Parenting Tips: Navigating the Younger Years

Spending one on one time with your kidsBeing a parent can be one of the most trying yet rewarding roles a person can take on. Unfortunately, kids don’t come with manuals and even the best parent can sometimes use a little extra help along the way. Youth Services offers two free parenting classes that can offer the help you may be looking for.

“Motheread” is for parents of children ages 0-11 and is an award winning program that strengthens families by using children’s books to talk about the things that matter most. Not only do the parents gain new skills, such as improved family communication, but they also get free kids books!

I have taught “Staying Connected with Your Teen”, a class for parents of pre-teens and teens. This group helps teach parents the necessary tools to foster healthy communication, set appropriate boundaries and family guidelines. The class also helps parents to be aware of the many risks that teens face and ways to protect their teens from those risks.

So many parents say to me, “Kari, these kids are getting so smart these days. What do you do when they start running their mouths?” or “My kid is physically bigger than me now and he thinks he can get away with anything. What do I do?” Well, we’re here to help. We have qualified instructors who help navigate through those questions, as well as family counseling to answer your questions on a personal, individual basis.

Parenting Tips

Even the small things can make a huge difference when it comes to family harmony. Here is a list of some quick and easy things that you can do for your family, and for you:

  • Spend quality one-on-one time with each child at least once a week 
  •  Know your kids’ friends and meet their parents
  • Meet your kids’ teachers
  • Hold regular family meetings to discuss important family decisions, whether it be a new family expectation or where to go on summer vacation
  • Create “me time” for yourself and use it! Balancing a family means you need to be balanced too
  • Take advantage of resources such as the Yellow Pages for Youth and 211 Information and Referral.
  • Also check out this website and others like it.

Of course there are many, many more tips for youth and parents alike. What have you found has worked for you and your family?


About Kari Allen

I have been employed in various positions at Youth Services since August 03; including the group home, Christmas Box House shift supervisor, Adolescent Services shift supervisor, Safe Place Coordinator, and OutReach & Prevention Supervisor. My goal is to assist youth and families in crisis find the resources needed for their families. These resources include, parenting classes for parents of pre teens and teens, anger management classes for teens and a girl only youth support group for teen girls. I can be reached at 801-269-7572 or I love spending time with family and friends, catching up on my sleep and pedicures with girlfriends.
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