For almost four decades, the local, non-profit PARENTS, Inc. has, not only been providing treatment services for child abuse and neglect, it's also tried to head-off the problem with positive parenting classes that are available for both at-risk communities and to the public.
Students in one Positive Parenting class are role-playing different scenarios - when kids aren't necessarily cooperative, and patience may be wearing thin. Student Lyonette Wa'a says the classes have really helped. They've taught her how to better relate to her children and grandchildren. "They have good structure. You know, the empathy and sympathy."
Positive Parenting, Confident Parenting, and Women's Life Skills are just some of the classes available through PARENTS, Inc. The organization's goal is to be pro-active in preventing child abuse and neglect - and not just for at-risk families.
Executive Director Lisa Groulx says, "We believe all parents need the parenting education classes, not because you're a bad parent, but because all of us struggle as a parent. Parenting is the most challenging thing to do."
"I was asking you guys different ways that you can teach your kids how to express themselves," says social worker, Kristen Wild. She runs this 16 week class and says, sometimes, parents just need to be shown a different path.
Wild says, "They don't think anything's wrong. and they're like, 'My parents gave me lickings when I was younger. It's fine for me to do it.' and I kind of just explain to them, 'You know, there's more positive ways to kind of reinforce behavior with kids.'"
Paula Kaleo made new discoveries in the Women's Skills class. "It showed me a lot to do with myself - communication, budgeting, family crisis, all kinds, relationships, and stuff like that."
The 30 employees of PARENTS, Inc. work with families throughout Oahu and in east Hawaii. PARENTS, Inc. launched an e-giving campaign just today. For more information on how you can donate, log onto its website, hawaiiparents.org or call (808)235-0255.