Cathy Cummins’

2018‐2019 Free Parenting Lecture Series (For Adults)

San Antonio Academy
117 East French Place @ McCullough Avenue, San Antonio, TX  78212
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Taylor Hall Enrichment Center
Admission is free, but space is limited.
For reservations, email Michele Cummins.
Tell us which lectures you wish to attend, and include your name and phone number.


OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Cathy Cummins continues her popular lecture series! Tonight’s lecture is based upon the 2008 bestseller by Malcolm Gladwell, author and staff writer for “The New Yorker.” In Outliers, Gladwell explores the question, “Why do some people succeed far more than others”? His answers are fascinating, complex and raise relevant issues for parents. He shows that the factors that contribute to success are not limited to money and education, but include family, culture, birthplace and even birth date! Through first-hand biographical examples, Gladwell presents a blueprint for maximizing human potential. We’ll discuss the commonalities between Bill Gates and the Beatles; then, we’ll examine the differences between the world’s smartest man (who failed) and Robert Oppenheimer, another genius who did succeed. Gladwell also identifies some of the reasons Asian children seem to excel at math, why some students become excellent pilots and why a large percentage of top New York lawyers have a similar resume! Mrs. Cummins will reveal Gladwell’s formula for providing American children with a good education, and share the story of a miracle school that has transformed at-risk students into winners!


Tuesday, January 29, 2019 7:00 – 8:30 PM

This evening’s lecture centers on tools of positive discipline, including suggestions for establishing and maintaining respectful, nurturing relationships with children. Our brains have a “negativity bias,” and adults tend to pay more attention when kids misbehave than when they act like angels. In fact, praise should be effusive for good behavior, and include physical affection such as a hug. However, research also concludes that children benefit from boundaries and limits. One thing is certain, parents and teachers need to design and establish a disciplinary system. Once children reach about ten years old, discipline becomes more of a challenge because at that age they don’t care as much about parent/teacher approval. Research data suggests that adults who try to reason with children are likely to fail to change behavior. Overly harsh punishment and spanking also miss the mark. Join us for a lively, informative discussion about what strategies do work when it comes to ways to get kids to behave.



Tuesday, April 2, 2019 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Tonight, Cathy Cummins reviews Andrew Solomon’s comprehensive study of families raising children with “horizontal identities” – traits they don’t share with their parents. Solomon spent 10 years researching and writing; he interviewed more than 300 families, including the parents of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold. Solomon delves deeply into mental and physical disabilities: There are chapters on the complexity of being a prodigy, the deaf culture, dwarfism, autism and Down Syndrome. Through his research, Solomon shatters stereotypes about what it means to be disabled. His book teaches empathy, and offers insight for parents and teachers as to how we can teach children to be kind. His words make us hopeful and perhaps proud of how adaptable, resilient and loving humans can be when faced with circumstances beyond their control. The conclusion is that love can transcend every prejudice. The author has won fourteen national awards, including the 2001 National Book Award for The Noonday Demon. Participants this evening will watch excerpts from the documentary “Far from the Tree.”