School Matters December 3, 2010
Parents of all children will benefit from a program to be held in the Board Room of 25 Churchill Street at 7:00 pm this Wednesday, December 8, called “The Challenge of Nurturing Emotional Intelligence in Palo Alto.” There will be a presentation by three experts on the subject, which will be followed by smaller roundtable discussions so groups of parents can discuss what was presented and what they have learned. The event is free, open to the public, and will be translated into Mandarin. The expert’s presentations will be videotaped by the Midpeninsula Media Center, to be broadcast at a later date.
“This program is a follow up to the Asian Engagement event we had in March,” said Sunny Dykwel, co-chair of Parent Education for the PTA Council. That program last spring completely filled the auditorium at Mitchell Park community center, and a Google group was created with sixty parents who wanted to continue the conversation. “We did a survey where the parents in the group answered questions and voted on the topics that most interested them. Nurturing social and emotional intelligence was the most successful by far,” Dykwel said.
The three speakers will be Stephen Murphy Shigematsu, Bhavana Narula, and Helen Sung. These experts have decades of experience counseling parents and their children in the K-16 context. They also teach university courses on student mental health, emotional intelligence, cross cultural issues in education, and training for counselors. They all have relevant backgrounds. Murphy-Shigematsu has been a lay analyst and workshop leader for 20 years and is on the faculty of the University of Tokyo. Narula and Sung work with students in the Palo Alto and Cupertino school systems, and Sung has recently published a paper on “The Influence of Culture on Parenting Practices of East Asian Families and Emotional Intelligence of Older Adolescents.”
The panel will share case histories, show videos with UC Berkeley students, and address issues that arise from the answers to the following questions: “Does your child feel over-scheduled? Do you protect your child from making mistakes by making decisions for him or her? When you plan for your child’s future is anything more important to you than academic achievement?”
Parents who intend to go to the talk on Wednesday are encouraged to fill out a “Time Management Checklist” so they have a better awareness of their child’s time commitments. That worksheet can be found on the second page of the flyer describing the event.