Help! My Child Is Struggling in School

8 Oct

Chistina Murphy, LPC, the Program Director for Griffith Centers for Children and Jessica Rock, MA, MFT, a Community Clinical Supervisor came and spoke to the group last week about strategies to best navigate educational options and services that may be available through schools.  Also highlighted were a host of parenting and communication tips to ease children through rough spots.


Christina described the benefits of positive parenting (reinforcing positive behaviors you wish to see more of-no matter how trivial-while downplaying the negative ones we wish discourage). Jessica offered a video game analogy:  when playing a game, often a desired outcome is reinforced by many bells and whistles, while a “miss” is accompanied by a brief “wa-waa” sound, then the game continues, without further fanfare.  The speakers offered the reflecting technique where you reflect the emotion being expressed (” I see you jumping up and down, are you angry/anxious/excited/ upset?”).  Recognize some behaviors for what they are–attempts to self-regulate negative emotions.  You can redirect the behavior to something safer, for example, “how about we stop jumping on the bed, and jump rope outside?”.  Jessica endorses trying for one or two small goals daily.  Jessica suggests asking the child what consequence they think they should receive when they transgress.  Whenever possible, it is helpful to build continuity between reinforcement systems used at school and at home to best support the behaviors we want to see.

A handout provided a useful tool parents can use to describe our emotions.  Sometimes, just labeling the emotion makes them more manageable.  It is important to stay present physically to the child, if having trouble regulating emotion. Try not to reinforce tantrum behavior by providing the desired object, rather try to praise efforts by offering something pleasurable, like a hug (reinforces calming down).  One technique is to offer a “Self-Control Contract” where kids agree to ideal goals for emotion regulation (example: I agree to use an inside voice, ask calmly for what I need, etc”). Another handout the speakers reviewed anger management, both in parents and in kids.  Of course, modeling anger management for our kids is an ideal way to teach it.

Finally, the therapist outlined the different plans available through school: 504 Plan vs individual education plans (IEPs) and how to distinguish between them.

To learn more, visit

Kick-Off Session: “Getting Our Sexy Back”

21 Sep

MomTime Fall 2015 is off and running!

Sage Hobbs, Life Coach, spoke about the importance and the ‘how to’s’ of keeping one’s mojo alive and well.

Sage started her presentation by sharing a turning point in her own life. She described feeling swallowed whole by career and caregiving roles so embarked on a new path that would help people, mothers in particular, stay vital in their passions.  She describes the concept of ‘Sexy’ as a huge one that is different for each person. She uses terms like energy, passion, confidence, even life-force interchangeably, all the while stressing that ‘Sexy’ is a dynamic state, that will change over time.

Sage stressed the importance of tending to one’s soul, sensuality, and sexuality improves not only personal fulfillment and happiness, but that it affects our families tremendously.  She says that when we inventory our top priorities, a starting point in the process, many of us put our families as a top priority.  Repeatedly, she stressed that mothers are a huge part of the family.  If we can learn to tend to our own creativity and sexiness, by way of nurturing our passions, our partners and children will benefit.  Kids miss out when their parent’s sense of fun and self are depleted.  There is a huge benefit to modeling self-care to our loved ones.  In parenting, children look to their caregivers to show them the way, not to simply say it. She notes, that teens are especially astute at ferreting out hypocrisy.  It is up to us to model the self-care/mojo-preservation, so that they may value their own sense of fulfillment and fun.

During the session, she pointed out the value to our children of doing the work to boost our vitality.  We also were challenged to think about the costs of not nurturing ourselves. Do you want your child to be:

  • Independent?
  • Enjoy healthy relationships?
  • Be able to experience pleasure and intimacy?

It is up to us to show them the way.  These are good reasons to nurture one’s own confidence and sexiness.  Not to mention the pure fun of making time to do things we love. There are many a clean and organized underwear drawers out there this week!  She suggested a nice starting point to reap immediate energizing-the-mojo work is to clean out that drawer that harbors old, ill-fitting, even ugly under-garments.  I know a mom who puts all kinds of stuff she can’t figure where else to place it.  Not sexy.  More than a few moms in attendance shared how fun it is to buy new, pretty things for ourselves. Next, you can expand to the whole bedroom.

Life is Now: Right here, Right now. This body, This person. 


Check out Sage’s Coaching website to learn more.

Heather Weldon, this year’s MomTime Coordinator, led the session by sharing a piece apropos to the whole year of planned MomTime called ” I Miss the Village” by Bunmi Laditan, originally published in the Huffington Post.


Fall MomTime Season Begins September 18!

