Parent / Caregiver Workshop with Cindy Smolkin- A Summary, A Forum for Sharing Resources & Many Thanks

“Do any of you happen to have children who have the odd meltdown?” Cindy Smolkin asked the audience of 50 parents who attended her parenting workshop on November 21. It was one of many questions to be answered with 50 vigorously nodding heads. Smolkin, a social worker and therapist, is an advocate of Connected Parenting, an approach to parenting whose methods she explained in her concise and entertaining workshop. Cindy provided strategies and suggestions for parents dealing with children that don’t always do precisely as they’re told. She was refreshingly non-judgmental in her approach, encouraging parents to use those tools that resonated with them and leave the rest behind. The key seems to be empathy, understanding where our children are coming from and accepting that these emotional creatures can’t always be expected to transition smoothly to the rational plane that adults (try to) operate on. The hour and a half workshop flew by and we are lucky to be having a second installment in March 2013. Details to follow. – Naomi Buck, JK parent


Last night I attended the parenting workshop given by Cindy Smolkin. Cindy proved to be an excellent presenter and judging by the number of nodding heads her information resonated with many of us in the audience. Parenting is more challenging than ever these days with issues such as anxiety, self esteem and bullying impacting our children. Having insight from a professional and hearing the experiences of other parents was both heartening and empowering. It left me wanting more.

While there is going to be another workshop I thought it would be great to find a way for parents in the Davisville community to connect in the meantime to share resources (for example I have found the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud to be great), tips or just connect as parents as we all work so hard to raise our children well. Since no one raises their children in isolation but rather as part of a community it would be nice to further develop the parenting community at Davisville. – A JK & SK Parent

Please add a comment to this post in response and/or share resources to continue the discussion online. 

Thank you to the 50+ parents and caregivers who attended the workshop and contributed honestly and enthusiastically to the discussion. Thanks also to the 25 among them who responded to the “call for helpers” and volunteered in some capacity to make the evening run smoothly and assisting with follow up items. Thank you to the 30 attendees who provided immediate feedback through an online survey which will assist in the design of future workshops! An engaged group of people!

More words of thanks go to Cindy Smolkin, our informative and approachable expert, Shona, Norah & Terri (Spectrum office) for their support in the preparations, and caretaking team Jason, Nermina and Darryl for all the logistical help. Merci to Madame Potter for letting us use her class for babysitting; the children truly appreciated access to all the classroom supplies.

Thank you also to the Ministry of Education for approving our application for the Parents Reaching Out grant. Thanks also to the TDSB’s Continuing Education department for giving us additional funding. We are grateful for this support.

Please note that there will be a second workshop with Cindy in March 2013 (exact date to be confirmed – stay tuned!). Everyone is welcome (even if you did not attend the first workshop). Keep it in mind! We would love to see you there.

Posted on November 25, 2012, in Davisville Events, Davisville School Community, Davisville School Council. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Is this the concept of filling a bucket with something when the child is good and if they are bad you take it away some. If they fill it up at the end there is a reward? I like that concept and I think it works. My son is doing that at school. When the children are good the childreng get a hand ful of rocks in the bucket. When they are not behaving, the teacher takes away a handful of rocks. They recently filled it up and were treated with a one hour out door play and it was awesome whether for the children.
    It is so true that parenting is so very much challenging, it seemed when I was growing up things were so different. I would attend another worksop. I find it interesting and I think we as parents could benefit from sharing our resources.

  2. In the book it’s a bit more figurative where if you are kind to people you are filling their bucket and if you do something that is not nice you are dipping into their bucket. My kids are little and they took to the concept right away so it’s a nice one for teaching the impact of your actions on others. I like your version of filling a bucket as well – it’s a very concrete example for them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: