Parent Coaching Institute
The Parent Express E-zine


The Parent Express E-Zine
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Parent Express for 18-Jun-2009

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Parent Express Ezine
Welcome to Parent Express, the PCI e-zine! Here you will find updates on the Parent Coaching Institute, along with ideas and practical tips for the parenting journey.

We wish all dads a Happy Father's Day! Please check out the NPR interview (see News Section) featuring Keith Morton of, who is a PCI Parent Coach in training. I think you will very much enjoy it.

Summer and the end of school days often bring a temptation to fall back on television, video, and video games to help "bored" kids keep busy. This issue of Parent Express is full of practical ideas to help you balance screen use with other important activities over the summer. Our featured article by Margann Duke, PCI Parent Coach in training, gives us a terrific review of an excellent book, Generation Text—not only valuable for parents, but as Margann points out, a great read for teens as well.

Summer is a great time to start a new family tradition: family book readings and discussions about important matters. They still matter—even to generation text kids!

The PCI will be on vacation in July. We will resume sending out Parent Express in August. "See" you then! In the meantime…

Happy Summer Vacation (and happy reading, as well)!

Gloria DeGaetano, Founder and CEO

PCI Training

Apply Now for Fall Term!

This is the best time to apply for a fall start on your Parent Coach Certification®. Early applicants receive a $500 tuition discount and will have the best opportunity for acceptance into the program. Early applicants can begin their course readings, preparing well for the phone classes for Course 1, which begin the week of September 21.

Early application ends August 15, 2009. Applications must be received by August 15 in order to receive the $500.00 tuition discount. Spaces are limited. Early applications receive first consideration.

Please send in the basic application as your first step. Download the application here. Once we receive this document, we will contact you for a phone interview.

Transcripts and letters of reference can follow the basic application by a few weeks.

Questions? Please call: (425) 401-1519.

Please note: Phone classes are in the evening time, usually at 5PM (Pacific Time) to accommodate the work schedules of our students.

Learn more about our acclaimed, graduate-level, distance-learning Parent Coach Certification® Training Program by clicking here for more information.

Check out our Video About the PCI Parent Coach Training Program and see what professionals think about their training with the PCI.

"I have facilitated parenting groups for twenty years and the PCI training has taught me far more about how to ask questions, how to formulate them, and how to time them than any other training I have received in my career."
—Kaaren Borsting, Ashland, Oregon
For Parents

Working with a parent coach who has received Parent Coach Certification® through the PCI is giving yourself a valuable gift as well as a sound investment in your family's future. PCI Certified Parent Coaches® are caring, thoughtful professionals with years of experience working with parents. They have successfully completed the PCI Parent Coach Certification® Training Program—a comprehensive academic, one-year, graduate-level program in collaboration with Seattle Pacific University. Through a series of coaching conversations that can be either by telephone or in-person, PCI Certified Parent Coaches® help you re-discover your dreams and design your life for more joy and satisfaction.

To find a PCI Certified Parent Coach® in your area, please click here or call (425) 401-1519 for a referral to a PCI Certified Parent Coach® selected especially for you.


Visit to listen to programs featuring PCI Certified Parent Coaches® and other experts from around the country discussing topics of interest to moms and dads.

Programs are available as podcasts. Listeners can download individual episodes directly, listen to them from this site using a Web browser, or access them via the iTunes podcast directory. iTunes subscribers will automatically pick up new episodes as they become available!

Featured Article

Making the Inevitable Impossible: A Book Review of Generation Text

by Margann Duke
M.S. Counseling, PCI Parent Coach in training

A new book by clinical psychologist Michael Osit, entitled Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids in an Age of Instant Everything, explores why parents need to fight the influence of popular culture and explains how they can do it. The book describes how our current culture has undermined parental authority; changed the developmental tasks of socialization and individuation for teens; and contributed to the escalation of family conflict, personal distress, and learning difficulties for kids today.

The "culture of access and excess" is the foundational theme for this book and Dr. Osit illustrates how this culture has undermined the family. Today's kids have been raised in a time when none of us really needs to wait or work for most of life's conveniences. We are bombarded daily with too much information and too many choices. This plethora of choices and access to anything, at any time, has set parents up to fight many more battles than our parents would have ever encountered with us! To teach our children the lessons that we learned somewhat automatically, we must now become the agents of deprivation and hardship (at least in our children's eyes). In addition, children of today faces increased pressure to perform, to look a certain way and to succeed in material terms. They are faced with so many distractions in the forms of media "tools" that it is a wonder they learn to focus at all. And, compounding the struggle, they have experienced a marked decrease in both the quality and quantity of personal relationships in their immediate families, extended families, and community.

