Nationally renowned parenting guru headlines 3rd annual Parent Connection Summit in Steamboat |

Nationally renowned parenting guru headlines 3rd annual Parent Connection Summit in Steamboat

Parenting expert and clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Markham will be the keynote speaker at the 3rd annual Parent Connection Summit.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Parenting isn’t easy, acknowledges school-based therapist Beth Wendler.

“And all any parent wants to know is that they are not alone,” Wendler said.

Now in its third year, the Parent Connection Summit was seeing a lot of support in Routt County for kids, Wendler said, but not enough for parents. A registered psychotherapist, Wendler teaches parenting classes and has been working with families in the Yampa Valley for 16 years.

The daylong event, hosted by Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs on Friday, Nov. 15, brings together a team of experts from the community to host a selection of breakout sessions and provide information on available resources.

Topics include building strong relationships within families and helping kids and adolescents develop positive relationships with others.

There are sessions on vaping, co-parenting and “Exploring what consent looks like throughout childhood.”

This year, the summit welcomes a star in the world of parental wisdom with keynote speaker Dr. Laura Markham.

If you go

What: Parent Connection Summit
When: 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15
Where: Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, 1275 Crawford Ave.
Registration is required. RSVP by Nov. 11 at

Markham is widely known for her website, Aha!, as well as being the best-selling author of several books, including “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.”

A book club for the title was recently held at Bud Werner Memorial Library, with another planned for Dec. 4.

Markham has been featured on numerous television and radio programs and has been interviewed for thousands of articles in the nation’s top publications and parenting websites.

A mom and clinical psychologist, Markham calls her relationship-based parenting model, “Peaceful Parenting.” The program has helped thousands of families across the U.S. and Canada find “compassionate, common-sense solutions to everything from separation anxiety and sleep problems to sass talk and cell phones,” according to her website.

It will be Steamboat resident Kristin Tormey’s third year attending the summit. The mother of two, Tormey consults Markham’s website on a regular basis.

“I love her parenting perspective,” she said. “Inevitably there is almost always a solution and answer for what you are looking for.”

And at the last two parenting summits, Tormey and her husband have found valuable resources for learning about available professionals and services in the community.

“There’s so much to learn as a parent — any tools help,” Tormey said.

Instead of having to search for the best people and programs to meet her kids’ unique needs, she said, the summit brings together those resources — along with different perspectives.

“You have ideas in your head when your child is born about what kind of parent you think you might be or hope to be,” Tormey said. “Then challenges come along that are perhaps different than you imagined, and you have to adapt together.”

The summit is a true community effort, notes Wendler, all made possible by the volunteers who plan and organize the event, as well as those leading the sessions.

It is made financially possible through the sponsorship of about 10 local businesses and organizations.

“There’s so much that parents have questions about,” Wendler said. “This is a place where parents can come together and connect to their self, their family and their community — that’s what we are all about.”

Connecting to other parents has also been a very positive outcome of the summit, according to Tormey.

“You get to see parents within the community and go to the same breakout sessions and realize that you are having the same parenting struggles,” Tormey added. “It opens a dialogue between parents, too.”

Registration for the event is required by Nov. 11. It is free and includes lunch and complimentary childcare. Visit or email for more information or to register.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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