Classes help parents better understand, enjoy their children
Special to The Union
Do you ever wish children came with instruction manuals? Parents are often looking for new ways to strengthen the bonds with their children, as well as manage their behavior. Taking a parenting class is one way in which parents can achieve these goals.
Positive Parenting Program, or Triple-P, has become a good resource for Nevada County parents and caregivers for the past two years. The PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, with funding from Safe Schools Healthy Students, First 5 Nevada County and Nevada County Social Services, have provided 18 classes, with 156 parents completing the program.
The evidence-based parenting strategies offered in these classes, paired with loving respect, are known to foster an improved capacity for self-regulation and a sense of security in children. Class participants are often amazed to learn how positive attention can boost a child’s self-esteem. When they return home from class and remember to acknowledge their child’s efforts, the result can be very motivating for that child. After attending classes, a mother of a toddler said, “My child can do so much more for himself than I thought he was capable of.”
The results for parents are wonderful too, because they often find that they experience more enjoyment when spending time with their children. After taking the Triple P classes, one parent commented, “It feels like a different household; calmer, happier and more cooperative.”
Triple P Parenting Classes provides opportunities for parents to evaluate how things are going at home. They fine-tune their skills and practice helpful ways of responding to children, avoiding potentially ineffective reactions in the moment. A mother of an 8-year-old commented, “My relationship with my child has greatly improved. I’ve learned so much.”
After taking a class, another parent remarked, “What I learned today was that sometimes you just have to ‘be with’ your children and their feelings, and that is much more helpful to them than trying to cajole them away from their unpleasant emotions. Whether it’s anger, fear or sadness, instead of trying to talk our children out of their feelings, we must accept and validate their experiences.”
When parents sign up for class, they take time out of their busy lives to focus on their children. It’s a chance not only to take in new information, but also to brainstorm ideas with a group of parents about the challenges they encounter at home. Thus, in addition to the class material, participants assist in the process of coming up with successful solutions.
At the end of the workshops, a mother shared, “Knowing how to discipline my son helps me feel better about myself as a parent and as a person.”
Meg Luce, marriage and family therapist and Triple-P class facilitator, says, “Children need their parents to be in charge. This provides little ones with a feeling of safety and security. It’s possible to take charge in a kind and loving way, without being harsh.”
What participants realize when they take the Triple-P classes are things like, “I’m not the only one who struggles with parenting! There are practical solutions and I can take the things I learn and be more effective with my children.”
For more information about the classes, including upcoming dates and times, call Meg Luce, LMFT and Triple-P Class facilitator, at 530-913-2745.
Laurie Blakemore is an AmeriCorps V.I.S.T.A. (Volunteer In Service to America).
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