The Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute was founded in 2012, and since then, its alumni have worked to enact a number of changes in the community.

This hour, we hear from local parents who have become active citizens working to alleviate bullying, poverty, and discrimination in schools, recreation activities, and more. We also talk to them about a number of issues related to parenting in Rochester in 2019.

In studio:

  • Manish Dixit, interim initiative director and alumnus of the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute
  • Luva Alvarez, Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute alumnus and site coordinator
  • Arin Natasha Taylor, Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute graduate
  • Mai Abdullah, Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute graduate

An upcoming conference aims to help fathers overcome barriers to parenting. The Resilience in Fatherhood conference is a collaboration between the Healthy Baby Network and Hillside Children’s Center. It will address challenges fathers face, stereotypes about fatherhood, and what healthy co-parenting relationships look like.

We’re joined by conference organizers and program participants. In studio:

  • Valerie Garrison, project director for Healthy Start, part of Healthy Baby Network
  • Arthur Dilbert, fatherhood coordinator for Healthy Start, and parent educator at Hillside Children’s Center
  • Mark Jabaut, Healthy Start program participant
  • Kelly Murray, Healthy Start program participant

Research shows that spanking and other forms of corporal punishment for children do not improve behavior. Instead, the data indicates that physical punishment can lead to aggression, problems at school, mental health issues, and even child abuse by parents. Despite that, surveys show that about 65 percent of Americans approve of spanking.

This hour, we discuss the facts, why some parents believe in spanking, and what the experts recommend as the most appropriate methods for disciplining children. In studio:

A local organization is helping parents get involved in their communities in various ways. It's called the Parent Leadership Training Institute. Trainees have already tackled a number of local subjects, including opening a spray park in the 19th Ward, and working to smooth the process of Urban-Suburban students joining a local district.

We learn what else the organization has planned and how it is growing. In studio:

  • Carolyn Lee-Davis, advisor for the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute
  • Rosalind Walker, institute alum and mother who lives in Rochester
  • Luva Alvarez, coordinator for the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new recommendations for limiting media use among children. How can parents work under these guidelines and help their kids unplug and reconnect to non-digital activities?

A book called The Game is Playing Your Kid offers advice for monitoring and limiting screen time for children. The author, Dr. Joe Dilley, is in Rochester as a guest of the Norman Howard School. He joins us in studio to talk about how parents can help kids transition from overuse to more mindful use of technology. He's joined by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital.

freeimages.com/Wynand Delport

In a world where digital screens are everywhere, the American Academy of Pediatrics has relaxed its recommendations for how much media exposure is safe for babies and toddlers.

The old rule was no screen time before the age of 2.

The new guidelines say for babies younger than 18 months, that's still true, with one exception: live video chats.

From 18 to 24 months, AAP suggests parents may introduce toddlers to educational programming for brief periods.

The parents of a toddler that got into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo have taken a remarkable level of criticism and abuse since the incident. And that has sparked a discussion about parent shaming: why are we so quick to judge the actions of other parents? Why do we assume certain things couldn't happen to us? Parent shaming extends to discussions over breast feeding, school choice, even how kids are born.

Our panel discusses how to help parents make the best choices while making sure the "Mommy Wars" don't escalate. Our guests:

freeimages.com/Erik Araujo

Senator Chuck Schumer is promoting bipartisan legislation to close what he calls a "gaping hole" in the federal law.

Schumer says the loophole prevents summer camps and other organizations that work with children from accessing FBI sex offender background checks for prospective employees and volunteers.

At Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, prevention education and outreach specialist Stefanie Szwejbka says while important, background checks don't guarantee a child's safety.      

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband a year ago, and on Mother's Day. After experiencing life as a single mother, she offered a kind of mea culpa: she wrote to the critics of her famous Lean In book who said that she had not grasped the challenge for single moms. Her message to the critics: You were right.

Sandberg's Mother's Day post was a tribute to moms who don't have a supportive spouse, and it's gone viral. We discuss the challenge of motherhood for moms who are often trying to do everything on their own.

We also talk to representatives from Sojourner House at Pathstone, which provides housing and support services for homeless women and children. Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a $227,000 cut to Sojourner House programs. We'll talk about the impact of the cut and how Sojourner House plans to work through the challenges to continue to support single moms. Our guests:

  • Erin-Kate Howard, single mom
  • Tabatha Santiago, single mom
  • Dr. Seanelle Tracy, executive director of Sojourner House at Pathstone
  • Tree Clemonds, director of resident services at Sojourner House at PathStone

What's it like to be a gay parent? And what's it like to have -- and be -- a Jewish mother? Comedian Judy Gold explores those topics in her work and her shows, and she's coming to Rochester's Jewish Community Center.

Gold joins us for the hour, along with the JCC's artistic director, Ralph Meranto, and proud dad, Matt Tappon.