The Biggest Job Parenting Workshops Cross the Country

The Biggest Job Parenting Workshop in Austin, TX
The Biggest Job Parenting Workshop in Austin, TX

The Biggest Job® Parenting Workshops continue to see action across the nation.

Early in February, Executive Director of Hyde Boarding Schools Laura Gauld traveled to Dallas, where she presented workshops at Shelton School and the University Park School District Schools. The workshops were the result of the efforts of Hyde parent Susan Thompson (Melissa ’03, Margaret ’07, and Cullum, Jr. ’12). One participant told Laura at the end of the workshop, “You’re the best speaker we’ve ever had!”

“You’re the best speaker we’ve ever had!”

The Biggest Job® team also visited Northern California to participate in a day-long conference sponsored by the San Ramon Valley Council of Parent-Teacher Associations called Parenting 2012 and Beyond. Hyde-Bath parent Kate Preece (Evan ’12, Mady ’13) was instrumental in helping The Biggest Job® secure an invitation to this conference. Kate also helped make and set up a display table for the event.

The keynote speaker for the day at this conference was Christine Carter, Ph.D., who wrote Raising Happiness. Christine’s philosophy of parenting is closely aligned with Hyde’s 10 Priorities: Focus on attitude and achievement will follow; inspire your children by living a life they will want to emulate.

Director of The Biggest Job Pam Hardy presented a morning and an afternoon session. One participant wrote in the evaluation: “It was good to have the lessons and concepts from the keynote this morning put into practical language.”

In March and April, Laura Gauld visited Darien, Connecticut, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and Columbus, Ohio.

“Even in this tiny Maine town, there is immense pressure to act like everything is going great. It makes it very difficult for our children and ourselves to ask for help.”

The Boothbay workshop, set up by Win Mitchell (Riley, 12; Cody, ’13) was very positive. An exercise identifying the pressures parents feel in the achievement culture brought this comment from a participant: “Even in this tiny Maine town, there is immense pressure to act like everything is going great. It makes it very difficult for our children and ourselves to ask for help.”

The workshops in Darien and Columbus brought audiences of over 100 people each. Throughout the different settings, the parents responded to the Biggest Job® message with overwhelming similarities:

  • We are all trying to raise our children to fulfill their potential in a culture that often seems to reward the opposite values
  • We are more connected when we have the humility to share our struggles
  • Far too often, we focus on getting our children to change rather than start with changing ourselves as parents.

Pam Hardy says, “What has been most inspiring in all these workshops for both Laura and me is the honesty and humor of parents who view their parenting as their highest priority.” In a recent email from the Ohio workshop, a parent expressed gratitude by saying, “Thank you for coming to our community. I came away with much to think about and I felt supported in what my husband and I are trying to do with our family.”

For more information about bringing a Biggest Job® Workshop to an area near you, please contact Pam Hardy at phardy@hyde.edu or 207-504-6792.