Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

Series will offer parents tips, resources

The Star

by Nichole Hacha-Thomas

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AUBURN — Pam Deetz has been teaching various parenting classes for the past 20 years. She doesn’t understand why parents seem so hesitant to take a class that could give them the proper tools to deal with parenting.

So, as a volunteer for Learning Link, Deetz is spearheading a 12-week series of articles geared towards parents to appear in The Star beginning March 10. “This will be a good jumping-off place for parents to see parenting tips,” Deetz said, “and hopefully they can utilize them.”

Learning Link is a program created to expand the DeKalb County’s focus beyond early literacy to encompass encouraging educational opportunities for people of all ages. Deetz said it is important to continue learning, well into adulthood. And for parents, learning how to be the best parent is a never-ending battle.

“They always say the same thing — and it is true — parenting doesn’t come with

a handbook,” Deetz said. So, it is the goal of the Adult Lifelong Learning team to bring helpful tips, scenarios and resources to area parents.

Deetz said the weekly column will deal with issues parents are struggling with now, but also may deal with situations a parent hasn’t faced yet. She hopes each of the 12 articles will give parents the resources they need to succeed at parenting, which Deetz called life’s hardest job.

“We don’t always think about what a child is learning from what we, as parents, are doing instead of listening to what we are saying,” Deetz said. When parents begin to understand their actions have more to do with a child’s behavior than words do, they take the first step in the right direction.

From topics such as kids and technology to separation anxiety, each articles will offer a sample scenario, perhaps not unlike those carried out in homes throughout the county. The scenarios will be followed by various strategies a parent may take to handle the situation. There will be more than one strategy each week because, Deetz said, there is no magical solution that fits for everyone.

Along with each article, Deetz said, available resources for the scenario at hand will be given, if parents are interested in exploring them.

Ann Williams, director of the DeKalb County Extension program, said there are a multitude of resources parents can use to hone their child-rearing skills. Learning Link currently lists over 30 different opportunities, including classes and workshops, to help parents be better parents. Williams will also be providing parenting tips for the series, along with other Learning Link committee members.

“We hope (this series) will bring awareness to the community about the resources available for parents to take advantage of them,” Williams said. The 12-week series “What’s in your parenting toolbox?” will appear each Thursday on the Life page of The Star.