Parent Education Series

Sage Ridge School is a community that seeks to support families as a whole through our Parents Association, community social events, and our Parent Education Series.

Past Events:

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

In How to Raise and Adult, Lythcott-Haims draws on research; on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers; and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children and their stressed-out parents and our society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overparenting, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.

The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud, Ph.D., and Ned Johnson.


A few years ago, [the book’s authors] started noticing that even high-performing kids were coming to them acutely stressed and lacking motivation.  Some stumbled in school; others hit college and unraveled.  What [the authors] discovered was that the best antidote to stress was to give kids more control over their own lives.  As parents, we can only drive our kids so far.  At some point, they will have to take the wheel.  But there is a lot you can do before then to help them tackle the road ahead with resilience and imagination.  Drawn from thousands of case studies and the latest discoveries in brain science and behavioral therapy, The Self-Driven Child will show you how to actively set your child on the real road to success.

Partnered with Challenge Success to discuss A Healthier Approach to College Admissions.

The college admissions process can be a source of stress and anxiety for students and parents alike. This research-based workshop addresses many of the important questions we hear from families. What do college rankings really measure? Are students who attend more selective colleges better off later in life? What is “fit” and why does it matter? Participants will learn practical strategies to help reduce unnecessary pressure around the college admissions process and ways to support their student’s overall well-being and readiness for life in college and beyond.

During the question and answer session, the Challenge Success presenters will be joined by Rob Lamb, our Director or College Counseling. 

This workshop is intended for all Sage Ridge families. Parents in the lower, middle, and upper school are encouraged to attend. The program is also ideal for students in the middle and upper school.

Best Friends, Worst Enemies by Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and Catherine O'Neill Grace with Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.

Book Cover: Best Friends Worst Enemies

From the publisher:

Best Friends, Worst Enemies brings to life the drama of childhood relationships, guiding parents to a deeper understanding of the motives and meanings of social behavior. Here you will find penetrating discussions of the difference between friendship and popularity, how boys and girls deal in unique ways with intimacy and commitment, whether all kids need a best friend, why cliques form and what you can do about them.

Filled with anecdotes that ring amazingly true to life, Best Friends, Worst Enemies probes the magic and the heartbreak that all children experience with their friends. Parents, teachers, counselors–indeed anyone who cares about children–will find this an eye-opening and wonderfully affirming book.

The Optimistic Child by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

cover of The Optimistic Child


The epidemic of depression in America strikes 30% of all children. Now Martin E. P. Seligman, the best-selling author of Learned Optimism, and his colleagues offer parents and educators a program clinically proven to cut that risk in half. With this startling new research, parents can teach children to apply optimism skills that can curb depression, boost school performance, and improve physical health.

Range by David Epstein

Range explores the impact of specialist versus generalist across parenting, business, sports and education.

Range Book Cover

RANGE: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
By David Epstein

"Are you a generalist or a specialist? Do you strive for breadth or depth in your career, in your life? After all, you can’t have both. Your time on earth is finite, as are your energy and attention. If you concentrate on doing one thing, you might have a chance of doing it really well. If you seek to do many things, you’ll taste a wider variety of human goods, but you may end up a well-rounded mediocrity — a dilettante.

Folk wisdom holds the trade-off between breadth and depth to be a cruel one: “jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” and so forth. And a lot of thinking in current pop-psychology agrees. To attain genuine excellence in any area — sports, music, science, whatever — you have to specialize, and specialize early: That’s the message. If you don’t, others will have a head start on you in the 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” supposedly necessary for breakout achievement.

But this message is perversely wrong — so David Epstein seeks to persuade us in “Range.” Becoming a champion, a virtuoso or a Nobel laureate does not require early and narrow specialization. Quite the contrary in many cases. Breadth is the ally of depth, not its enemy. In the most rewarding domains of life, generalists are better positioned than specialists to excel."
(Jim Holt - NYT May 28, 2019)


Under Pressure by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.


Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls
By Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An urgently needed guide to the alarming increase in anxiety and stress experienced by girls from elementary school through college, from the author of Untangled

Though anxiety has risen among young people overall, studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls. Research finds that the number of girls who said that they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped 55 percent from 2009 to 2014, while the comparable number for adolescent boys has remained unchanged. As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with girls, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., has witnessed this rising tide of stress and anxiety in her own research, in private practice, and in the all-girls’ school where she consults. She knew this had to be the topic of her new book.

In the engaging, anecdotal style and reassuring tone that won over thousands of readers of her first book, Untangled, Damour starts by addressing the facts about psychological pressure. She explains the surprising and underappreciated value of stress and anxiety: that stress can helpfully stretch us beyond our comfort zones, and anxiety can play a key role in keeping girls safe. When we emphasize the benefits of stress and anxiety, we can help our daughters take them in stride.

But no parents want their daughter to suffer from emotional overload, so Damour then turns to the many facets of girls’ lives where tension takes hold: their interactions at home, pressures at school, social anxiety among other girls and among boys, and their lives online. As readers move through the layers of girls’ lives, they’ll learn about the critical steps that adults can take to shield their daughters from the toxic pressures to which our culture—including we, as parents—subjects girls.


The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen, MD with Amy Ellis Nutt


The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults
By Frances E. Jensen, MD with Amy Ellis Nutt

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "It’s charming to see good science translate directly into good parenting.” -- New York Times Book Review

Dr. Frances E. Jensen is chair of the department of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a mother, teacher, researcher, clinician, and frequent lecturer to parents and teens, she is in a unique position to explain to readers the workings of the teen brain. In The Teenage Brain, Dr. Jensen brings to readers the astonishing findings that previously remained buried in academic journals.

The root myth scientists believed for years was that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one, only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development. 

Dr. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain function, wiring, and capacity and explains the science in the contexts of everyday learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making.  In this groundbreaking yet accessible book, these findings also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent development.