Dana Asby, CEI Intern
Most parents want more information about parenting, yet 65% of all parents never attend a single class or discussion about parenting (Zepeda, Varela, and Morales, 2004). This may be due to a lack of accessibility with varied causes, including a lack of available programs in locations and at times convenient to the family. Most programs occur in the middle of the working day, so working parents cannot take advantage of them (Zepeda, Varela, and Morales, 2004). Peace at Home Parenting thinks offering live parent education workshops online, after most children’s bedtime, and from a variety of cultural perspectives might be one solution to this problem.
You can read more about the online workshops about child development, stress, discipline, mindfulness, and other topics that Peace at Home Parenting offers to corporations and the general public here. The workshops Peace at Home offers through employers often have between 150-200 attendees with 98-100% satisfaction reports. Founder Ruth Freeman would like to increase the audience for the parent education workshops she offers to the general public so that the program can reach more parents who are struggling with behavior, relationship, and other family stressors. Some parent populations have very little access to high quality parent education, in person or online. Peace at Home has recently launched a series of Spanish language workshops to reach one of these underserved populations. They will be offered in Spanish free of charge through November 2018. “Establece un ambiente de cooperaciÃ³n (Set the Stage for Cooperation)” teaches parents how to foster positive self-esteem and self-image by setting up a household for success by integrating children into household routines and using consistent positive interactions. “Disciplina Positiva Que Funciona (Positive Discipline that Works)” shows parents what to do when there are problems that lead to a challenging moment by teaching them skills to help correct their child’s difficult behaviors.
The workshops, which you can register for here, will be offered at 8:15 p.m. on three dates:
‘¢ Monday, August 20: ‘Disciplina Positiva que funciona’
‘¢ Monday, September 10: ‘Establece un ambiente de cooperaciÃ³n’
‘¢ Monday, September 17: ‘Disciplina Positiva que funciona’
After repeatedly being asked for Spanish language parent education classes over her thirty-plus years of educating parents, Ms. Freeman partnered with licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Taina Amaro to bring the current Spanish language workshops. Ms. Amaro has a passion for delivering culturally sensitive parent education programs. Ms. Freeman wanted to ensure that someone who understands the Latino culture, rather than someone with only the ability to speak Spanish, could provide a workshop that would not impose ideals of the dominant U.S. culture, but rather consider other cultural perspectives. A seasoned Latina parenting educator evaluated Ms Amaro’s practice classes and translation is provided by a former parenting class participant, Yadira Carvajal, MS who lives in Bogata, Colombia and helps Peace At Home tune into cultural issues related to communication.
Ms. Amaro believes that parenting is an individualistic experience and that parents are the experts on their own children. The most common questions she gets from parents are, ‘Is this normal? Am I doing this right?’ She reminds us that none of us has the answer, because there is no one right answer. You must listen and learn from your child and be your child’s calm center; in other words, be a mindful parent. Instead of talking endlessly about theories, Ms. Amaro gives parents practical, evidence-based tips to improve their parenting and examples of her own failures to help parents see that even the experts make mistakes. Its difficult for parents to admit to their mistakes, because they have become so isolated that they are not meeting other parents in real life situations where they can discuss their missteps in the type of nonjudgmental environment that Peace at Home workshops provide.
Workshops like ‘Establece un ambiente de cooperaciÃ³n’ are a refuge for parents to meet others like them who have questions about parenting but aren’t sure who to ask. Ms. Amaro believes that the isolation parents face is partially due to the busy lives our society has forced upon us where parents are expected to be on call for work, answering e-mails at all hours of the day, ferrying children between endless activities, and/or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Parents don’t have the time to be physically present with other parents to have the kinds of discussions that build collective knowledge and a support network. Peace at Home Parenting hopes to be that place for parents. In addition to live classes where parents can hear each other’s comments and questions, Peace At Home participants may attend a free monthly online Question and Answer session and join a moderated private Facebook group where parents can interact and receive support from teachers.
Certain populations face additional barriers to accessing high quality parent education programs. On top of lack of time or resources, some in the Latino community faces language barriers. Ms. Amaro notes that some parents who attend her Spanish language workshops are fluent in English, but feel more comfortable talking about sensitive issues like parenting in their native tongue with other parents who grew up with similar cultural expectations. Ms. Amaro said it was difficult to put the cultural differences between traditional U.S. parenting and parenting in the Latino community into words, perhaps because of the infinite nuances that make up the idea of ‘parenting.’ Parents views about discipline and self-esteem are evolving as societal norms around those concepts shift. It is helpful for parents to interact with others who can relate to the challenges and rewards of parenting. Please share this amazing opportunity with any Spanish-speaking parent that could use a little more peace in their home.
Zepeda, M., Varela, F., & Morales, A. (2004). Promoting positive parenting through parenting
education. Building state early childhood comprehensive systems, 13.