Through agreements with local county court
systems, the Society provides parenting education services to
parents involved in divorce in McDowell, Mercer, and Wyoming Counties. These programs provide divorcing
parents the opportunity to learn about and discuss the effects
of divorce and the changing family situation has on children. By
helping parents learn to communicate effectively with each other
and focus on the best interests of the child, the impact of divorce
can be mitigated.
Parenting Education in Action:
Many parents are nervous and skeptical when they first approach
the West Virginia Supreme Court-mandated Parenting classes and
may openly wonder, "What can these people teach me about parenting
my own children?"
In the opening statements of the class, the primary focus is
on the children and how the parent can help the child cope with
a difficult period in both of their lives. Confidentiality is stressed
and class participation becomes less embarrassing as parents begin
to center on the needs of their children.
Once the "Children in the Middle" video starts and discussion
about divorce and changes in their children's behavior begins,
a noticeable shift occurs in the parents' attitudes.
Evaluations of the classes show that parents value most
the discussion of the effects of divorce on children and
many wish the class extended beyond two hours.
The following are some of the comments from parents who
have attended these classes:
"program tries to make parents realize that the child is
priority #1 and parents should not put each other down no
matter what happens."
"Scenarios provided real-life examples of what parents
should not do."
"it made me really want for me and my ex to get along for
the kids. I really liked the class."
"This session made me realized that my situation is not
uncommon and I learned how to handle many different situations
in a positive way."
"I learned how to help my children through the hard times
and make sure they don't blame themselves."
"It is insightful to watch (the videos) and catch the mistakes
you may not know you are making."
"Very valuable information on how to handle many different
situations that may arise."
When asked what the parents liked best about the program,
the overwhelming response was the open discussion of each