On Her Laptop


Drinking, Smoking, Vaping: Trends in Teen Use and What Parents Can Do

What exactly is "normal" when it comes to adolescent "experimentation" with alcohol, vaping and other risky behaviors? Parents may not be aware that affluence is a risk factor for teens' exposure to and use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and liquid nicotine (vaping) and that many high achieving teens are secretly engaged in these behaviors. In this workshop, Elizabeth Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC, Director of Insight Counseling, will help parents understand the current trends in teen behaviors as well as the possible unique risk factors for these behaviors that parents can minimize or eliminate.

It Happens Here: What to Know and How to Help Children Experiencing Domestic Violence

In this webinar, participants will learn:

* the risks of children's exposure to domestic violence and how caring adults can support resiliency;

*how to identify children who are are experiencing violence at home;

* how to help and where to find resources.

The College Process: How to Cope with Uncertainty and Support Your Teen

Susan Bauerfeld, Ph.D.


Uncertainty is but one of the many challenges that naturally accompany the college process. Yet the pressure associated with attempts to reduce and/or eliminate uncertainty often account for an inordinate amount of the stress. Add an ongoing pandemic, with its own high levels of uncertainty, and you’ve got a stressful challenge on steroids! But stress doesn’t have to run and/or define the show. This talk will show you how to shift away from trying to eliminate the uncertainty and toward coping with it.

RULER: Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, & Regulating Emotions

In this webinar Wilton Public Schools staff will educate parents about RULER, a program of evidence-based tools and social-emotional learning practices from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Teachers across the district have been trained in these practices and RULER tools are already being used with students in grades K-5 to help students recognize and regulate emotions. Implementation at the secondary level is in progress.  

Coming Together: Responding to Unfinished Learning and Supporting Social-Emotional Health in the 2021-2022 School Year

Charles Smith Ed.D., Wilton Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, leads a panel discussion addressing the district's response to unfinished learning and plans for implementing a prioritized curriculum in the upcoming school year. In addition to WPS staff members, Tracey Masella L.C.S.W., joins the panel to offer guidance on how families can support students and foster social-emotional well-being as kids make the transition back to full-time school. 



  • Charles Smith, Ed.D. - WPS Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction

  • Andrea Leonardi - WPS Assistant Superintendent, Special Services

  • Trudy Denton - WPS Curriculum Coordinator - Math/Science 

  • Karen Brenneke - WPS Curriculum Coordinator - Humanities

  • Kim Zemo, L.C.S.W - WPS, Safe School Climate Coordinator

  • Tracey Masella, L.C.S.W - Private Practice, Silver Hill Hospital

Returning to Class and Campus: Strategies to Ease Anxiety and Improve Mental Health Following the Pandemic

Jane Thierfeld Brown, EdD

We’re all struggling to figure out our re-entry into society after the traumas of quarantine and distance learning. For students returning to schools and campuses, reports confirm that 40-60% have mental health issues. How can we slow the dive into normalcy and let our kids, especially those with special needs, know it’s okay to wade in slowly?

The Transition Back: Navigating the Return to Normal

Andrew J. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D.

A webinar about youth mental health and wellness for parents, caregivers and other interested adults.

Chasing Childhood Virtual Screening and Q&A

Chasing Childhood is a feature documentary that explores the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary childhood and parenting. The film takes us to three communities that are trying to shift culture to create room for play and independence with the hope of raising kids to become competent, healthy, and happy adults.

Q&A panelists:

  • Eden Wurmfeld, Director and Producer of Chasing Childhood

  • Lenore Skenazy, President and Founder of Let Grow

  • Dr. Michael Hynes, Superintendent of Schools, Port Washington, NY

  • Genevieve Eason, Executive Director of Wilton Youth Council

  • Savannah Eason, Wilton High School ‘13


The Q&A will be moderated by Vicki Abeles, the director and producer of Race to Nowhere and Beyond Measure.

Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD

Eli R. Lebowitz, PhD


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems in children and adolescents.  Parenting an anxious child means facing constant challenges and questions: When should parents help children avoid anxiety-provoking situations, and when should they encourage them to face their fears?  How can parents foster independence while still supporting their children? How can parents reduce the hold their child’s anxiety has taken over the entire family?

Learn more about SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions):

The Sex Talk: Beyond the Birds and Bees

Jessica Feighan


Guess what, Mom and Dad... social norms about sex have changed since we were kids!  Young adults are telling us they’ve felt unprepared for the current world of dating and "hooking up" when they arrived at college or started their lives post high school.  We may have done a good job explaining the birds, bees and biology, but there are some important topics we forgot to discuss.


