Family Matters

Family Matters focuses on positive youth development and includes a collection of articles and resources to enhance your understanding of the whole child. Each issue highlights local and national conversations and events related to parenting and the social-emotional growth of children.


On September 3rd, Katie and Nancy presented to parents via Zoom about ways to support our students' return to school. If you were unable to attend, click here to watch the recording.

Upcoming Events

LFCDS is proud to co-sponsor this event with Family Action Network:

Nancy Koehn, Ph.D., will present on Thursday, September 17 at 7pm, “Riding the Crisis Roller Coaster: Positioning Yourself Emotionally Amidst Volatility.”

“For this webinar, Prof. Koehn will talk about the emotional challenges and possibilities of the crisis, the critical importance of tending to our emotions as well as our physical health during this moment, and a series of easily accessible tools and behaviors we can each use to be more resilient, connected, empathic, empowered, disciplined, and sure-footed.” This event is free, but requires pre-registration. Click here to register.

Back to School BUtterflies

Whether you’ve opted for virtual attendance, or your children have returned to in person learning, there are sure to be back to school jitters for both parents and students this fall. Dr. Lisa Damour, who visited LFCDS last winter, was on CBS last week talking about how to address these butterflies.

Hopes for '20-21

In the parent coffee on 9/3, we talked about their hopes for LFCDS to grow like an aspen grove this year: while each tree is independent, and has its own characteristics, the roots are all connected. Research shows that in times of extreme stress, social connectedness protects us. If you need assistance in finding ways to connect this year, please reach out to Katie or Nancy.

letters from the community

In each issue, Nancy Watson and Katie McCarthy will answer an anonymous question submitted by a Family Matters reader. If you would like to submit a question, or a topic for a future parent coffee, please email Katie McCarthy at

Dear Nancy and Katie:

My child seems to be handling the return to school pretty well. However, I am having a challenging time coping with the uncertainty. How long will school be in person? When will we be able to return to school as we remember it? When will my children be able to play with their friends or go to school without me having to worry? What suggestions do you have for me to cope with all the uncertainty?

Thank you so much for asking this question. We all can deal with uncertainty in small doses. And yet, here we are, going on month 7 of some pretty major disruptions in our daily lives. For starters, you are parenting in the time of a pandemic. You are already so well-versed in coping with uncertainty and you are modeling for your children the importance of flexibility.

We felt the suggestions in this article are great reminders for all of us. In addition, we recommend regularly reevaluating your self-care plan. What worked for self-care in March and April might not be the most effective plan for September and October. Experts remind us that meeting our physiological needs of sleep, diet/nutrition and activity level set us up for being our best selves as parents. If you’re finding it difficult to control the worry, or feel it’s impacting your mood, start by evaluating these three needs.

Lastly, we may put pressure on ourselves to appear all-knowing to our children. While it is true that we don’t want to put undue stress on our children, we also feel it is important to model for our children that we, too, have never confronted questions like the ones the pandemic has raised for us, and that it is okay to not have all the answers. It may be useful to talk as a family about:

  1. What we have total control over

  2. What we have some control over

  3. What we have no control over

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