Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Coalition for Youth of Lower Merion and Narberth's first parenting newsletter, "Spotlight on Parenting!" The purpose of our Coalition is to support wellness and safety promotion efforts in the Lower Merion and Narberth community. "Spotlight on Parenting" is dedicated to bring you parenting tips, community activities, links to helpful news articles, and a youth perspective from our Youth Advisory Committee. It will be published no more than 4 or 5 times per year.

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We hope this newsletter will support you and your family in staying safe and well.

Have a wonderful new year! 
December 2013/January 2014 

   Presents           "Spotlight on Parenting"
This Holiday Season Remember:  
         Your Presence is a Wonderful Present

We all know this season of joyfulness and giving can accompany feelings of stress and overwhelm.  One gift we may want to especially remember to give our kids that will not likely appear on their wish list and that can get lost in the shuffle is the gift of our presence. 


True listening is a gift that goes both ways.  It is so validating to be really heard, and, in truly listening, we nurture connections with and understanding of children that enrich our own lives as well.


So, what if this season marked a time to renew your commitment to giving your child the gift of your wholehearted presence at least once a day, even for just a few minutes?


Here are some ideas for how to ramp up your wholehearted presence with your kids:


1. Stay motivated and committed

Remind yourself more often why it matters to give the gift of your 100% loving attention to your child.  Reflect on the gift that truly paying attention really is.  Consider how you want your children to learn to listen well to others. 


2. Stay open to opportunities to give your full attention

Envision times that may lend themselves to your being actively present with your kids, so that you will be primed to stay attentive when those opportunities arise (e.g. Dinner? When you are all first home together? Bedtime?).  Again, even a few minutes can go a long way to help build and nourish trust and connections.


3. Stay Attuned to How You Respond

Your child can likely sense when you are not "all there."  Allow yourself to notice too what helps you stay in the moment with your child.  Maintaining eye contact, smiling and other non-verbal gestures can help ensure they will sense your caring presence.


4. Savor

Lastly, remember to savor those precious moments when you are fully dedicated to hearing your child.  Soak in the wonderful humans your children are and celebrate the richness of everyday moments of just being in their presence and hearing what they have to say.  

What is the Youth Advisory Council?  
Founded in 2009, the YAC (Youth Advisory Council) is comprised of 18 high school students from Lower Merion, Harriton, Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Barrack Academy, Haverford School, Friends Central, and Shipley, who come together to improve quality of life for youth in their community. YAC's mission is to establish a relationship between youth and adults to identify problems and develop solutions that benefit all sectors of our community.
Community Events
What I Had Before I Had You
by Sarah Cornwell, LMHS '01
Thurs., December 26th at 7:00 p.m.

 Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr

For further details, Click Here

Graduates and their 

Parents about College

Tuesday, January 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Harriton High School

For further details, Click Here


Odd Kid Out: The Hidden Culture 

of Relational Aggression in 

Boys and Girls

Thursday, January 9th at 7:00 p.m.

Agnes Irwin School

West-Wike Theatre

For further details, Click Here


In The News 
Art Makes You Smart
Museum visits increase test scores, generate social responsibility and increase appreciation of the arts by students.  Read More 


Become a Submarine Parent 
Are you a micro-manager, a sort of "helicopter parent?"  Try being a "submarine parent," one that stays out of sight under the surface letting the kids manage their lives as things come up.  Read More   


Start A Family Gratitude Ritual
Gratitude has been shown to be a positive link to everything from stronger immune systems to better divorces and now evidence has 
shown it could possibly help
 children too.  Read More
Since 1999, the Coalition has been providing programs and resources to build assets in our children, our families, 
and our community, to help reduce stress, alcohol use, drug use, violence, and other risky behavior among youth.

Coalition for Youth 

P.O. Box 23, Narberth, PA 19063

(484) 337-8731