A FREE virtual Cafe to help our parenting community come together (while keeping their distance) to process and implement the shift in our daily lives during the pandemic.Topics vary.

What people are saying:


"Thanks so much for the conversation, the tips, the listening etc. It's great to feel this support virtually." 

"Thank you for the rays of hope."

"So grateful, I was able to receive so much from this kindness."


"Thank you. It is helpful to connect."

"Thank you all for these offerings, and honesty and openness"

Tell Us What You Think! We're seeking input on how we can best serve parents during the upcoming school year. Completing the survey takes less than 10 minutes and grants you entry into a DRAWING (optional) for a chance to win one of two $25 gift cards to either Calico Cat Toy Shoppe or Eagle Harbor Book Co. Thank you!

CONNECTIONS CAFE is funded in part by:

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Lorenz & Saez Logo. Realogics Sotheby's.
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Past Topics and Speakers

To view past sessions, visit our VIDEO LIBRARY page.

  • Birds+Bees+Kids (5/19/21 Session)

Guest Speaker and Sex Education Expert, Amy Lang, offered simple and effective tips and tools for starting (and/or revisiting) the sex talk. She reviewed when to start the conversation, how to make it fun and easy, and how to keep your kids safe online.

  • Mythbusting and De-stressing the College Process (4/20/21 Session)

Guest Speaker, Tara Powers-Hausmann from College Fit Consulting, addressed parents of

8th through 11th graders with tips to help reduce the stress of preparing for and navigating

the path to college. 

Tara Powers-Hausmann: College Fit Consulting Slides

College Pathways Resource Sheet

  • Sexual Assault Awareness (3/11/21 Session)

Guest Speakers, Helen Burke from Bainbridge Youth Services; BHS Student Advocate, Zoe Pellegrino; and Beverly D. Van Santford from Kitsap Sexual Assault Center shared practical tips on how to normalize the conversation; define & identify abuse, assault and harassment; support survivors; and talk to boys and girls about consent.

The session included a role play to help prepare parents for healthy conversations with their kids. You can access the script from the role play and the presentation slides here:

Zoe Pellegrino's slides   Bainbridge Youth Services slides    Kitsap Sexual Assault Center Slides

Role Play Script    Sex Education Resources

  • Parenting Through Change (2/9/21 Session)

Guest speaker and Raising Resilience board member, Wandee Pryor, PsyD from Front Street Clinic presented an overview of  how reintegration (or re-entry) anxiety may present in youth who are returning to in-person classrooms to help us identify and manage the impact. The session included a regulation exercise led by Dr. Pryor and a EFT Tapping exercise led by Raising Resilience board member, Stephanie Dalton, CHC, CNC, AADP.

EFT Tapping Chart

Reintegration Anxiety Signs and Interventions for Young Children and Teens

  • Screen Time (12/15/20 Session)

SCREENAGERS filmmaker and physician, Delaney Ruston, MD, shared tips from her new book, PARENTING IN THE SCREEN AGE: A Guide for Calm Conversations. Occupational Therapist,

Lucia P. Lara, OTR/L, showed us how to recognize the signs of visual stress and mitigate the damage and Mariann Tonder, OD addressed the impact on our eyesight and the effectiveness of blue light lenses. This session was made possible in part by Carden Country SchoolBainbridge Vision, and Island School

The Eyes and Screen Time, Mariann Tonder, OD

Signs of Visual Stress Slides, Lucia P. Lara, OTR/L

  • Parent Self-Care (11/17/20 Session)

Guest speaker, Susan James, BCC, MSSW, LICSW from the Bainbridge Prepares wellness team led us through a nurturing session designed to help parents decompress and enter the holiday season with mindfulness. This session was sponsored by Montessori Country School

Circle of Life Assessment

Self Care Plan

Self Care List

Self Care Quotes

  • Family Substance Abuse Prevention (10/27/20 Session)

Guest speakers, Shawnee Hathaway-Ochs (BHS Student Assistance Professional); Aubrey Lough, CDP, LMFTA (Creating Growth Counseling); and Sgt. Trevor Ziemba (BIPD) answered questions about the current risks during the pandemic, when and how to talk to your kids, and where to go for help if you need it.

Tips and Current Resources

  • Family Mental Wellness Checkup (9/23/20 Session)

Guest speakers, Carol Pendleton, MA, LMFT, LMHC, CMS of Here to There Therapy; Crisina Carnie, BA, CD (DONAL), in practicum at Helpline House; and Island Fitness owners, Alexa and Michael Rosenthal give an overview of how to find help when you need it and how to promote and practice mental well-being with your family. This session includes a breathwork meditation and suggestions for how to help children find calm and stay grounded in the present moment. 

