Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents wanting to discover what is getting in the way of their relationship with their children may want to attend the 21st Century Parenting Class sponsored by the Northern Montana Childcare Development Center. An introductory class began on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. outlining the five-week session with goals for parents to get to know themselves and their children better using a flexible course schedule outlined by 21st Century, according to the facilitators. The next class is scheduled for Tuesday and the following class will be on Thursday, March 22, inside the HRDC building’s north entrance. The final two classes with be held on Tuesday April 3 and 10 with dinner and child care provided for each session. “Statistics show that the more meaningful adults a child has in their life, the better off they are,” Betty Hofeldt, one of the facilitators said. “If you don’t have a connection with your child, that connection will be found somewhere else.” Hofeldt is the education and disabilities coordinator for the Head Start program and will be joining one of the Head Start teachers, Karlene Howie, to present the issues and values that will help parents strengthen family connections. Together time was one of the topics at the first session and parents were given homework assignments’ to document their efforts of togetherness with them through the week with notes and photos. Disposable cameras were given out to get snapshots of chilDren in various daily activities such as waking up, playing, eating, reading or going to bed. Parents will use these photos and others that they may have at home to create a family scrapbook with photos of their children that depicts family life. Parents also viewed a video on playing and learning with children that confirmed the discussion by the facilitators. “Children will be happier if you show them the attention they need and do something they like to do, instead of what you want to,” Hofelt said of playing with your children. Valuing discipline, behavior problems, communication, parental guidance, dealing with feelings, child development, safety and stress are the main topics that will be offered throughout the five sessions. Classes are confidential, respectful, nonjudgemental and open minded according to the ground rules established by the parents. “There’s no best way to parent you choose the strategies that work for you,” Hofelt said. “There’s always room for learning.” For more information about the classes at call 265-6743 or just attend the next class on Tuesday.