Wouldn’t it be great if children arrived in our lives with instruction manuals? Then, well-intentioned parents would know just how to rear healthy, thriving children. Instead, parents often struggle. That’s why The Family Center offers parenting classes and in-home coaching to help parents like Anne succeed.

“I am trying to be a good parent, but I feel like something is missing,” the young mother told a parent educator at her first parenting class.

Anne was doing the basics to keep 5-year-old Greg safe and physically healthy. She fed and bathed him. She provided structure with a balance of kindergarten homework, simple chores and playtime. But she didn’t know how to form an affectionate relationship with her son. The parent educator asked some questions and realized the mid-20s mom had experienced emotional abuse, not receiving physical touch or hugs as a child. As a result, being affectionate with Greg made her uncomfortable. In The Family Center class she learned the importance of attachment, and with help and coaching from parent educators, she “practiced” giving Greg affection. There were more hugs. The television was turned off more often and replaced with activities that encouraged conversation. Greg reacted positively to the changes. He now comes to his mother when he’s hurt or sad, knowing he will get the affection and emotional support he craves. The kindergartner is also happier and engages better with others.

“I no longer look at him and wonder what to do,” Anne said, crediting the parenting class with giving her a new “instruction manual” for interacting with her son.

The Family Center works to equip moms and dads with the awareness and tools they need to be the loving parents they want to be. Please join us in that work.