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Navigating the Middle School years for many students (and parents) can be a challenging period. Think about it. Students are in a section of a school with ages ranging from as young as 10 to as old as 13, each growing and learning at a different pace. Add to that the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional changes, and you have the making for some “interesting” times.

Whitby is pleased to present a series of interactive sessions specifically designed for parents with middle-school-age children. The speakers, all experts in their field, will discuss issues and concerns that are on many parents' minds, plus provide practical advice and skills for surviving and thriving during the middle school years.

Coping with Dual Epidemics: Middle School Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Dr. Christopher M. Bogart, PhD
Executive Director, Sasco River Center

Click here to access the March 9 presentation from Dr. Chris Bogart: Coping with Dual Epidemics: Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Smart but Scattered: Supporting Executive Skill Development in the Middle School 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Dr. Peg Dawson, EdD

Co-Author of Smart but Scattered 

Executive skills are critical to the acquisition of academic skills, but, more importantly, they are the skills students need to get things done. They are brain-based skills such as task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, planning, organization, and goal-directed persistence that are absolutely critical to school success. Some students seem to acquire them naturally, but many students struggle with them. Dr. Peg Dawson will describe how these skills develop throughout childhood and suggest strategies parents can use to help children acquire the critical skills they need to be successful students.

Boys Will Be Boys: Insights from the Science on Gender Differences

Thursday, May 6, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Dr. Joseph Demers, PhD
Licensed Psychologist, Sasco River Center 

We have all heard the oft-quoted phrase of "Boys will be boys!" as we try to explain the charming or enraging characteristics of our boys. Yet, despite the universality of this belief, the science relating to gender differences in learning, behavior and social development is not as clear.  Dr. Demers will discuss what we know regarding developmental differences relating to brain development that gives insight into possible gender-based learning and behavioral characteristics. He will explore the ramifications of our perceptions of these differences in how boys are treated in schools, at home, and in our society with an eye toward parenting strategies to support boys' unique qualities.