BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Dr. Deborah Gilboa, leading parenting expert, author, and frequent Today Show guest, recently inspired a sold-out crowd at the St. Chrysostom’s Day School’s third annual Courtney Kyte Plandowski luncheon and lecture series about the Three R’s of Parenting. And they are not the old “reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic” but the far more important “responsibility, respect, and resilience,” which bridge the gap between what children and teens are capable of and what parents expect of them.
Speaking first to 40 educators the night before the luncheon, Dr. Gilboa told the audience how she puts the three Rs into practice with her own four sons. By the time each is seven, they can do a full load of laundry and recently her youngest was asked to teach a group of college students how to do so as well!
Founding Headmistress Emeritus Mary Ellen Christy, a nationally recognized leader in early childhood education, told us about the legacy of Courtney Kyte Plandowski, the luncheon’s namesake:
“Courtney was the epitome of courage and grace. Married to her husband, Mark, in 2009, she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer just weeks after her son Harvey was born.
“As a parent at the day school, even with unfathomable circumstances, her concern was not for herself but for others, particularly her young son. She continued to be regarded not as a cancer patient but as Harvey’s caring, skilled, and exceptionally involved mom until her death.
“Dr. Gilboa, a mother of four boys, gave the audience a practical plan on how to use the three Rs to get the type of behavior you want from your children. We felt that it was definitely in the spirit of why Courtney’s family and friends created this series. We are so proud to honor Courtney’s strong legacy.”
Luncheon guests represented current Day School parents, grandparents, parents of teenagers, alumni, and many members of Courtney’s family and her friends.
Mary Ellen remarked recently:
“Parents are our unsung heroes in our culture. At the Day School, we are partners with parents and work constantly on building a stronger bond with them. Dr. Gilboa encouraged parents to allow their children to take risks, make mistakes, and then claim responsibility. It builds true self-esteem and competency.
“We have learned that parents who practice respect and kindness with children, speaking to them in a way that they themselves would like to be spoken to, will find that better academic performance is actually a result.”