Program helps families deal with parenting challenges - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Program helps families deal with parenting challenges

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  In eastern Iowa, the Family and Children's Council works to help parents so they don't resort to abuse. 

Alicia Bury is a mom of two very busy kids:  Melanie, 2, and Nicholas, 6 months.  She's quickly realized the challenges of taking care of a household and children as a stay-at-home mom.

"It's hard with two little ones running around all the time," Bury said.

At times, it's overwhelming for Bury.  So she's turned to the Family and Children's Council of Black Hawk County for help.  Bury is enrolled in the parent connection program, which offers in-home education and support for families with children 12 and under.

"Parenting is not an easy thing.  It's a job most of us are not ever prepared enough for," said Missy Denning, Family & Children's Council education coordinator.

The program helps parents with simple tips in developing routines to help avoid stress with everyday challenges, like bed time.

"Things like giving them a bath to wind them down, helping them by reading a story perhaps, tucking them into bed," Denning said.

Educators also work with parents on developmental progress. For example, Bury's getting help with tummy time for Nicholas and potty training with Melanie.  There are also lessons on balancing household chores, like laundry, with child care.  Teaching good discipline practices is another big part of the program.

"Every family has strengths, and every family is also at risk for having child abuse in their home," said Denning.

So the program works to enhance a family's strengths, while lending personal support to help them raise happy, healthy kids.

The family and children's council also helps families connect with other services they may need, ranging from housing to food assistance.  You can call United Way's 211 line to learn more about available programs, or call the Family and Children's Council at (319) 234-7600.

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