ELLSWORTH -- G.E.A.R. Parent Network, a program of Crisis & Counseling Centers, will host a free presentation by Dr. Ross Greene, a well-known educator and author who has devoted his life to helping children and teens with behavioral challenges and their caregivers. Parents, caregivers and the community are invited to learn how Dr. Greene's "Collaborative & Proactive Solutions" approach is improving the way youth with behavioral challenges are being understood and treated in Maine.
The presentation will be held Monday, Jan. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School.
Dr. Greene is the celebrated author of "The Explosive Child" and "Lost at School" and has appeared on nationally syndicated television shows such as "Oprah" and "Dateline." He founded a Maine-based nonprofit organization, Lives in the Balance, providing free web-based resources at livesinthebalance.org to parents, educators and other caregivers of children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges.
According to the organization's brochure, "Lives in the Balance advocates on behalf of these children, calling attention to specific situations in which these kids are still being treated in ways that are counterproductive and ineffective, providing vital resources so that people and settings get the information they need to change course and move toward interventions that are non-punitive, non-adversarial, collaborative, proactive, skill-building and relationship-enhancing."
"Parenting is a long-term investment in our children. It also is the most difficult job one could have, and parents must put far more into parenting than they get out of it," said Cindy Seekins, G.E.A.R. Parent Network program director. "Parenting children with behavioral health needs is even more demanding, but in the long run it also is the most rewarding job of your life. Dr. Greene's Collaborative and Proactive Solutions is another approach that parents, grandparents, foster parents and educators may add to their toolbox."
This workshop is an example of one of G.E.A.R.'s many collaborative efforts to provide free offerings to parents and caregivers throughout Maine. Other ongoing no-cost opportunities include monthly support groups, intensive workshops, 1:1 in-home support, social events and a toll-free phone line for parents/caregivers of children with behavioral health needs.
Dr. Greene emphasizes that "kids do well if they can" and that challenging behavior is due to lagging skills, not lack of motivation or poor parenting techniques. "We help parents and kids solve issues collaboratively and proactively, since research has shown that many children don't respond especially well when we try to exclude them or work unilaterally or emergently."
The presentation will teach parents how to problem solve collaboratively. "Maine is particularly receptive to our message," Greene said. "There are numerous schools throughout the state that have been implementing my model, resulting in impressive reductions in discipline referrals, detentions and suspensions. And the model played a meaningful role in helping to improve care in the state's two juvenile detention facilities, where the lower recidivism rate has become a national example."
"We are very fortunate to live in a state that is an example to the rest of the nation," agreed Seekins. "However there is still a lot of work to be done. Families are the foundation of our culture, and it is important that we recognize the vital part they play in shaping the children of the future."
Dr. Greene's presentation is free and open to the public. Register online by visiting G.E.A.R.'s website at gearparentnetwork.org or by calling the program's toll-free number at 1.800.264.9224.
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Crisis & Counseling Centers
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