Dr. Russell is a popular public speaker and workshop leader; he has presented to parents, students and educators across Canada. His workshops are informative, lively and interactive. He is represented by the Lavin Agency. To enquire about booking him, please contact them directly by clicking here. Topics covered can vary depending on need; some example presentations are below:
Presentations for Parents:
Promoting Independence in Teenagers
While parents are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before, many are frustrated with their teenagers’ apparent lack of initiative and sense of responsibility. This workshop examines aspects of contemporary parenting that tend to interfere with teenagers’ developing individuality and independence. Through discussion of case examples, parents’ sense of obligation to both protect and direct their children is shown to lead to a corresponding sense of entitlement and avoidance in their children. Alternative approaches are presented in which parents reduce their level of instrumental involvement in their teenagers’ lives, while still remaining involved in critical ways at an emotional level.
That Big Bad World: Helping kids thrive in anxious times
Anxiety disorders among children are on the rise: More medications are being prescribed, new disorders such as “school refusal” are appearing and, even among children not diagnosed with a disorder, children are appearing increasingly daunted by the task of taking on the world around them. Hard for parents not to get anxious! But this only tends to make things worse: parent and child become an Anxiety Reverberation Chamber. Instead, this workshop takes a health perspective in which childhood anxiety is understood as a necessary building block of adaptation, and an essential gateway to a child’s creative engagement with the world. Parents gain a perspective that helps them slowly shift the burden of responsibility on to their children as they grow – something that helps them take on anxiety adaptively, at the same time as they experience the sense of mastery and competence such growth generates.
Presentations for Educators:
Engaging parents in their children’s lives: Teaching in an age of helicopters and bubble wrap
Childhood has changed. Unlike the first 20,000 years of human history, children now spend most, if not all, of their days playing and learning in adult-controlled contexts. While this intense focus on children has many positive effects, such as keeping children safe and helping them develop secure attachments, there are negative effects as well. As parents fall into the trap of becoming the custodians of their children’s reality, children fall behind in developing their own relationship with school, achievement and the broader world around them. This session examines the ways educators and other professionals can help parents stay emotionally present in their children’s lives while respectfully giving them space to develop their own agendas and sense of responsibility.