Program designed to help parents examine, improve their approach to childrearing | CraigDailyPress.com

Program designed to help parents examine, improve their approach to childrearing

Bridget Manley

Parenting is one of the most important roles an adult can assume, and its effects are among the longest lasting, Sandy Beran said.

Paradoxically, it's also one of the roles they often have the least training for.

"Many times, we tend to take on the traits that we learned as children and just kind of assimilate them," said Beran, who works with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, "and don't … take time to step back and say, 'Now, is this resulting in the effect that I want it to?'"

She's an instructor for a parenting class scheduled to begin next month that's designed to address that issue.

The Nurturing Parenting Program "gives us the chance to kind of look at our base of operation," Beran said, "and decide what we want to continue to implement in our parenting style, and what we want to add, and maybe something that we might want to not do because we see that maybe that's not the most effective way."

Classes are free and take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays from Jan. 10 through March 27 at the Moffat County School District administration building, 775 Yampa Ave.

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The program is open to parents of children up to 5 years old, although parents are welcome to bring their older children with them.

Every class includes a meal, which is central to the program's purpose.

"That helps them to feel cared for … a little bit themselves and hopefully rejuvenates them so that they're able to turn around and do the same for their children," said Lynae Ellgen, a former Moffat County School District counselor who has helped teach the class since it started about seven years ago.

The Nurturing Parenting Program offers parenting techniques and activities for children, but it also delves deeper by encouraging parents to examine their approaches to parenting.

"I think the uniqueness about the nurturing parenting program is that it doesn't focus as much on parenting skills as it does on the parents themselves — how they view parenting, why they parent the way they do, what their background experience is," Ellgen said.

"And when you start with focusing on the parents themselves," she said, "that helps them to realize what they're doing … and gives them the motivation to want to change and become a better parent versus just getting some skills."

The classes also include basic early childhood education, another critical component, Ellgen said, "because if you don't know what (children are) capable of or what appropriate expectations for any given age (are), then you're not going to necessarily know how to be a good parent for them."

Beran and Ellgen stressed the program also has a fair share of fun.

"I would like the parents to know that we have a good time when we're there," Ellgen said.

"Our goal is to help them to enjoy being a parent so that they love being with their child."

Participants must register for the program by Jan. 6. To get a registration form or for more information, call Beran at 871-7682.

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If you go …

What: Nurturing Parenting Program

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays from Jan. 10 through March 27

Where: Moffat County School District administration building, 775 Yampa Ave.

— Classes are free and open to parents of children up to 5 years old. The registration deadline is Jan. 6. For more information or to get a registration form, call instructor Sandy Beran at 871-7682.

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