The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Families Is Basis For UNM-LA Parenting Workshop At UNM-LA May 2



The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) will host a free weekend parenting workshop entitled, Raising Children in a Challenging World: a Workshop for Parents, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2 on the UNM-LA Campus.

The keynote speaker is author Jonathan Catherman, a Senior Consultant with Franklin Covey Education. Catherman’s talk is based on Stephen R. Covey’s New York Times bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.

On site enrichment opportunities will be available for children ages K-6 while their parents attend the four breakout sessions. A working lunch will be served during the workshop. Free childcare for children ages 6 months through pre-school will be provided at The Ark Child Development Center.

The workshop is designed to teach parents how to apply what Franklin Covey refers to as an “Inside-Out Approach” to problem solving and goal creation. Parents will learn how to resolve differences in marriage and family relationships by creatively cooperating together and establishing a better work/life balance. Parents will learn to become more effective in raising emotionally healthy and empowered children while learning to discipline and motivate children effectively.

In addition to his keynote address, Catherman will facilitate two of the four breakout sessions. His first session will teach parents how to discover and develop their child’s particular strengths. Catherman says parents often focus on only correcting weaknesses, yet struggle to identify the strengths their children need in order to succeed.

Catherman’s second session will address the common misconception that children are too young to lead. He says, “Children know that being older does not make them better leaders, their choices do. Leaders practice setting goals, managing time, prioritizing commitments, and communicating the worth and potential of others so clearly, that they see it in themselves.”

Michelangelo Lobato, the former Director of the Los Alamos Teen Center and current counselor at Chamisa Elementary in Los Alamos, will lead the third session. Lobato runs the Breaking Bad Habits class, Love and Logic for Elementary Age Children, and the High School Boy’s Circle. He has also run Families in Action and the Restorative Justice Programs. Lobato has worked with at-risk youth, children, and adults for the past 10 years.

Lobato will discuss raising children with “Love and Logic,” which he says will put the fun back into parenting by finding specific answers to common child rearing challenges.

The fourth session will take the form of a Cyber Safety panel discussion, which will address real-life issues including social networks, cyberbullying, texting, online games, chat rooms, and online predators.

The need for this type of parenting support in the local community was evident according to a survey conducted by JJAB. Elizabeth Allen, co-coordinator of JJAB said, “We conducted a survey of Los Alamos and White Rock parents and the results indicated respondents in the area were very interested in learning more about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.” 

Dr. Cindy Rooney Dean of Instruction at UNM-LA says, “We are pleased to be working with JJAB to assist with their commitment to provide parenting education opportunities in Los Alamos. Last fall, UNM-LA offered a series of evening classes targeted toward parents of elementary age children, and this spring we are excited to host an event that brings in an outside speaker.”

Online registration for the workshop is now open at Parents wishing to arrange childcare for children age 6 months through pre-school, should call The Ark Child Development Center at 505.662.4822 by April 27th to reserve space.

Parents with additional questions may contact UNM-LA Community Education at 505.663.3400 or by email at

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