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Empowered Parenting: January 29, 2013

Whether it’s getting your child to try healthy foods…

“If you put a vegetable in his mouth he’ll spit it right back out,” says Karen Salvi, grandmother.

Getting your toddler out of nighttime diapers....

“It definitely took some dedication from me, because I’d have to wake up in the middle of the night,” says Brittany Litwak, mother.

Or just getting the kids to bed at all...

“I thought they’d sleep better after having gone to preschool...they’re exhausted, ‘no’,” says Barb Lawrence, mother.

It’s all part of the trials and tribulations of parenthood. Based on questions fielded by pediatricians, most of us could use a lifeline.

“Giving them new techniques new tips and also support from other parents,” says Michele King, director of the child advocacy program with Lee Memorial Health System.

Lee Memorial Health System offers free parenting classes in both Lee and Collier County.  Taught in English, Spanish and Creole it covers the top topics parents struggle with most.

“We touch on discipline, the roles of the parent and child and who should be doing what in the home, the rules in the home. We talk about a lot of great tips for going to bed and transition from meals to play and vice versa,” says King.

First time parents are full of questions- but as the family expands with more children, the challenges grow too.  That’s reflected in the class topics, which are structured to group parents in similar life stages.

“It tends to be moms of multiple children that are under the age of five and when you have multiple children under the age of five that’s a very busy household – very active children,” says King.

Classes are weekly for eight weeks. Parents get a break because childcare is provided.