Oh Baby: Family TIES - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: Family TIES

by Sunny Layne

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Temper tantrums, melt downs, crying fits... parents have a natural bond with their children, but sometimes they don't know how to handle children's bad behavior.

See one new program at St. Luke's Hospital which teaches parents how to solve these problems in a strictly positive way.

To learn more about St. Luke's TIES program call (319)558-4861.

Father of three Keith Pitts says his family environment used to be much different.

"It was just chaotic at our home. Constant chaos, fighting," he said.

After adopting children who'd been exposed to illegal substances as children, the family encountered challenges such as Attention Deficit Disorder.

"It was even affecting his ability to function at his day care provider."

Wanting to avoid medication, Pitts, a youth pastor and detention center chaplin, discovered St. Luke's Hospital's TIES program. It stands for "teaching interventions to empower and strengthen families." and it's free.

"More than anything, it changes the way I parent," Pitts said.

The program focuses on children 6 years old and younger, and functions on the understanding that all children have a desire for attention - whether positive or negative.

"As parents we tend to focus on what they do wrong. They're continually being harped on. They're not supposed to do this or that. TIES teaches parents to praise for positive things they are doing," he said.

Program Coordinator Craig Meskimen says ties has helped numerous families.

"They don't go out to eat. They don't go out in public. They're angry, frustrated, tired. They leave quite differently and happy," Meskimen said.

Pitts says TIES is a great option for parents who want to try a course other than medication.

"I wanted my son to be all boy, the way God made him," Pitts said. "To not have him medicated. He uses his manners more. He loves to help."

The TIES program is free, because it depends on graduates of the program to return and teach parenting skills to new groups of families. It is the only program of its kind in the Midwest.

To learn more about St. Luke's TIES program call (319)558-4861.

Reporter: Sunny Layne

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