On March 19, the eighth class of the Ottawa County Parent Project held a graduation ceremony for six parents. Several distinguished guests, Ottawa County Commissioners Jodi Regal
and Jim Sass, and Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Giesler, attended the ceremony and congratulated the parents. Facilitator Stephanie Weeks shared with the parents and guests a poem about “Mean Moms.” The poem encouraged mothers to actively supervise their children and be an active participant in their lives. The poem ended with the statement, “that is what’s wrong with the world today. It just doesn’t have enough mean Moms!”
Feedback from the six parent participants was very positive and enthusiastic. One parent noted that through The Parent Project she learned better parenting skills to cope with tough issues and to not always blame herself. She now understands that it will take time for change to occur. Many of the parents expressed that they learned the importance of consistency; with structure, showing love and affection, support and guidance, and providing consequences. Another one of the parents expressed that she wanted to go through the class a second time due to finding it so helpful and the supportive atmosphere.
Throughout the eleven weeks of class, participants learn about prevention and intervention strategies to help address issues today’s adolescents may be experiencing, such as drug/alcohol use, truancy and school related issues, exposure to violence and adult content in the media/video games/TV/internet, suicidal thoughts/actions, running away, criminal behavior, negative peer relationships/influences, and social networking/sexting. Parents also receive emotional support from the other parents in the class and discover they are not alone.
If you feel you would benefit from such a program or know someone who would, please contact Stephanie Weeks at the Ottawa County Juvenile Court at 419-734-6839 or Kelly Pape at the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services at 419-898-3688 ext. 285. Another session of Parent Project will be scheduled to soon. The Parent Project is open to any Ottawa County resident with a child ages 11 to 18. Facilitators are also open to speaking at community events/meetings.
The Parent Project is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services, The Ottawa County Juvenile Court supported by Ohio DYS RECLAIM grant funds, TDH Enterprise, and the Ottawa County Board of DD.