annual parenting conference March 7.

Photo provided by CARE of Southeastern Michigan

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FRASER/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — CARE of Southeastern Michigan will put on its 25th annual parenting conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Macomb Intermediate School District building, 44001 Garfield Road in Clinton Township.

The conference functions as a means of educating parents, grandparents, relatives and caregivers with the skills, tools and resources to achieve success in a complex world. Attendees will gain new child-raising tools, by way of interactive and educational opportunities aimed to network and meet the difficult challenges.

Monique Stanton, who came to CARE in 2008 and since 2012 has been its CEO, said the subject matter is broad. Topics aimed at caregivers and children of all ages include relationships, sleep, discipline, eating habits, fitness, literacy and STEM.

She said the attendee list is usually split 50-50 in terms of first-timers and those who partake annually. Those who utilize CARE’s six-week parenting classes often make themselves present, taking advantage of what Stanton calls a “really powerful opportunity for families.”

“It’s an opportunity for people to come together,” she said. “A lot of times, they come with a friend, a spouse or a partner, and they get to meet other parents and talk about what they’re going through.”

Looking at the big picture is done through the lens of specific programming, she added.

One of the event’s workshops includes Dr. Bernie Les explaining problems and solutions related to helicopter parenting. Another workshop, conducted by educational consultant and author Gary Abud, encourages parents to foster their children’s “inner geek” and expand horizons for learning and discovering new passions.

Other support systems will be available for those who seek more information, like the Macomb County Health Department and foster parenting agencies.

“A lot of times there are struggles going on,” Stanton said. “We don’t want families and parents to feel like they’re alone.”

This year’s keynote speaker is New York Times best-selling author Jessica Lahey. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Working Mother and Fortune.

Her breakthrough book, “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed,” has been dubbed as a rallying cry for children to experience failure as a means of becoming resilient and achieving future success.

“A big piece of (failure) is, how do we get our kids to be resilient?” Stanton said. “How do we get our kids to respond to life’s challenges?”

Stanton said the annual conference has reached 25 years because not only do parenting styles evolve over time, but the conference stays topically fresh each year. It is updated to maintain relevance in terms of the big issues affecting parents and caregivers at that specific period in time — such as those trying to tackle what can be polarizing issues like vaping and ADHD.

The conference even allows parents to ask children questions, via a team advocacy group, and get to hear what is actually going on behind the scenes in social groups and school settings.

Tickets cost $40 and include a continental breakfast, lunch, the keynote session and a choice of workshop sessions. To register, call (586) 541-2273 or visit www.careofsem.com.

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