In this presentation, Jessica Feighan, the Director of Education, Outreach and Operations of The Rowan Center, will help us explore current issues that young people tell us are challenging for them.  We'll learn clever, low-stress ways to teach consent and mutual respect in relation to sex; discuss “hook-up” culture; and learn about the impact of pornography on teen sexuality.  If we start these conversations with our kids early, they will have the tools to make healthy sexual choices by the time they’re ready to leave home.

Visit the Sexuality tab on our Resource page for additional articles and videos

Healthy Connections: An Inside Scoop on Adolescents and Addiction

Anthony Nave, LCSW


New experiences and relationships are essential for helping our tweens, teens and young adults develop appropriately and reach their full potential. As parents, we may be concerned that our kids are changing too quickly – or that their panoply of experiences will be harmful, especially when they involve alcohol and drugs. In today’s presentation and conversation, Anthony Nave, LCSW, will explain: how our adolescents’ social, emotional and brain development can increase their risk for substance abuse/use disorders; what signs of struggle to look out for; how to start a conversation about drugs and alcohol; and what resources are available, if further help is needed. Anthony will also discuss misconceptions surrounding addiction and the contemporary “medical model” of addiction.

Encouraging Your Teenagers to Find Their Own Paths: A Road Map for Choosing a College, a Career, or Something Different

Rick Fiery, MS, MBA


The leap from high school to college is overwhelming. Newfound independence— combined with little or no parental control— leaves many students, especially those with learning, attention, and mental health challenges, feeling anxious and ultimately underperforming at college. As parents, you can help relieve everyone’s anxiety by recognizing that college isn’t the only option after high school. Career success may very well follow a different path.

Mindful Parents, Mindful Families: Effective Parenting in Trying Times

Tracey Masella, LCSW


Parenting through the pandemic and turbulent current events is difficult, confusing, and stressful. Learn how to create a family environment that fosters mental, physical and emotional health.

Tracey Masella, LCSW, will provide useful information and offer tools to help you build a family frame, set reasonable and attainable expectations and goals for your children, manage anxiety (both yours and your children’s), develop healthy self-care practices and find a supportive group of fellow parents in your community.

Coping with Uncertainty and Loss: What We Can Do to Help Our Kids and Ourselves

Mary Murphy, PhD


The Wilton High School community experienced the sudden loss of both a student and a staff member this week. Our hearts and prayers are with their families and loved ones during this very difficult time.

Mary Murphy, PhD will address these sudden losses and how we can help our children manage their grief when she returns tomorrow, September 25, at 10:00 a.m. for Part II of our webinar series. Dr. Murphy will also continue to address issues around the many challenges that families have faced with the return to school.

Coping with Uncertainty as School Begins: What We Can Do to Help Our Kids and Ourselves

Mary Murphy, PhD


Parents and students are managing unprecedented challenges this year, and there is much we still do not know about how the year will unfold. Mary Murphy, Ph.D., will help us create a toolbox of coping skills for ourselves, as well as child-specific recommendations: predictable routines and rituals for self-care; ways to focus on what we can control; how to be flexible and revise plans in the face of new information and changing school situations; and methods to balance daily tasks to reduce stress.

See this relevant article: This is our season of coaching our children through disappointment

Fathers' Forum:
Fathering in a Pandemic

John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC and

Brian McManus, CARC, CRPA


Join Liberation Programs President and CEO John Hamilton and Mountainside Treatment Center Recovery Coach Brian McManus for a webinar  just for dads.  John and Brian will offer helpful advice for connecting with our kids during this extraordinary time.

Why This Summer Might Be Your Kid’s Most Memorable: Opportunities Like Never Before

Lenore Skenazy


Quick -- can you do a quadratic equation? Ahem. You don't have to answer that. But DO answer this: Can you ride a bike? Bake a cake? Make a friend? This summer your kids may forget some of their academics. But what they learn they'll remember forever. Join Let Grow's Lenore Skenazy to talk about what kids gain when they lose the summer they expected and gain some amazing independence.

Visit Let Grow’s website for more information and to find helpful resources like the free Summer Printable Kit and the I'm Bored Kit. 

Screen Time in the Age of Coronavirus

Alicia Farrell, Ph.D.

In this webinar with Dr. Alicia Farrell we learn about the effects of screen time on our kids' cognitive, social and emotional development and how to navigate these issues during COVID. This talk is informative for parents with kids of all ages, teachers, administrators, counselors, clinicians and community leaders.

A handout on technology and brain development from Dr. Farrell is available for download on this page, however we recommend viewing the webinar first in order to put this information in context.  Dr. Farrell has also provided her handout titled “Messages to Counterbalance Perfectionism,” which is relevant to the challenges of this time.

Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for more screen time recommendations.