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Being a Parent

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Expectant/New Parent Assistance programs provide education and support services for new parents or parents expecting a child to prepare them on an emotional and practical level for the impact that a newborn will have upon their lives and relationships. They include  practical information about caring  for a new infant such as bathing techniques, diapering, feeding cycles and infant and childhood illnesses and later, walking, talking, toilet training and other developmental skills; suggestions for sibling preparation; and other techniques for facilitating the addition of the newborn to the family.

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Co-Parenting Workshops Programs that are specially designed for parents who are separated, in the process of divorcing or have divorced or who never married but have children and who need to develop the knowledge and skills to understand and respond to the special needs their children may have as a result of the divorce/separation and to succeed in their ongoing roles as mother and father despite the fact that they are no longer husband and wife or partners. Topics may include the impact of separation and divorce on families, developmental stages of children and expected reactions to divorce, skills parents can use to minimize stress and help children to cope, guidelines for reducing conflicts and solving custody issues out of court and recognizing when a child needs special help and where to find resources. Co-parenting workshops may also be structured for parents in other situations.

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Parenting Materials Programs that offer any of a wide variety of resources including books, audiotapes, video cassettes and learning games that provide information, techniques and suggestions for activities which enable parents to be more effective in their parenting role.

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Parenting Skills Classes Programs teach skills to help parents deal constructively and consistently with different child rearing problems like sibling rivalry; school behavior and performance; poor self-esteem; shyness; drug use; sexual promiscuity; and the whole range of negative, acting-out behaviors including whining, temper tantrums, disobedience, insolence and destructiveness. Some parenting skills development programs utilize a step-by-step approach for managing specific problems and may incorporate application at home of techniques that were discussed and practiced in the classroom setting. Other programs may offer participatory family workshops which provide opportunities for parents and children to learn and practice methods for dealing with one another under the guidance of a trained facilitator. Most training programs teach the parent a particular way of talking and relating to their children that reinforces positive behaviors and communication and decreases negative behaviors while supporting the development of a relationship that is built on fairness, mutual caring and respect.

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