Middle School Parents Get Together w/KC Cohen & Jason Gold Middle School:December 2, 8:45 -10am — Multi-Purpose Room @ RCS

[ By on October 25, 2013 ]

Middle School Parents Event with KC Cohen and Jason Gold Middle School/Upper School Counselor and Psychologist

The Importance of Boundaries: How Boundaries and Limit Setting Help Our Children Become More Resilient, Independent, Focused, and Confident

Monday, December 2, 8:45 -10am, in the Multi-Purpose Room at RCS 

Can you recall situations in which you were challenged in deciding whether or not to set a limit or create a boundary with your child?

* Should I allow my son/daughter to have a Facebook page or an Instagram account?

*Should I still give my child a bedtime?

*Should I monitor my child’s academics (Moodle), texts, email, phone?

* How do I respond when my child says “But you’re the only parents saying ‘no’”?


Renowned clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair explains: “… the focus of the family has turned to the glow of the screen—children constantly texting their friends, parents working … around the clock—everyday life is undergoing a massive transformation. Easy availability to the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life. Parents often feel they are losing a meaningful connection with their children. Children are feeling lonely and alienated… Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects, but children desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives

Can parents help build resilience, self-control, empathy, and distress tolerance in their children?

By now, many of you have seen the clip of Louis CK on the Conan O’Brian show explaining why he hates cell phones. While we recognize that there is foul language in the clip, and that the perspective comes from a comedian, the enormous response to it – from psychologists, parenting experts, cognitive scientists, and many others, suggests that he has hit on something important. In the clip Louis CK suggests that the culture of cell phone use has made people mean, less socially aware, and ultimately less empathic:

I think these things are toxic, especially for kids…they don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy. You know, kids are mean, and it’s ’cause they’re trying it out. They look at a kid and they go, ‘you’re fat,’ and then they see the kid’s face scrunch up and they go, ‘oh, that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.’ But they got to start with doing the mean thing. But when they write ‘you’re fat,’ then they just go, ‘mmm, that was fun, I like that.’

Louis CK also addresses the importance of helping young people to build the skills to tolerate distress, delay instant relief or gratification, be comfortable being alone and quiet, and just feeling their feelings: 

You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person… I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard… (When) I’m getting sad,(I) gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’…The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away…


We hope to have a discussion around the topics related to setting appropriate boundaries, why it’s critical to do so, and the challenges often come when parents try. The cartoon clip from the book, “How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish will be a jumping off point for us too.


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