Cass County Strengthening Families Program for Parents & Youth 10-14 begins May 17th

Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14

Middle school can be a challenging time for youth and their parents/caregivers. As children approach & reach middle-school-age, parents may want to be more protective while their children may want more independence. They both may be unsure how to communicate their expectations to each other. The Strengthening Families Program for Parents & Youth 10-14 (SFP10-14) helps family members learn ways to connect with one another and develop positive communication skills.
 
Research shows that protective parenting, including setting boundaries, helps middle schoolers feel safe, improves family relationships, and decreases the level of family conflict, then contributing to lower levels of substance abuse. Additionally, youth that participate in SFP10-14 had significantly fewer conduct problems in school than youth in the control group.
 
Cass County families with youth aged 10-14 are invited to sign up for this FREE online series, offered through a local partnership program with Cass County Extension. The series begins on Monday May 17th, in the evenings. Youth and caregivers will attend separate sessions each Monday evening, and then attend a join session on Thursday of the same week to discuss the topic for the week and build family communication skills. The class will meet twice weekly online from May 17 through June 28. Families enrolled will receive weekly meal kits or gift cards so they can enjoy a family meal together on meeting nights.
 
The seven-week series is designed for parents or caregivers along with their children who are between the ages of 10 and 14. During the class, parents experience role-plays, group discussions and other skill-building activities. Youth sessions provide group discussions, group skill practice and social activities. Family sessions use specifically designed games and activities to increase family togetherness, build positive communication skills, and facilitate problem-solving techniques.
 
The program is currently being implemented in all 50 states and more than 18 countries. SFP 10-14 helps parents and caregivers learn skills for nurturing their children while providing effective guidance and discipline. The program also provides youth a healthy future orientation and an increased appreciation of their parents or caregivers, all while teaching youth skills for dealing with stress and peer pressure. In addition to decreasing conduct problems in schools, research has shown that youth participants in SFP 10–14 had significantly lower rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use compared to non-participating youth.
 
Parent participants in SFP 10–14 showed gains in specific parenting skills, including setting appropriate limits and building a positive relationship with their child. They also showed an increase in positive feelings toward their child. In addition, parents increased skills in general child management, including setting rules and following through with consequences, effectively monitoring youth, and having appropriate and consistent discipline.
 
For additional information about the upcoming series, contact Wendy Richer at the Cass County Extension office by calling 712-243-1132 or email wrichter@iastate.edu. A registration form can be downloaded using the link below.
 
Cass SFP 10-14 Program May 2021 Registration Form

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