• Parent U 2018
About Bush

Parent University

Saturday, April 28, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Parent University, hosted by The Bush School Families Association, connects families with experts in child/adolescent development. The workshop features acclaimed speakers on a wide range of topics about how to raise healthy, engaged, and purposeful children and provides resources to help nurture and develop our children's strengths.

Keynote Speaker: Dan Siegel

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, which teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities. 

Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences. His four New York Times bestsellers are: Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, and the upcoming The Yes Brain (2018). His other books include: The Developing Mind (2nd Ed.), Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, and The Mindful Therapist. Dr. Siegel also serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which contains over fifty textbooks. His website is www.drdansiegel.com.

Session: "Brainstorm and The Yes Brain: Cultivating Resilience in Adolescents from the Inside Out"
In this presentation we will explore the nature of the changes in the teenage brain and how they set the stage for changes in adolescent mental, physical, and interpersonal well-being. We will explore the increased risk-taking and statistically demonstrated heightened chances of harm during this period of life. But these negative aspects of adolescence are only one side of the coin of this period of life. Seen from an inside view, adolescence is an essential part of our development and our evolution. This "inside out approach" to the second dozen years of life gives us an exciting new perspective on the essence of adolescence: Emotional spark, social engagement, novelty-seeking, and creative explorations are not aspects of an “immature” stage of development but actually can be seen as a necessary set of characteristics that are essential for both the individual’s development and for the health and adaptation of our species. Further, these features of the teenage brain set the stage for changes that not only shape our life as adolescents, but can surprisingly be seen as essential to thriving in adulthood. How we approach adolescence as a period and adolescents as individuals can make all the difference in how these important years are navigated well.   

Closing Keynote Speaker: Laura Kastner

Dr. Kastner, Ph.D. received her doctorate in Psychology from University of Virginia. Currently a clinical professor in both the department of psychology and the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at U.W., Dr. Kastner has also taught in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, and the medical school. The topics of her academic publications include adolescent sexuality, chronic illness, suicide, eating disorders, adolescent development, behavioral pediatrics and medical education.

Dr. Kastner is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and forums on adolescent development and family relationships. She is an author of five books written for parents about child development and parenting. Titles include The Launching Years: Strategies for parenting from senior year to college life, Getting to Calm: Strategies for parenting tweens and teens and Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for raising tweens + teens (ParentMap, 2013). Her most recent book is entitled Getting to Calm, The Early Years: Cool-headed strategies for raising happy, independent and caring 3- to 7-year-olds is her first book written for parents of young children. Dr. Kastner sees children, adolescents, couples and families in her clinical practice. Her website is www.laurakastnerphd.com.

Session: Parenting “Generation Stress”: Competition, Materialism and Anxiety about the Future
Childrearing has been greatly affected by the economic and cultural changes in the U.S. since the 1970s. As the 21st century begins, children have become the central focus of American family life, with hidden costs to their more privileged lives. Even children in less advantaged homes receive more allowance and “perks” than ever before. Parents are invested in giving their children advantages and enhanced opportunities, and yet, lavishing money and material goods on children can disrupt children’s healthy development. Parents’ best intentions can lead to an erosion of a work ethic, the “entitled” child syndrome and a skewing of priorities. This presentation will address these issues and the following questions:
  • Given the enormous focus on academic achievement and the development of special talents (e.g. athletics, music, etc.), how is there time to focus on such issues as religion, character, or chores?
  • What are the hidden costs of giving your child too much of what they want?
  • What are the signs that children are suffering from over-indulgence or over-scheduling?
  • What are the most important parenting goals for raising healthy, competent children ready for college launching?


8:30 to 9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast (optional) and Registration in the Mag Gym

9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Address by Daniel Siegel

10:10 to 11:00 a.m.

Breakout Session One

11:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Session Two

12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Catered Lunch

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote Address by Laura Kastner 

Register Now!

click here to Register on the full event page

Breakout Session #1

List of 4 news stories.

  • Beyond Princesses and the Superheroes: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes and Supporting Gender Expansive Kids with Jamie Katz

    Join Jamie for a discussion about how we can help kids to express themselves authentically and confidently by understanding and expanding gender role expectations. Appropriate for parents with children in grades K-12.
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  • Life at Bush in the Middle/Upper School with Polly Fredlund

    Join Director of Enrollment Management and Communications Polly Fredlund and a panel of Bush Upper School students for a conversation about student life at The Bush School. Designed for parents with children in Lower or Middle School.
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  • The Three Big Bads with Jo Langford

    A primer on three aspects of digital, adolescent life that most all young people have to navigate on a regular basis: Sexting, Cyberbullying, and Porn. Designed for parents with children in grades 4-12.
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  • The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child with Dan Siegel

    When facing challenges, unpleasant tasks, and contentious issues such as homework, screen time, food choices, and bedtime, children often act out or shut down, responding with reactivity instead of receptivity. This is what New York Times bestselling authors Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson call a No Brain response. But our kids can be taught to approach life with openness and curiosity. Parents can foster their children’s ability to say yes to the world and welcome all that life has to offer, even during difficult times. This is what it means to cultivate a Yes Brain. Designed for parents with children in grades K-5.
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Breakout Session #2

List of 4 news stories.

  • Building Resilient Foundations for Coping with Peer Conflict and Drama with Karin Frey

    In early adolescence, young people's sense of self is more strongly tied to peer relationships than at any other time in their lives.  While the increasing importance of peer relations is typical, that shift can increase vulnerability as shifting peer alliances take an emotional toll. This session will first describe developmental trends, suggesting ways that parents can foster a resilient self-esteem and avoid counterproductive measures.  It will show how adolescents try to help each other in challenging social situations. Interviews with nearly 300 middle and high school students will illustrate what types of efforts are successful, and lead to a positive self-concept. Ways that adults can support that growth are discussed. Designed for parents with children in grades 3-12.
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  • STEM for All: Changing STEM stereotypes in Early Childhood with Anna Waismeyer

    Stereotypes about who exactly can do science and math are everywhere. Children show math-gender stereotypes, such as "Girls don't do math", before gender differences in math achievement even begin to appear. Children of all genders are affected by these cultural stereotypes, but directly addressing and talking about these stereotypes head on can really make a difference. Early childhood practices aimed at enhancing children's self-concepts for math can be beneficial as early as elementary school, when children are already beginning to develop ideas about who does math. It is important to help children build fluency in STEM, but it is just as important to help them discover that they enjoy STEM. If children enjoy STEM activities from an early age, this can spark life-long interest. Designed for parents with children in grades PK-5.
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  • Why Isn’t Your Kid Getting Enough Sleep? And What to Do About It with Maida Chen

    Sleep is a fundamental cornerstone to health, development and learning – for both students and their grown-ups!  Dr. Chen will discuss some of the more common sleep challenges that children and teens face, and strategies to help optimize sleep health for the entire family.  
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  • Your Teen’s Emotions—Recognizing When They Need More Support with a panel of experts

    Every parent struggles with understanding their teen’s emotions and then knowing how to best provide support. This panel features experts who help parents better understand when their teen’s emotions are more than “just a phase”. The panelists will also discuss how to talk with teens to best help them, and how to get a teen to move toward professional support if needed. This panel will be appropriate for parents of middle school and upper school students, and feature psychologists and representatives from Forefront Suicide Prevention.
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Photos from the 2017 Parent University

Location and Other Details

3400 East Harrison Street
Seattle, Washington 98112
Phone: (206) 326-7736
Fax: (206) 860-3876

Main Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for a Bush parking map