parenting class

Learn about how to discipline your children, nutrition, setting up routines and positive ways to set boundaries through a free online class.

Even if you’re an experienced parent, you’ll add to your child-rearing toolkit in a free series on Active Parenting classes coached by Tawnee Johnson, Rim Country’s youth and family educator with Arizona Youth Partnership’s Starting Out Right program.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing and safety precautions, classes that met in-person a year ago moved online, and a new series begins Feb. 24.

Participants earn more than parental coping skills, they also get free diapers and a limited number of children’s car seats are also available.

Do the classes help? Just ask Caitlin, she took part, along with her husband, in the debut Active Parenting series in Payson in 2018 — and returned for more the following year.

“I am so grateful for Active Parenting: First Five Years. As a first-time parent, these classes have really helped. They are fun, enlightening, and educational. They have provided me with the tools I’ve needed to better myself as a parent. I keep going back to these classes not only because I learn something new every time, but to hear other parents’ experiences and share mine. It really does take a village and this class is my village.”

Join an online class

Again, they’re free and online. Sign up via the Arizona Youth Partnership website link or learn more with an email to tawnee@azyp.org, call 928-224-8451 or connect on Facebook: facebook.com/azyptawnee.

Lessons include:

• Discipline methods

• Positive ways to set boundaries

• Balanced parenting style

• Nutrition

• Setting up routines with your child

• Building a bond with your child

Johnson arranges classes in Payson, Charlene Becker and Liz Mata take the lead in Globe and throughout Gila County for the Arizona Youth Partnership. Johnson, Mata and Becker are certified as instructors in the Active Parenting Program.

“What’s special about these classes is easy-to-follow instructions in the curriculum and the tools that provide help for parenting,” said Becker.

“Of course, every parent has to grapple with discipline, and there are many great ideas on how to deal with temper tantrums. We teach routines and how that helps the child feel safe and secure. Nutrition is another subject we teach our parents and the importance of giving your child healthy choices. Early literacy is also a big part of the Active Parenting curriculum and school readiness,” she added.

Early development

Even experienced parents are surprised when told that a 1985 nationwide study confirmed that “the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” Additional elements for success include:

• Having books in the home is twice as important as the father’s education level (Research in Social Stratification & Mobility)

• By age 2, children who are read to display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.

Arizona Youth Partnership promotes reading to children, helping sign up families with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library — a “Book of the Month Club” for kids under age 5, and free.

“We have class discussions on being present in your child’s life and ways to interact and bond with your children — one of the simplest is to put down the phone and play with your child. “We go through an ages-and-stages questionnaire with parents to make sure children are meeting certain milestones, these can help a child having development issues — and we can offer resources and suggestions for the child to get extra help they might need,” Becker said.

To register for classes this month, or be on the email list for the next series, email tawnee@azyp.org, call 928-224-8451 or connect on Facebook: facebook.com/azyptawnee.

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