Carol Pendleton / Alexa and Michael Rosenthal Slides

Cristina Carnie Slides

  • Back to School / Remote Style (8/25/20 Session)

Guest Speakers, Michelle Kay Anderson (Enneagram Coach, Homeschool Parent and Online Educator), Brandi Bispham (Woodward Teacher), Susan Constan (Wilkes Counselor), and Lydia Harrison (Island Educational Services Director) offer tips on how to set your family up for a positive and productive school year. We'll discuss Academic Motivation, Social Engagement, Screen Time, Work Space, and Conflict Resolution.

Raising Resilience Slides 

Susan Constan's Slides 

Michelle Kay Anderson Slides

  • Behavorial Strategies for Toddler through Teens (3/31/20 Session)

Guest speaker, Shealeen Kennedy, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA, talks about routine vs. flexibility as options for engaging your child academically.

Link to Slides

  • Boosting Your Immune System & Your Mood (4/7/20 Session)

Guest speaker, Stephanie Dalton (Holistic Nutritionist & Health Coach), talks about how to BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND YOUR MOOD during a pandemic.

Link to Slides

  • Parenting with Compassion (4/21/20 session)


Guest speaker, Betsy Lydle Smith, is a lifelong educator and founder of Virtues Training (and ArtStar) and a Master Facilitator for The Virtues Project. Betsy gives us tips on PRACTICING COMPASSION with yourself and your children as you navigate this challenging time together. 

Link to Slides

Virtues Handout

Companioning Yourself Handout

Visit and share The Gifts of Character

  • Mindful Parenting Through Crisis (5/5/20 session)


Guest speaker, Jendi Watson, is a certified Hakomi therapist. Jendi leads participants through a meditation and gives tips on how to PRACTICE MINDFUL PARENTING by accessing your parenting superpower (your wise self) in order to reduce stress. 

Link to Speaker Slides

"HUG" IT OUT: Mindfulness During CV-19 

  • Validating Your Child's Need for Independence (5/19/20 session)

Guest speakers, Courtney Oliver, LMHC and Helen Burke from Bainbridge Youth Services, give a counselor’s view on FOSTERING INDEPENDENCE and supporting your child’s emotional needs during COVID-19.  

Link to Slides


Link to Dan Siegel's Video: BRAINSTORM: Adolescence as a Time of Adaptability, Not Immaturity

  • Positive Parenting Solutions (6/9/20 Session)

Guest speaker, Peggy Koivu (Certified Positive Parenting Facilitator and co-founder of the Odyssey Multiage Program), talks about how to find more joy in parenting by reducing power struggles with POSITIVE PARENTING STRATEGIES.

Link to Slides

  • The Parental Role in Your Child's Athletic Experience (6/23/20 Session)


Guest speaker, Ian McCallum - BIFC's Director of Coaching -  discusses how to SUPPORT YOUR YOUNG ATHLETE. He gives tips on how to encourage our children, hold them accountable, and foster their independence - as they navigate team sports. 

Link to Slides

  • Let's Talk About Racism (6/30/20 Session)

Guest speakers Karen Vargas & Chasity Malatesta from BISD's Multicultural Advisory Council (MAC) and Spencer Bispham & Sarah Bukair from BISD's Youth Social Justice League TALK ABOUT RACISM in a local and broader context including how social media is shaping the narrative for our youth and how parents can overcome the fear of saying the wrong thing.

Link to Slides

Conversations on Racism - Resource Page

WHAT WE'RE OFFERING YOU We've lined up guest speakers to moderate discussions on a variety of topics from boosting your immune system to behavioral tips to how to keep your kids engaged and off screens beyond learning time now that their extracurricular activities are shut down.


WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW FROM YOU What's pressing on your mind related to parenting during this pandemic? We want to know how Raising Resilience can best serve our parenting community as we share this wild journey together.


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CONNECTIONS CAFE's final session of the 2020/2021 school year was on May 19th (Birds+Bees+Kids).

We will return in late August/early September with new programs ahead of the 2021/2022 school year. In the meantime, you can view past CONNECTIONS CAFE sessions through our Video Library and read supplemental posts from local educators, therapists, and mentors on the Parent Corner Blog. We'll see you soon! - Your Raising Resilience Team