Marie Masterson

Chicago, Illinois

Marie Masterson, PhD is a national speaker and author of four books, including 101 Principles for Positive Guidance with Young Children: Creating Responsive Teachers published by Pearson, Enjoying the Parenting Roller Coaster: Nurturing and Empowering Your Children through the Ups and Downs, published by Gryphon House, which presents a philosophy of respectful, relational parenting with practical strategies for effective positive guidance, and two best practices books for family childcare providers published with the National Associate for the Education of Young Children.

As a child behavior expert, her engaging and inspirational messages include advocacy for children’s mental health, sensitive and effective responses to stress and trauma, positive behavior guidance, and research-based strategies to boost self-regulation and social skills in young children. As a highly regarded practical author and speaker, she has developed a widely held reputation as a motivational speaker for schools, faith-based organizations, family childcare and early care and education organizations, and parenting groups.


George Holden

Dallas, Texas

George Holden, PhD is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He is President and a founding board member of the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children. Dr. Holden has been conducting research into parent-child relationships for more than 30 years. He is an expert in parenting, the problem of corporal punishment, and positive discipline. He is currently serving on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Physical Punishment. In addition, he is the President of the board of Family Compass, an organization devoted to preventing child maltreatment in the Dallas community. Dr. Holden speaks nationally on the topics of:

  • Why Corporal Punishment is a Problem

  • Positive Discipline: What is it and why Parents Should Use it

  • How to Help Parents Move Away from Spanking


Robbyn Peters Bennett

Portland, Oregon

Robbyn Peters Bennett, LPC, CMHS works with at risk children who have suffered from early abuse and neglect.  She believes we can end child abuse in our lifetime. To that end, she promotes non-violent parenting and is the founder of StopSpanking, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending violence against children by raising awareness of the dangers of spanking and by promoting parenting beyond punishment. Robbyn lectures internationally on the topic of trauma, attachment, the effects of harsh punishment and international efforts to end legalized assault of children. She presents on a variety of topics, including:

  • Parenting for Resiliency
    Parents who have a high ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score or are struggling with poor resiliency often find parenting really difficult, and pediatricians and helpers are often at a loss of how to engage with this population in a helpful way. This presentation focuses on the effects of early adversity and subsequent risks of harsh parenting, and offers health providers and teachers resources so they can help parents build resiliency in themselves and their children.

  • Violence, a Family Tradition
    This lecture focuses on the root cause of family violence, the effects of harsh punishment on attachment and long term health, and the accelerating international effort to end spanking world-wide through legal and educational efforts.


Amy Bryant

Atlanta, Georgia

Amy Bryant,  MS, EdS, LPC is founder of Parenting Beyond Punishment, a flourishing online community of parents and positive parenting educators who provide support to parents who want to move beyond punishment and rewards to a relationally-based approach to parenting. Amy provides the following workshops and talks online and in Atlanta, GA. She breaks down the latest research and theory into digestible information and practical application specific for each audience.

  • Neurodevelopmentally Informed Parenting for Parents & ProfessionalsIn this workshop parents and professionals learn basic brain development as it relates to understanding children’s behavior (and their own). They also learn how to build resilience, engage children, and set limits using neurodevelopmentally informed strategies.

  • Bullying & Violence Prevention for Professionals & School PersonnelIn this workshop, parents, professionals, and school personnel learn basic brain development as it relates to understanding behavior. Participants also learn conflict resolution and problem solving skills, and the effects of specific disciplinary policies on students with repeated behavioral infractions.



Ellen Chiocca

Chicago, Illinois

Ellen M. Chiocca, MSN, CPNP, RNC-NIC has 34 years’ experience as a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) and educator. She taught nursing for 24 years, and has worked with both hospitalized and well children throughout her nursing career. Ms. Chiocca spent 11 years working as a PNP in a domestic violence shelter, where she began to see the relationship between intimate partner violence and corporal punishment. Ms. Chiocca is currently pursuing a PhD in nursing. She speaks on the following topics:

  • Developmental phases that challenge parents: how to deal with them/alternatives to spanking

  • Normal developmental stages that are challenging and how to deal with them

  • Differentiating normal VS abusive injuries in children


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