Parents, children come together

Family the focus of Visiting Nurse Association class

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Raising children may become a little easier for about 20 parents who attended a class Wednesday night aimed at nurturing the family.

Parents and children enrolled in the Nurturing Parenting class have signed up to take the one-night-a-week class for the next 15 weeks.

"They said they had good ideas about discipline," said parent Kathy Rinker. "Every mommy can use help being a better mommy. I think it will be good for (my children), too."

Facilitator Sandy Beran said that although the current class is full, sign-ups are being taken for similar class that will be held in February.

The Nurturing Parenting class teaches parents and children the importance of empathy and communication. Facilitators teach parents different ways of thinking about parenting while children are learning how to respond to parents.

The class targets parents with children from birth to 5 years old and offers free childcare, dinner and transportation. It is paid for a by a $19,000 grant from the Colorado Children's Trust Fund. The Visiting Nurse Association and the Moffat County School District provide the classes.

Parents and children started Wednesday's class with interactive songs and the ice breakers to get parents and children talking.

Parents Brandi Stockton and Bill Bennett said they were excited that facilitators also promised to show parents how to nurture themselves.

"I think they'll show us how to take time for ourselves," Bennett said.

Nurturing Parenting comes on the heels of the Parents' Toolbox, a series of classes offered last year by the school district. In those classes, parents learned discipline tips and how to be better parents.

Nurturing Parenting takes that concept a step further by showing children how to respond to the new ways of discipline parents are trying out. Its main goal is to decrease or eliminate punishing children by spanking or hitting, facilitators said.

After learning skills in separate rooms, parents and children come together to try out what they've learned.

That can be teaching parents how to give a time out and teaching children how to take a time out. The class also offered plenty of time for parents to interact with children.

The idea for the class seemed to resonate with Kia Counts who brought her two daughters.

"The girls like it," she said. "So far, it looks interesting."

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031 or ahamilton@craigdailypress.com

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