Strengthening Families

CARES strengthens families by raising awareness on current, controversial and challenging issues facing families today. These cutting-edge programs are research-based and vetted by local parents and educators.

Our aim is two-fold; 1) to assist parents and caregivers of preschoolers, through college-age children to identify and resolve common parenting challenges using a variety of large and small group formats, and 2) enhance parental connections with their children, and facilitate productive family interactions.

To request a program topic, click here. For a complete listing of this year’s topics, see below.

© Adrian Dreßler
© Adrian Dreßler
© Adrian Dreßler
© Adrian Dreßler
© Adrian Dreßler
© Adrian Dreßler

“CARES provides speakers that discuss timely and relevant topics

for our New Canaan families. I personally find at least one “take away”

skill or point on parenting in each presentation I attend.”



What to Do With All This Screen Time – via Zoom Video Conference

April 9, 3PM Zoom Video Conference We are all using the internet and social media so much more now.   To help guide parents through these unprecedented circumstances, New Canaan CARES and New Canaan Library are offering a follow-up to the CARES/Saxe PTC February presentation by award-winning author and educator Diana Graber, Raising Humans in a Digital World. Ms. Graber will advise parents on how best to handle the increased screen time in this current climate, guide them on how to set limits when screens are the only way to connect and address parents’ worries about how families will get back to screen time limits once life returns to normal.

Endurance Parenting for Today – via Zoom Video Conference

April 16, 11AM-12PM Zoom Video Conference Cristina Young, LCSW will join us via Zoom videoconference to offer what she calls “Endurance Parenting Tips” for  this unique and uncertain time at home. She will address the importance of good self care since this quarantine will require sustainability out of all of us. Cristina will provide concrete strategies that parents can put into action at the dinner table that night. Learn tips on how to manage conflicts, improve communication, and strengthen relationships within the family. Also, Cristina will advise parents how to narrate to their children what’s happening in the external world to help create an environment of stability and certainty.  Please bring your questions!   Presented by New Canaan CARES.

Elementary: A Modern Approach to Feeding Your Family in 2020 – Postponed New Date TBD

April 29, 9:30AM South School Speaker: Jill Castle, Pediatric DietitianIn this engaging presentation, parents will learn tips on what to feed, how to feed, and ways to bring joy back to feeding your family! Topics will include meal planning, healthy snacks, food balance, good role modeling and languaging around food. Ample time for Q&A.

High School Juniors & Seniors: Know Before You Go

April 29, 7:30PM LiveGirl Speaker: Jessica Feighan An in depth look at the issue of college sexual assault. Teens will learn to identify attitudes, behaviors and customs which lay the ground for sexual violence to flourish. Learn about Affirmative Consent and the policies and laws in place. In partnership With LiveGirl & The Rowan Center

Parents and High School Teens: Mental Health TEDx Speaker – POSTPONED to Fall 2020

May 19, 6:30PM NC Library, Lamb Room Speaker: Emily Torchiana Emily shatters the mental health stigma by sharing her personal story: being victim to cyberbullying, struggling with mental health and surviving a suicide attempt during her adolescent years. Now a young adult, Emily shares a message of hope and awareness.

Teens/Adults: Send Silence Packing – POSTPONED – New Date TBD

May 20, 9AM-4PM NC Library Grounds This powerful interactive display of more than 1,000 backpacks opens minds & raises awareness about suicide and mental health. The goal is to end the stigma and connect visitors to resources for support and action. People leave filled with hope and wanting to learn more! No registration necessary. In Partnership with NC Community Foundation & The New Canaan Coalition

Incoming Freshmen & Parents: Transition to High School – CANCELLED

May 2020, 7PM Date & Location TBD Discussion with NC CARES high school leadership students. More information coming soon!

2020 Program Topics

  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
  • Birth Order & Development
  • Body Image & Eating Disorders
  • Boundaries & Limit Setting
  • Cliques, Exclusion and Other Mean Behaviors
  • Cyber Safety
  • Dating & Intimacy
  • Decision Making & Leadership
  • Developmental Milestones – physical, social, academic
  • Independence & Responsibility
  • Nutrition & Health,
  • Organizing your Family
  • Overindulgence
  • Parallel Parenting – Working as a Team
  • Personal Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Positive Discipline
  • Pressured Child (social, academic, athletic)
  • Puberty & Development
  • Resilience & Self-Confidence
  • Self-Care
  • Sibling Rivalry
  • Social, Emotional and Physical Changes
  • Social Networking/Monitoring Technology
  • Strengthening your Family Bonds (volunteering, traditions, moments)
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Transitioning to Kindergarten, Middle School and High School