Families in Action classes return | VailDaily.com

Families in Action classes return

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Families in Action is evidence-based and reduces substance abuse through parent education, parent engagement and parent involvement. It continues to promote parent-centered substance abuse prevention through education and policy advocacy.

EAGLE — The Eagle River Youth Coalition is once again hosting its six-week positive parenting class, Families in Action, offering families critical tools for the challenging teen years — communication, conflict resolution and encouragement — plus information about preventing problems with drugs, alcohol, sex and violence. The classes are for children ages 11 through 16 and their parents.

Using a curriculum from the Active Parenting Publishers and Michael Popkin, this class encourages parents and teens to learn together. Families in Action is evidence-based and reduces substance abuse through parent education, parent engagement and parent involvement. It continues to promote parent-centered substance abuse prevention through education and policy advocacy.

Studies show that when families learn together, the results are more positive and effective. Learn how to work through conflict resolution, suggest alternatives to bad decision-making and listen to each other effectively.

The class is engaging, with video, group discussion and activities that help families communicate without fighting, work through power struggles, understand one another's goals and avoid the scary risks of adolescence (including drugs, alcohol, sex and violence) to ultimately enjoy the wonderful journey to adulthood—together.

Divide and conquer

While parents are tackling tough topics in one room, youth are in their own room, learning how to communicate with their parents. Working together, the family becomes a stronger, less divisive unit. Families in Action lets both sides be heard, understood and learn how to support each other.

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"It's no secret that raising teens can be challenging," said Carol Johnson, community education manager at the Eagle River Youth Coalition. "This bilingual class offers a unique chance to get on the same page with your teen and eliminate some heartaches, headaches and worry. Most of all, by taking this class, you learn that you are not alone with your struggles of raising your teen."

Two Active Parenting-certified and experienced trainers, Ana Mendoza and Maria Elizalde, have been teaching the class in Spanish for several years and will teach the parent portion of Families in Action.

"It is so gratifying when a student tells us their relationship with their teen has improved because of the lessons we teach," Elizalde said.

Rachel Verinis and Sara Cross will lead the teen classroom component. Cross has been a guidance counselor at Battle Mountain High School and has experience with teen prevention programs, as well. Verinis is the former counselor at Homestake Peak School.

The class offers a guidebook, dinner and childcare. If you have questions or need scholarship information, contact Carol Johnson at cjohnson@eagleyouth.org.

If you go …

What: Families in Action, a six-week parenting course.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 11 to Oct. 23 (no class Oct. 2).

Where: Eagle Valley Middle School, 747 E. Third St., Eagle.

Cost: $50 per family, with a $25 rebate for perfect attendance.

More information: Registration is required this year. Click on the “Families in Action” button at http://eagleyouth.org/ to register.