“This will never work!” said the mom, new to The Family Center parenting class. “Being tough on kids is what helps them most.”

It was obvious this mother had seen more than her fair share of parenting challenges and being tough on her kids was the only skill she felt comfortable using.

“Empathy is an important skill we teach in our parenting classes,” said Jenn, Parent Educator. “It is the foundation for all skills that empower building close relationships, maintaining friendships and developing strong communities.”

Anna1, ordinarily quiet and reserved, but would be graduating after this class, surprised everyone when she spoke up. Anna looked the new mom in the eyes and said, “I know these things sound impossible, overwhelming, and different than what our parents did with us, but if you try what Jenn teaches you will see a difference. It takes a lot of time and practice because it is so different, but I am here to tell you that it works. I had three kids with behavior issues when I started this class. I figured I had nothing to lose with trying. With confidence, I can say my children are different today because of our practicing these skills. And I understand how to talk to my ex-husband about how he deals with our kids, and I can communicate with him better about our own issues too. Hang in there and just try it.”

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1 Name has been changed to protect privacy.