Who Can Use It?

“Growing Strong Families: A Tool Kit for Parenting” can be used in a great variety of settings by families, groups and professionals. Following are some suggestions on various ways this material can be used to greatly benefit families:

Of Course, By Families:
The material is so “user friendly” parents can easily read it and began to think of the best ways to use it with their families. One possibility is for parents to read all of the information and then develop plans for working on each of the six identified traits of a healthy family. Parents may decide to start with some key issues or problems in the family. Just keep the overall approach positive. Day to day events and issues can create opportunities to use and apply guidelines and activities.

Teachers, Scout Leaders, YMCA Staff, Boys and Girls Club Staff:
It is best to start with a comfortable grasp of the material and the “reflective” style that is woven into all
of the learning activities. Pick topics or issues that can be worked into situations in the classroom or other activities, such as self respect and respect for others, listening and expressing, self esteem and self identity. Be creative. Also apply the “Disciplined Reflection” process to any learning event.

Day Care and After School Staff:
Much of the ideas identified above can be applied here. One thing that may be different with this group is that there may be more of an opportunity to interact with the parents. Suggest and give copies of information for the families to do at home. This could be planned to support what is being taught and practiced by the staff during the day or after school. Also, consider organizing a “Growing Strong Families” emphases. This may be as simple as a few activities for families to do at home. Or it could involve all of the families downloading, without cost, the “Growing Strong Families” material. Provide the parents with a planned approach to using the material. All of the parents and children would be focusing on the same skills and issues at the same time.

Counselors and Therapists:
Much of this material was developed working with individuals and families in a counseling situation. Some of the material and activities are more directed toward parent and child interaction, while some, as the reflective learning aspects, can be used with most individuals and in a variety of situations. Issues as self identity, communication, problem solving, managing feelings etc. are often critical areas for many clients in a counseling situation.

Ministers and Lay Leaders:
Churches are one of the few “social groups” that have the entire family involved in the membership and activities of the group. This creates unlimited opportunities and possibilities to use all or parts of the “Growing Strong Families” material. The best place to start is for the pastor and staff to become familiar with the material and then introduce key leaders to the material. Most of the ideas and suggestions already listed can apply to church situations. The special section on Christian parenting certainly increases the “usability” of this material in a church. And, specific information and activities can be copied, as well as members can download the material without costA very simple approach is to provide a link to growingstrongfamilies.com on the church website.

Special Note:
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Growing Strong Families: A Tool Kit for Parenting, please use the “Contact” tab.