Sandy Beran describes the Nurturing Parenting Program as a class that teaches adults and children how to enjoy each other's company.
"The philosophy with the Nurturing Parenting class is basically a love of life and to find different ways to support that and to enjoy life, and to enjoy life as a family," Beran said.
"(The class) just is supportive and creates an environment where it can be more of a pleasure to be a parent instead of a hardship."
Beran is a Positive Change advocate for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. She facilitates the parenting program with Lynae Ellgen, counselor for Moffat County School District's Early Childhood Center.
Beginning Tuesday, the class meets at 5 p.m. once a week for 16 weeks, with the exception of spring break week. Families are encouraged to bring children to the class, which incorporates exercises for parents and children separately and together.
An application is required to participate. Dinner is provided. The class costs $25, which covers book costs.
"And even if people need to make payment arrangements for that, we'd sure work with them," Beran said.
The program started last year thanks to a $19,000 grant from the Colorado Children's Trust Fund. This year, the program is funded with $17,889, which is why the program requires a fee. Moffat County United Way is also chipping in.
There are 15 individuals currently signed up for the class, and there is room for a few more. Last year, eight families "graduated" from the program.
"It turned into being a real supportive group last year," she said. "Parents made friendships and had a continued support group."
The Nurturing Parenting Program embraces five constructs:
- Learning appropriate developmental expectations,
- Practicing being empathetic, "to learn to put yourself in someone else's shoes,"
- Learning different tools for behavior management,
- Increasing self awareness for parents "because when you're giving it all out, you need to be able to replenish," and
- Encouraging childrens' independence.
The class focuses on children birth to age 5 because that period is a critical time in development.
"We really do think parenting is learned," Beran said. "You're laying the foundation for the rest of that child's life."
For more information on the program or to apply, call Beran at 824-8233, ext. 7682, or Ellgen at 824-7457.