Research indicates that the quality of a father's involvement with children at every stage of development materially reduces problematic adolescent behaviors such as acting out among male teens and promiscuity among female teens. In its efforts to strengthen parent-child connections in the community, New Canaan CARES enlisted local therapist Ava Diamond, MSW, LCSW, to create and deliver an evening presentation aimed at improving family communication. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:15 p.m. at the New Canaan CARES office at 91 Elm Street.

While all parents are welcome, the program will emphasize the father's role as a nurturing figure and communicator within the family.

The conversation will cover communicating with kids of all ages, but particular focus will be placed on breaking through boundary and privacy issues associated with pre-teen and teenage children to achieve meaningful communication.

The program's goal is to help parents teach children how to set appropriate boundaries while also engendering the familial trust necessary to enable the child to open up about what is really happening in their lives.

Diamond will provide parents with practical tips on how to be more aware of the kinds of questions that yield full answers from their children, and to better understand how to shift gears out of `work mode' in order to engage kids.

Attendees will learn how to design questions that respect the child's frame of reference, how to practice engaged listening and recognize where to "put" a question during conversation and how to empower kids to become better communicators and retain a strong sense of self. In addition to discussing the qualities in male role models that make them nurturing and protective figures, Diamond will challenge the notion of the role of fatherhood portrayed by the entertainment industry as being either a role of disciplinarian or dysfunction.

This program is open to residents of New Canaan at no charge. For more information about this and other New Canaan CARES programs, visit

For more information about Diamond and her practice, visit www.

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