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Power of Parenting series starts Tuesday

The 2019-20 series of Power of Parenting workshops opens Tuesday with a focus on services for children birth to age five and their families.

A round robin format will feature representatives of Early Head Start, Early On, Great Start to Quality Resource Center, and NEMCSA client services. They’ll share stories that illustrate the kind of support their programs offer, what makes a child or family eligible, and how to connect with the program.

The information will promote “concrete support in times of need,” one of the five protective factors in the Strengthening Families framework. Parents and others raising children will hear how to identify, seek, and access support that promotes healthy and nurturing families in which children thrive.

The 90-minute session begins at 6 p.m. in the Media Center at Thunder Bay Junior High School on Third Avenue in Alpena. Registration is requested by calling Partners In Prevention at 989-356-2880 by end of the day today. A limited number of free childcare slots for ages 1-10 are available.

Additional workshops will bring together community presenters and panelists to provide practical strategies for building the additional four protective factors. All sessions will be at the TBJHS Media Center beginning at 6 p.m. and include:

¯ Nov. 19: Parental Resilience — Just in time for the holidays, participants will get ideas on managing both general life and parenting stress and functioning well when faced with stressors, challenges, or adversity. Parents who feel better can provide more nurturing attention to their child and fosters the development of resilience in children when they experience stress.

¯ Jan. 21: Social Connections — Considering the benefits of having healthy, sustained relationships with people, institutions, and the community will be especially timely since cabin fever and lack of sunlight during winter months can take a toll on well-being. The presentation will guide parents and caregivers in assessing how much of this protective factor they have and how to build more high-quality, constructive, and supportive social connections that can help buffer them and support nurturing parenting behaviors that promote secure attachments in young children.

¯ Feb. 18: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development — Understanding the unique aspects of child development lets parents know the importance of routines, language interaction, and learning by doing. Hands-on experiences and practical “how-to” actions will be featured.

¯ March 17: Social and Emotional Competence of Children — Experiencing, expressing, and regulating emotion is a key competence for a child’s success in relationships and education. It does not evolve naturally so an attuned parent or caregiver is essential to creating an environment in which children feel safe to express their emotions. This session will cover ways to be emotionally responsive to children and model empathy.

¯ April 21: Parent Conversation — The final session will involve participants in small group conversations on a variety of topics that leverage the parental wisdom in the room. Based on the Strengthening Families Parent Cafe format, the activity is a fun and engaging method for conversations that matter. People will talk about how they make their families strong, what challenges may be presented in the community, and their ideas for solutions.

Power of Parenting workshops are planned by the Parent Education Team, an interagency work group of the Great Start Collaborative.