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Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida
Classes Offer Positive Parenting Tips
“We provide parents with the techniques of how to redirect their children’s behavior in times of crisis and how to manage their children’s behaviors in a positive and healthy way,” says Kristin Millet, Golisano Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Program coordinator.
A new car, refrigerator or television includes an owner’s manual to help guide the user. Babies and children arrive with no instructions, leaving parents occasionally confused or frustrated.
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County offer free specialized group Positive Discipline Parenting classes to help parents make informed decisions.
“Parents today face many challenges in raising children, with the issues of bullying, exposure to media, electronic devices and games, television, substance abuse and violence,” says Kristin Millet, Golisano Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Program coordinator. “These classes are important because they teach parents how to focus on their strengths and how to set appropriate expectations, goals, rewards and consequences for their children. We provide parents with the techniques of how to redirect their children’s behavior in times of crisis and how to manage their children’s behaviors in a positive and healthy way.”
The positive discipline curriculum is research-based and is taken from the “Nurturing Parenting Program” created by Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D. This program has proven to be an effective and successful parenting course.
The course is designed for all parents but most parents who take the course are looking for support and guidance because they may feel overwhelmed by their children’s behaviors. The group format allows for open discussions between members, while following a curriculum. The classes are voluntary and are offered at several locations throughout Lee and Collier counties, including schools, parks and recreation centers, churches, daycare facilities and other not-for-profit agency centers.
“We work closely with the schools’ guidance counselors, who refer families to the program as well as the Early Childhood Network and our community partner agencies,” Kristin says.
The goal of the classes is to resolve conflicts peacefully instead of shouting or spanking. Parents learn how to effectively handle the fighting, tantrums, power struggles, homework hassles and whining. Parents are taught how to effectively communicate with their children and how to help their children be leaders by being a positive role model for them.
“The program teaches parents to guide their children to make good choices,” says Michele King, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida Child Advocacy Program director. “We remind parents to have patience, to listen to their children, talk to them and to take care of themselves and their children in a positive and healthy environment. This program reduces the stress in families’ lives.”
The program teaches to lead by example. “To earn respect, one must show and demonstrate respect,” Michele says “We teach parents to be firm, yet understanding. We offer parents the tools and examples of how to effectively manage their children’s behavior using positive discipline methods.”