By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (August 8, 2016) – Early mornings, homework, sporting events, practice… The new school year promises hectic schedules, exhausted parents, equally tired children are all a potential for family feuds, bad attitudes and scarred relationships.
Stress can lead to less than favorable parenting practices that threaten to damage the connection with children whose ability to cope and relate to the world is still heavily dependent on a positive, nurturing bond.
How do parents working to juggle work requirements, responsibilities at home and their personal lives maintain their focus on family? That question and others will be addressed at the Nurturing Parenting Lunch Group, which will be held August 15-19 in Stephenville.
Hosted by STARRY Counseling, the group sessions will be held at the 2301 Northwest Loop, Suite 101 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day. Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch
Day 1, “The Philosophy and Practices of Nurturing Parenting” covers connection and attachment, according to Vicky Gonzalez, licensed master social worker.
“We discuss the importance of the connection between parents and children and help parents become aware of how their own stressors affect or inhibit their ability to connect with their children.”
Days 2 through 5 address the ages and stages of brain and social development from infants to teenagers; communicating with respect, building self-worth and understanding feelings; family morals, values and rules and praising children for their behavior; and alternatives to spanking and coping with stress.
“It is important that we, as parents, address how we treat ourselves,” Gonzales said, adding parents with strong self-respect and a positive sense of self-worth have the emotional capacity to pour positive emotions back into their children.
Learn more about Nurturing Parenting resources at www.nurturingparenting.com.
Strong, mutually respectful bonds between parent and children requires work from everyone involved. Just as positive parenting requires a strong sense of self, respectful children must be taught to respect themselves and feel they are valued as individuals.
Gonzales said a second set of group sessions held 6-8 p.m. every Thursday, August 25-September 15, at Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury, will help parents become positive guides their children.
“Parenting the Love and Logic Way” helps parents identify creative ways to help mold and cultivate responsible children.
“The program helps empower parents to empower their children,” Gonzales said, adding the idea is to avoid hovering over children and protecting them from natural consequences.
“It addresses how to hand problems back to children, so they learn how to problem solve and be accountable,” she said. “And how to do so in such a way that we are not lecturing and threatening. It’s about handling challenges and dealing with consequences.”
According to the Love and Logic model, empowering children begins with simple things like allowing them to choose their own clothing and evolves into addressing the often turbulent relationships between parents and teenaged children.
Through the program, parents learn the full impact of empathy and the importance and consistency and respect.
For more information on the Love and Logic parenting model visit www.loveandlogic.com.
Both programs are provided at no cost, but childcare will not be available. For more information or to register for the program, call STARRY Counseling at 254-434-5232.
Learn more about the full spectrum of STARRY Counseling programs and services at www.starry.org.