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Family Wellness classes to begin

Staff reports

Family Wellness classes are based on the idea that families want to be happy and work together, yet often don’t know how. Family Wellness teaches survival skills to parents, children, grandparents, foster parents and couples. It is a way to develop the skills necessary to solve small problems before they get unmanageable and to change already difficult family problems.

The class format provides a relaxed and lively way to learn through the use of demonstrations, role plays, group exercises and coaching to solve problems. Instructors provide structure and help to make the experience a safe place for parents to learn to make rules, stick together and stay in charge. Children are encouraged to be good at something, belong and contribute to the family, follow family rules and learn how to talk to parents about the rules.

Adults set the tone for the interactions of all family members. Strategies are presented to help parents take time and space to be together and work cooperatively as a team in decision-making.

Change is seen as a normal and expected part of family life. Children change as they grow up, adults change as they pass through various life stages. Family health depends upon the family’s ability to adapt to change. General guidelines for coping with change and how to use outside help are offered.

The final session is devoted to helping parents prepare their children for the world, identifying values and establishing rules that support these values.

Participants have this to say about Family Wellness:

“We had problems, and our solutions weren’t working. Having everyone attend the same class helped us work better together because we had the same information.”

“I found session one most helpful because I needed to know I still had authority, a voice and worth as a parent.”

“The girls are more understanding that parents need time to communicate – we have welcomed fewer interruptions.”

“I’m trying to talk to my parents about things I was afraid to ask before.”

“My parents don’t yell as much is the one change I’ve seen.”

The next Family Wellness class will be held six consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. starting April 17. Free child care will be provided for children 8 years old and younger. Children 9 and older can participate in the class.

For more information or to preregister, contact Deborah Van Bruggen or Tammy Ramos at the Family Support Council, 782-8692.