Our Story: Strengthening Families Program 10-14


Parents learn to be better parents, kids learn to resist peer pressure, and together they learn to better communicate as a family through the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Also known as Programa de Familias Fuertes, the program is available in English and Spanish.

Rosa Gonzalez, a human sciences program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, teaches the seven-session program in Perry, Iowa.

She says:

The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10 to 14 is a parenting program where the parents learn skills to be better parents and the youth learn skills related to peer pressure and how to deal with stress. We invite the whole family to be part of the program – the families can take not just the youth 10 to 14, but also they can bring their younger ones and we provide child care.

We have two different sessions, one for the parents and one for the youth. Then we get together as a whole group, the family group. In seven sessions the parents learn different skills about how to parent their kids using different techniques. They learn how to get better communication skills, how to talk with the kids without being angry and with respect, how to balance between how they can show love, but also set limits at home.

The sessions are taking place in Perry, Iowa. Many of you probably know Perry Iowa has a strong Latino community. We do the sessions in Spanish using videotapes that are completely in Spanish, but we also have the videotapes in English. When we get all together, then we go back and forth using both languages.

When you work with your children to give them the right tools to become responsible young adults, you are helping not just your children, not just your family, but also the whole community, because you are raising kids that become responsible. It’s a program that is not just short-term for the good of the families, but in the long-term also, for the good of their own communities.

You’re going to be doing fun activities, but also you’re going to create a relationship that is going to last forever. You’re going to be able to create a relationship that is going to help you and your kid become a good citizen, a good family. You cannot miss the opportunity to learn about your kid, and your kid learn about you and more than everything, just spend time together as a family, having fun.

“My name is Rosa Gonzalez and I work with families, creating good relationships, for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.”