Eight-week class to focus on positive parenting

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – An eight-week course aimed at teaching parents ways to strengthen parenting skills, tips for positive parenting or ways to connect with their children will begin Jan. 26 in Alabaster.

“My only objective for the class is that the parents feel they learned something worthwhile,” said Shelby County Regional Juvenile Detention Facility Assistant Manager Vicki Joiner, who leads the class. “Parenting should not be a dreadful chore. We should be able to delight in our children  and know that our children are going to make mistakes. Home should be the place we come and it is always safe. A child may not like everything that happens there, but a child needs to know that while they are at home, they are surrounded by people they can trust.”

The classes begin every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Alabaster City School System’s alternative school building, which is located at 632 11th Ave. S.W. near the new Alabaster City Hall and ACS Central Office.

While some parents are required by the court to attend the classes, the session are open to everyone free of charge.

Parents do not have to live in Shelby County to attend, Joiner said.

“We have parents from all walks of life attend,” Joiner said. “It is also open for parents with children of all ages, from infant to high school. We cover a lot of topics.”

Joiner said parenting can be a stressful job, and oftentimes parents think they are failing or doing a bad job.

“Sometimes parents feel like they are not doing a good job, or are afraid to discipline their child because they feel like they kids will not like it. This class is a great support group for parents to talk with other parents, and to learn different ways to approach various situations.”

Each class session will cover a different issue or topic parents often face on a regular basis.

“I love people,” Joiner said. “Usually, the more the parents are struggling or the more they are hurting, is when they touch my heart. I try to put all parents at ease when they come and let them know that this is not a place to feel judged. I am teaching because I have learned through my own experiences, and my hope is that we can all learn from each other and offer up suggestions of things we can try. We are all in this together.”

There is no pre-registration required for the class, but parents are encouraged to attend all eight sessions.