Dr. Osit points to two major trends which have contributed towards our acceptance of access and excess. The first is parental guilt and the second is modeling down.

Why do we feel guilty? Parents receive constant messages encouraging us to give our kids the latest and the best, couched in the persuasive language of advertising and supported by our competitive American culture. There is always something better: a better computer, phone, tutor, sport, vacation, etc. that will somehow guarantee our children's success in life…or at least that is the promise we are sold over and over again. In addition, parents feel guilty about working too long, being too stressed, and not being able to keep up, themselves. Modeling down refers to the phenomenon of kids being given things, both possessions and privileges, at increasingly younger ages. If kids get used to a sophisticated, expensive lifestyle as children, then what will they expect from adulthood? From the standpoint of development, it can be a blow to self-esteem to have to go "backwards" when as a young adult you cannot take care of yourself in the manner you have become accustomed to. When kids receive privileges or information that they are developmentally unprepared for it may become emotionally harmful or even lead to physically harmful situations.

Read the Rest of the Article…

FatherDad on NPR
Keith Morton, PCI Parent Coach in training who blogs at African American Dad, joined a "Daddy bloggers" roundtable to discuss what's new in the land of dad cyberspace. He joins Jeff Steele, who blogs at D.C. Urban Moms and Dads, and Jason Sperber, who blogs at Rice Daddies. Please click here to enjoy the informative interview.

Texting May Be Taking a Toll
A May 26 New York Times article discusses some of the major impacts of teen texting. MIT's Sherry Turkle, author of the classic book The Second Self, has done research that shows texting may be causing a shift in the way teens develop. It is an excellent article, especially when read in combination with Margann's book review (see below) of Generation Text.

Media Research: The Black Box
A recent article in Nature (PDF) features the research of Dimitri Christakis from the University of Washington with the emphasis on the effects of media exposure on young children. Christakis is one of the few researchers tackling the issues of attention span and the effects of over-stimulation. He worries that exposure to screen technology can be psychologically addicting—on kids at any age.

Four Proven Ways to Live Productively with Screen Technology
by Gloria DeGaetano
Founder and CEO, the Parent Coaching Institute

My research over the past 20 years shows that when parents focus on these four positive paths their children learn to be in control of all forms of screen technologies.

Path #1: Manage Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero hours for children under age two and only one hour per day for children over two. A goal of 5–7 hours a week of "screen time" seems to be the healthiest for older children and teens.

Path #2: Set Up Your Home to be a "Media Literate" Environment

  • Remove the TV/computer from your child's bedroom. Replace with an aquarium, a sand table, art materials—anything that allows your child to develop and explore talents and skills.
  • Consider carefully where televisions and computers are placed around the house. Are they accessible so you can monitor what's on them?
  • Provide an alternative to a DVD, such as a special treasure box with certain toys and/or activities in it that only comes out before the dinner hour (or other hectic times) so your child doesn't always nag for screen time when you are trying to get dinner on the table or housework done.

Path # 3: Teach Critical Viewing Skills
Talk. Talk and talk some more. Regular conversations, once or twice a week, over months or even years, can have a profound effect on a child's understanding of screen content and its impact. You can talk before, during, or after watching. Talk, too, in the middle of everyday activities—while driving kids to baseball practice, for instance. Building strong lines of communication helps youngsters feel safe and intelligent in offering opinions.

Path #4: Use Your Creativity
Think literally out of the box. Put a sheet over the television, listening to your favorite show. How is this "viewing" experience different from the usual one? On a rainy day rent a video about a national park; watch and discuss it with the children while you eat a picnic lunch, pretending to be at the park. Dissect an older sitcom and compare it to a more recent one. Break out of the routine and show the kids how much fun it can be to think creatively about visual messages. And don't forget to do what's fun for you. After all, it's your parental fire that sparks your child's creativity.

Back Issues

Back issues of Parent Express are available on the PCI Web site. There you can read articles by Gloria DeGaetano and PCI Certified Parent Coaches®, and easily send past issues to friends and colleagues via e-mail.

"In my search for ways to reunite my soul with my roles as parent and parent educator, I discovered the PCI! My training as a Parent Coach through the PCI set in motion for me a radically invigorating process of professional renewal and personal transformation. I continue to be inspired by the marvelous synthesis of theories, ideas, resources, and practical strategies that characterize the PCI coaching model and render it so effective in working with parents today. I received everything I needed to create my own coaching practice and to coach well. No detail was missed and the opportunities for continuing support and development from the PCI are unparalleled. Thank you PCI!"
—Dulcie Gretton, PCI Certified Parent Coach®
Calgary, Canada


This issue of Parent Express was originally published June 18, 2009. Some content, contact information, and links may be out of date, and the conversion from the original email edition may introduce formatting inconsistencies.

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