Class participants made one chain for every child they had; the entire class combined all chains and this displayed the years of parental experience in the class.

First Things First Sponsors Parents Education Program

By Sheila Begay
Au-Authm Action News

On Wednesday evening, September 10, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Family Advocacy Department kicked off the W.I.S.H. Parent Education Program at the Salt River Education Board Room. The program, sponsored by First Things First, is a 10-week series of classes for Community members who wish to learn more about raising children.

The mission of the W.I.S.H. program is to empower parents through education. “We did not want this to be a typical parenting class. We want parents to build upon the knowledge and experience they already possess. We also wanted parents to network and support each other in their parenting needs. We believe parents know their child best. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers,” said Pamela Prasher, family advocate.

Topics to be addressed in the class series include child development, tips and strategies for positive discipline, early brain development, parent-child development, literacy activities, developing schedules and routines, stress management and more.

Participants in this first class ranged from parents who were expecting to parents who have 19-year-olds. They all offered their knowledge, and many of the experienced parents had questions like “My three sons are not getting along, how can I handle this?” or “How do I build self-confidence in my child, because she doesn’t have it. She gives up too easy.” These are all questions that will be addressed throughout the remaining class sessions.

Each parent or participant is given the opportunity to express what they want to learn and what they feel is important. This is a very open class, and parents should not feel intimidated.

Parents who attend will receive an incentive after every class. Attendees of the first class session received diapers and wipes and/or a toy and a book, depending on the age of their children. Each participant must attend eight out of the 10 classes to be eligible for an even bigger incentive that will be awarded at the end of the series.

For more information about the W.I.S.H. Parent Education Program, call family advocates Pamela Prasher or Martha Villalobos at (480) 326-5425.

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