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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-4:12:57A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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12 parents participate in Early Childhood STEP program

THE Division of Youth Services has concluded the annual Early Childhood STEP program which teaches culturally relevant parenting. This year, the program had 12 participants, and the final session was held on Aug. 7 at the DYS office in Chalan Piao.

In an interview, program instructor Lucy Shilling said the classes focused on parenting children from zero to six years.

For each session, she said parents were given assignment to practice what they have learned with their children.

“I always talked about foundation and how we can help build the children’s character when they are still young. We teach parents how to raise you their kids so that they can be independent,” Shilling said.

She said they also talked about discipline. “When we say discipline, we always think about spanking. That is not the case here. The other form of discipline is called consequence,” she added.

Twelve parents completed the Early Childhood STEP program of the Division of Youth Services. The completion ceremony was held after their last session on Aug. 7 at the DYS office in Chalan Piao.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio Twelve parents completed the Early Childhood STEP program of the Division of Youth Services. The completion ceremony was held after their last session on Aug. 7 at the DYS office in Chalan Piao. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Parents should always explain to their children the positive and negative consequences of their behavior, Shilling said.

“Reward them if they do something good. Work with the kids if they do something bad. Teach them what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior.”

Shilling said parents spending quality time with the children is still one of the best ways to bond, communicate and form a relationship with them.

A teacher for 20 years, Schilling has been a certified parenting teacher since 1979 when the Early Childhood STEP program was introduced in the CNMI.

One of the participants, Maria Viveth Jimenez, said she is thankful for the program for teaching her how to deal with her children and improve her relationship with them.