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Crossroads of Childhood X set for Oct. 6 at ASU’s West campus

September 28, 2007

The 10th Crossroads of Childhood conference for parents and caregivers will be held on October 6 at Arizona State University’s West campus. Co-presented by ASU and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, the half-day workshop features discussions and seminars designed to present tools and techniques to help build strong families.

“This is a wonderful conference that allows the community to have access to speakers who offer expert perspectives on the many issues families face with children of all ages,” says Catherine Kirk, director of the Child Development and Family Studies Lab School at the West campus. “The sessions are lively and interactive and provide relevant, valuable information and resources to families and caregivers.”

The keynote speaker for Crossroads of Childhood X is nationally recognized educator Char Wenc. A former classroom teacher, clinical counselor, and graduate school professor described by the Chicago Tribune as “a high-energy dynamo with a good understanding about how parents feel,” Wenc is the author of “Parenting – Are We Having Fun Yet?”

Presenters include psychologists, educators, therapists, and other experts from ASU, Banner Thunderbird, and the greater community. Among the 12 topics that will be explored are “Improving Children’s Nutrition,” “Teaching Respect in a Rude World,” “Developing Successful Kids,” “Raising a ‘Spirited’ Child,” awareness tips for keeping kids safe in cyberspace, anger management, and forgiveness and reconciliation.

Kirk, who will address preschool discipline on October 6, has presented at every conference, offering expertise and advice on topics ranging from bullying to issues about brain development.

“The discipline topic always generates a great deal of participant interest,” she says. “Parents want ‘recipes’ as to how to deal with young children. I like to encourage them to act rather than react to situations; it helps the child learn behavior.

“The word ‘discipline’ comes from ‘disciple,’ which means to teach. Our goal is to have parents become teachers and model proper behavior.”

Winner of the Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC) “Best of the West” service award in 1999, the Crossroads of Childhood conference has attracted nearly 5,000 parents and caregivers since 1994 while exploring one of life’s most challenging journeys – parenting. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators and college students have attended in the past, gaining keen insight and learning about practical, common sense tools for raising healthy, happy children.

“Our goal is to provide a community service attendees will find educational and consider a valuable resource on current, effective and applied caregiving and parenting issues,” says Paul Miller, an associate professor of psychology in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Miller will present on “Stress and Coping for Kids.”

“This conference translates faculty research and teaching into the practical, day-to-day information that is useful to parents, teachers and caregivers,” adds Miller. “We believe it is a critically important role of faculty in today’s modern world.”

Advanced registration and a registration fee are required. Registration forms are available online. For further information call 602-543-5311.