13 Aug

Tell your friends and neighbors about MomTime’s upcoming fall kick-off meeting.  We have an exciting schedule of speakers lined up for 2015: Click here for details and links.  If you know someone who might enjoy meeting, connecting and sharing with other moms, please pass on the word. momtime flier fall 2015

Tour de Cure Coming Up in August: an update on Team Ryan

17 Jul

MomTime has raised $240 in support of Team Ryan.  Our running team “Run Like Mothers” raised these funds by participating in the Colfax Relay Marathon. Ryan Baer, the brother of two MomTime members, Jen Nutter and Michele Lopez, died from complications of Type 1 Diabetes.  The Tour de Cure is a bike ride fundraising opportunity of the American Diabetes Association to increase funding for Diabetes research.

Visit the Tour de Cure site to learn more.  Also, scroll down to view a previous post.

Way to go Jen and Michele!

Summer MomTime Starts! MNO kick-off this Thursday.

16 Jun

Invitations for Mom’s Night Out  are in the Inbox.  Join us for a night of cooking lessons at Carmen’s home.

Monica Kaddilak, a cooking instructor, will be on hand to demonstrate simple summer meals.  Bring an appetizer and a beverage to share, and a small fee ( $5 cash please) to socialize and re-energize your summer menus.

Contact Miriam Morrison if you are not receiving e-vites.  All are welcome: past, present and interested MomTime Members.

MomTime Light session began on Friday, June 12th.  We met at Montview Boulevard Church and began discussing the summer book, All Joy and No Fun, by Jennifer Senior.  Heather Weldon led us through the first two chapters.  See the flyer for upcoming events.  We will next meet June 29th at a nearby park with the kids for simple fun.

momtime flier summer 2015

Jamie Morgan On: Courageous Conversations About Race

18 May

Jamie Morgan, Principal of Morgan & Rushton Consulting, joined us May 15 to discuss the book, Courageous Conversations about Race, by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton. The subtitle for the discussion was “Confronting Our Biases: Why it Matters and Tips for Challenging Implicit Assumptions.” Jamie used an interactive style to engage the group, moving through exploratory conversations on the important topic.  She notes that these conversations often become charged.  Using storytelling and experiential activities, she had participants move around the room to illustrate where one stands on a given, sometimes provocative statement.  Jamie has way of connecting and getting people to open up.


At the end of a thoughtful and animated talk, she shared slides of her presentation with the group. She explored John Powell’s ideas on the origins of implicit bias. Some reasons she listed why white people avoid talking about race are

1) Fear:  of confronting one’s own internal biases, stereotypes and prejudgment, fear of confronting one’s own guilt and ignorance about others, and fear of introducing a difficult discussion to children

2) Denial: it may be easier to emphasize unity and color-blindness

3) Naivete: a belief that we live in a post-racial society

4) Privilege: the belief that such discussions on race are unnecessary in the context of raising their children.

The dedication for the day was given by Casey Stringham. Casey’s last MomTime meeting was kicked off with a joyous dance around the room, led by the Casey herself.  It was a delightful way to loosen up and enjoy our time together.  Casey, you will be missed!  Bon voyage and good luck to you and your family.

Colfax Relay Team and Tour de Cure support of the ADA’s effort in Type 1 Diabetes Research

5 May

Tour Cure Ride Jenn Nutter pic Placard Nutter

MomTime runners raised $240 toward the cure!  Congratulations to the participating moms in our team, “Run Like Mothers”.  In addition, the annual Tour de Cure is happening near Colorado Springs in August.  Please visit this site to learn more.

Our MomTime running team Run Like Mothers participated in the Colfax Relay team running on Sunday, May 17th.  The team consisted of Jenn Nutter, Miriam Morrison, Beth Ball, Amy Usalavage, and Linda Beardsley.  We aaked MomTime members to to consider pledging our run.  All donations were donated to the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure in honor of Ryan Baer, brother of two MomTime members, Jenn Nutter and Michele Lopez, who lost his life to Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic condition, that often occurs in childhood.

Michele Lopez shared a possible life-saving tip about a simple test useful for anyone with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. When feeling stressed or ill, even from something as minor as a cold, there is a simple, quick test to gauge ketones in urine  (urinalysis) that can indicate how serious an illness may become.  I have also seen a point-of-care test using a blood sample from a finger stick to test for ketones.  That information could save a life: please share it with those you know with the chronic condition.

Please see this link to read more about Ryan.  Also, there is information on how to sponsor the team Ryan’s Riders in the upcoming Colorado Springs Bike Ride ” Tour de Cure” .

The Tour de Cure is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association whose mission it is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Over 29 million adults and children in the US have diabetes and as we now know, it can have fatal consequences. It’s horrible to lose someone you love and we want to do what we can to help prevent other families from feeling that same pain. This fall will be our third year to participate in the ride under the team name Ryan’s Riders. Rider’s commit to raising at least $200 each and riding 10, 30, 60, or 100 miles. We would love more riders on our team if anyone feels compelled, just email Jen Nutter. Click here for more information on the Tour de Cure.


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