School district to offer parents new 'tools'

For parents who wonder why children misbehave, what consistency means to children or how to punish a child in a way that won't punish them, the Moffat County School District has a new program that might help.

The Colorado Department of Education and the Moffat County School District are co-sponsoring an informational group for parents. The sessions are appropriate for parents of toddlers to teenagers.

There will be eight sessions and each meeting will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month except for March when the meeting will be on the fourth Tuesday. They will be held in the boardroom of Moffat County School administration building.

"We wanted to do this because we recognize that all of us struggle sometimes as parents," said Alison Hobson, co-leader of the group.

Hobson and Moffat County School District psychologist Dr. Christine Villard wrote a grant proposal to the Colorado Department of Education to fund the class and received the money. They are hoping to continue the program for a second year if the first one goes well.

The informational meetings will be called "The Parents' Toolbox -- How to Enjoy Being a Parent." Hobson and Villard are currently creating flyers for interested parents.

A free meal and free childcare will be provided for parents who attend the monthly meeting.

As another incentive, besides the fun and friendly atmosphere, Hobson said, they are trying to get parents who attend six out of the eight meeting to receive credits from Colorado Northwest Community College.

"It is not definite yet,"

Hobson said.

Meeting topics will be:

  • First session -- "Why do children misbehave -- What every parent needs to know?" This workshop will address questions such as, "Do you get in arguments every time you ask your child to do something and are you tired of repeating everything to your child four times?"
  • Second session -- "Never give away the ice cream -- Seven powerful tools to reduce negative behavior and promote the cooperation you want to see." This workshop is about being a proactive parent rather than a reactive one.
  • Third session -- "Maybe ... we'll see...how many times do I have to tell you?" What consistency means to children and how to elicit respect from your children and the

difference between threats and warnings.

  • Fourth session -- "Punishments that won't punish you, punishments that teach rather than shame,

the three ways parents spank, how to use timeout, ten questions

to ask when you discipline, and

alternatives to punishment that

encourage responsibility."

  • Fifth session -- "How to handle the tough stuff...misbehaving in public, arguing back, defiance, disrespect, whining, tantrums, homework and chore hassles." Parents are encouraged to bring their most maddening behavior challenge and

meeting organizers will use the toolbox to help them make a plan and use it.

  • Sixth session -- "What to do when kids are mean to your child -- teach your child how to solve problems with peers and siblings, learn the difference between typical peer conflict and bullying." This workshop will help parents create a climate of caring in the family.
  • Seventh session -- "Teen tips -- a survival guide for parents."
  • Final session -- "Maintaining your toolbox/topic of choice."

There is a clear link between a positive parent and child relationship and a good educational and social experience for the child, Hobson said.

"We saw this as a need in the community," Hobson said of getting the class started for parents in the Moffat County School District.

Liz King is an intern with the Craig Daily Press. She can be reached at 824-7031 or eking@craigdailypress.com.

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