As Mike Dietze's five-year-old son entered preschool last year, he started to notice the challenge parents had in dealing with their children. Not that the kids were "bad," says Dietze, but that we were just dealing with the general challenges of parenthood.
"I realized that we are all going through the same issues in one way or another," says Dietze. "In talking to other parents I found that some had great ideas and had things that were working, while others were at their wits end and didn't know what to do. However, no one was talking to one another about it, sharing ideas on what did and didn't work with their children."
Recently, Dietze launched "It Takes a Village," a parents support group through Clark Recreation.
"Parents need a place to go to share ideas and to hear new ones," says Dietze. "A place to get to know each other and to rely on one another. We are all in this together. If my son acts out at home, and I don't know how to deal with it, then he takes that back to school and it affects the other kids, and then they take the behavior home and so on. So it really does take a village to raise a child, and that's why I started the group."
"It Takes a Village" will meet for the second time on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Clark Rec. Center.
The meetings start with an open discussion, then a speaker on a specific topic, followed by an open discussion at the end. The group is open to all Clark parents of children ages 4 to 7, although if someone from another town wants to join they can.
"At our first meeting, some had a major wow moment in finding something they were doing that could be improved," Dietze wrote to Patch. "Like the mom that realized that she doesn't give her daughter the courtesy that she gives the people that work for her, and how she is going to be sure to do that in future. For example, she wouldn't tell an employee to do X 'because I said so')."
For more information, reach out to Dietze at ClarkParentsGroup@gmail.com.
Dietze has also created a Facebook page to provide the model for parents to create groups in other towns, using Clark as the model.
This meeting's topic: Kids and Self Esteem
HOW IS IT DEVELOPED? HOW WILL IT AFFECT MY CHILD?
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP IMPROVE MY CHILD’S?
Carol M. Pedro MA, LPC- Currently the Executive Director of Youth & Family Couseling Service in Westfield providing counseling sessions and bringing workshops to the community. She writes a monthly article “In Session” for the Westfield Leader and provides services to local schools and other organizations. Prior to this position, Carol developed and implemented several children and family programs for hospitals and other private mental health facilities. She holds a masters degree in counseling and is a state licensed professional counselor. Carol has over 12 years of experience.