"Media and Children" TEDxRainier presentation by Dimitri Christakis, M.D.

Click here to view Dr. Christakis’ TEDx presentation on “Media and Children.”


Dimitri Christakis is a pediatrician, parent, and researcher whose influential findings are helping identify optimal media exposure for children.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Parenting with Courage and Connection

Jody McVittie, MD, a parent trainer, coach and parent educator will focus on how parents can connect with kids and see behavior that makes everyone happier. Jody will guide us through new ways of thinking about balancing firmness and kindness to create better relationship. She will provide insight into why we all do the crazy things that they do when trying to get along in families. 


Free and open to public and childcare will be provided.

April 30 from 7-9PM in Parlor at Villa Academy, 5001 NE 50th Street, Seattle WA 98105 
Just east of Children’s Hospital at corner of NE 50th St. and 50th Ave NE


Next PAC Lecture: Amy Lang & "Facts by Five"

PAC’s Parent Education committee provides quarterly parent education seminars and lectures for our families and the general public. 

These lectures are free, and there is no registration required.

Facts by Five

by Amy Lang, M.A.

Thursday, February 9, 2012
7:00-9:00 PM


Faith Lutheran Church – Social Hall
8208 18th Ave. NE

Seattle, WA 98115

  • Why you need to start the conversation way earlier than you think
  • Sexual abuse prevention tips that won’t scare them (or you!)
  • The number one way to keep your kids healthy + safe
  • The best way to start the conversations
  • Why knowing your sexual values are key to talking to your kids
  • Tips for making the talks easy, fun and actually
3 time Mom’s Choice Award® winner and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Amy Lang speaks, teaches and writes about talking to kids about the birds + the bees in the Seattle area and around the country.

Positive Ways to Say "No"

This, from Becky Callahan, Broadview’s 3-5 Parent Educator

Positive Ways To Say “No”     
  • That’s not an option.
  • I am unwilling…
  • Say it in a funny way, i.e. “Never in a million trillion years!”
  • Sing, no, no, no!
  • That’s not appropriate.
  • I am not ready for you to do that yet. (Great for teens)
  • For a younger child, use distraction.
  • Ask, “What do you think you would need to do before I would be willing to say yes to that?”
  • Ask, “What do you think? Is this a good choice for you?” (If you choose this, make sure you are willing to abide by her answer)
  • For a youngster that has something you don’t want him to have say, “That’s not a toy.”
  • Ask, “What are your other options?”
  • No, but I would be willing to…
  • I appreciate your asking, however…
  • Walls are not for coloring. Here is a piece of paper.
  • Tell them what to do instead i.e., “Water needs to stay in the tub.”
  • This is not negotiable.
(Originally featured in our Summer 1998 Issue, Positive Parenting)

Preschool: The Best Job-Training Program



When economist James Heckman was studying the effects of job training programs on unskilled young workers, he found a mystery.
He was comparing a group of workers that had gone through a job training program with a group that hadn’t. And he found that, at best, the training program did nothing to help the workers get better jobs. In some cases, the training program even made the workers worse off.

