Virtual Program Offers Tips for Parenting

Raising children has its rewards and challenges and the pandemic has brought with it new challenges for families, says Hailey Burgher, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“ACT Raising Safe Kids” teaches positive parenting skills to parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 8. The series of lessons is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach.

“We are excited to bring this educational offering virtually to families, “ said Burgher, who specializes in family life issues. “It is what ISU Extension and Outreach has done for over 100 years – respond to the needs of Iowans where they are.”

In the series of lessons parents and caregivers will gain strategies for:

  • Dealing with children's difficult behaviors using developmentally appropriate responses;
  • Controlling their own anger;
  • Helping children control their anger;
  • Teaching children how to resolve conflicts without using violence;
  • Using positive discipline methods that fit the children's age; and
  • Reducing the influence of media violence on children.

Participants will receive the ACT Parent Handbook, which includes sets of fact sheets with information on children's typical problem behaviors and outlines basic child development information. The handbook also includes handouts on anger management, positive discipline, media literacy and positive ways to resolve conflict.

The program is based on research that indicates that effective parenting is a critical factor to prevent youth behavior problems, said Rader.

Parents, foster parents, grandparents, primary caregivers and others in a parenting role are encouraged to attend the upcoming series scheduled for Tuesday evenings starting Feb. 27 or Friday afternoons starting March 1. Iowa foster parent credit is available. Professionals working with families are encouraged to share this information with clients.

The ACT Raising Safe Kids series consists of nine two-hour sessions. Cost is $40 per family. For a financial scholarship, contact Hailey Burgher at or 641-895-9037. For more information or to register, visit