By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 28, 2004 2:01 PM
When children are born, they don't come with a manual. Parents often wish they could attend a class on the subject.
A series of parenting classes begins Thursday at Blue Horizons Counseling Center, the umbrella agency to Wayne County Detox and Goldsboro Assessment and Treatment Services, but with a slight twist.
Joyce Kelly, a counselor at the center on North Randolph Street, will teach the 12-week program. She said the one-hour classes will not only help with raising children but will allow the attendees to "reparent" themselves.
"The classes are really for people who do not want to parent the way they were parented," she said. "They also want to heal their own wounds that happened at different stages of development."
Many books have been written on the subject in recent years, she said, with the most notable ones she recommends being "Growing up Again" by Connie Dawson and "Giving the Love That Heals" by Harville Hendrix.
She said everyone has some unmet needs from childhood and carries them wherever he goes. Often, it is not until he becomes a parent that there is an awareness of these needs.
"You always hear people say they have trouble with a certain age group," she said. "They'll say, 'I can't work with 2-year-olds' or 'I do better with teen-agers.' Whatever age you have a problem with, you probably had some of your own unmet needs at that age.
"When you parent your own children, you have an opportunity to reparent the child that was in you at each stage of the child's development."
Ms. Kelly said the first class covers infants, with subsequent meetings to continue through the various stages of development. Her hope is that the classes will help provide a chance to heal some of the parents' wounds that happened at different stages.
The format for the classes will be educational presentations and group therapy highlighting parenting techniques. There will also be exercises and opportunities to apply them.
Ms. Kelly said the tools offered in the classes will help parent and child.
"These parenting techniques will provide reparenting for the mother while teaching her how to set limits for herself and her child," she said. Appropriate boundaries will also be included on how to protect and nurture parent and child.
"It will enhance the participants' personal growth as well as help them to love their children effectively," she said.
Child care will not be provided during the sessions, and there is a nominal fee per class. Participants can join at any time and attend as many as they choose.
For questions about the program, call 734-1579.
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