The problem was that the students in the training program couldn’t learn what they were being taught. They lacked an important set of skills which would enable them to learn new things. Heckman, a Nobel-Prize-winning economist, calls these soft skills.
You might not think of soft skills as skills at all. They involve things like being able to pay attention and focus, being curious and open to new experiences, and being able to control your temper and not get frustrated.
All these soft skills are very important in getting a job. And Heckman discovered that you don’t get them in high school, or in middle school, or even in elementary school. You get them in preschool.
And that, according to Heckman, makes preschool one of the most effective job-training programs out there.
As evidence, he points to the Perry Preschool Project, an experiment done in the early 1960s in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Researchers took a bunch of 3- and 4-year-old kids from poor families and randomly assigned them to one of two groups. The kids in one group just lived their regular lives. And the kids in the other group went to preschool for two hours a day, five days a week.
After preschool, both groups went into the same regular Ypsilanti public school system and grew up side by side into adulthood.
Yet when researchers followed up with the kids as adults, they found huge differences. At age 27, the boys who had – almost two decades earlier – gone to preschool were now half as likely to be arrested and earned 50 percent more in salary that those who didn’t.
And that wasn’t all. At 27, girls who went to preschool were 50 percent more likely to have a savings account and 20 percent more likely to have a car. In general, the preschool kids got sick less often, were unemployed less often, and went to jail less often. Since then, many other studies have reported similar findings.
These results made me think: What is going on in preschool?
So I visited the Co-Op School, a preschool in Brooklyn. Eliza Cutler, a teacher there, said the kids do a lot of the same things the Perry Preschool kids did back in the 60s: They play, they paint, they build with blocks, and they nap.
If you didn’t know where to look, you wouldn’t see the job skills they’re learning.
Yet they are learning valuable skills: how to resolve conflicts, how to share, how to negotiate, how to talk things out. These are skills that they need to make it through a day of preschool now. And they are skills they will need to make it through a day of work when they’re 30.
If they learn these skills now, they’ll have them for the rest of their lives. But research shows that if they don’t learn them now, it becomes harder and harder as they get older. By the time the time they’re in a job training program in their twenties, it’s often too late.
Heckman is an economist so he thinks about this as a cost-benefit analysis. To him, the message is clear: If you want 21 year-olds to have jobs, the best time to train them is in the first few years of life.
For more, see these studies:


Meet Broadview Co-op’s Parent Education Instructors


Irene Wagner  – Broadview’s Toddler Parent Educator
Irene holds a Master of Social Work degree, with post-graduate training in Family Systems. She has worked with children and families for many years.  Irene joined the Parent Education faculty at North Seattle Community College in 1995, and provides Parent Education to parents of infants and toddlers. She also is the registrar and coordinator for the North Seattle Infant Cooperative. In addition, Irene maintains a part-time clinical private practice in Seattle. 

Irene has three daughters, and she and her husband have enjoyed raising them in the Ravenna neighborhood.  Irene’s favorite activities are participating in Rotary service projects with her family, attending her monthly book club, and singing with the Enzian Swiss Ladies Singing Society.




Lauren Leiker – Broadview’s Pre-3 Parent Educator

Lauren has worked for almost 20 years with children and their families in a variety of roles including, but not limited to, nanny, teacher, preschool director, and parent educator.  She has a BA in Liberal Studies and a Master’s of Education from Seattle University.  She has also completed the graduate level parent coach certification program through the Parent Coaching Institute.  


In addition to her role as Parent Educator for North Seattle Community College, Lauren has her own parent coaching practice, ParentingAware.

Lauren lives with her husband and 2 children in Lynnwood. She enjoys reading, walking, and spending quality time with her family.




Becky Callahan – Broadview’s 3-5 Parent Educator
I have been fortunate to have worked in the early childhood profession for over 35 years and 20+ of those have been spent as a Parent Education instructor in the Parent Cooperative Programs.  This field has also given me other delightful opportunities to work as a kindergarten teacher, a child care director and teacher trainer, the coordinator for the Recreational Therapy Playroom at Children’s Hospital, a Washington STARS trainer and, a co-op classroom teacher with children infants to five years.  My educational background includes an M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and a B.A. in Education from Washington State University. 

We raised our children in Seattle, live near the zoo and enjoy the involvement in activities with the Phinney Neighborhood Center and the Greenwood community.  Our oldest daughter lives near us and works in the higher education field supporting students with disabilities.  Our youngest daughter recently moved to Atlanta where she is working on a 3 year fellowship at The Center for Disease Control.  

Some of my favorite things are our area’s salt water beaches (I walk Alki beach a lot), quilting, gardening, line dancing (and now Zydeco dancing), exploring children’s picture book literature, being a block captain and some volunteer work.