AUGUSTA – Parenting children with mental health and behavioral issues is on many people’s minds, and a free workshop series offered through GEAR Parent Network could not be timelier.
“Parenting With Dignity” is being held in several locations across the state, including Tri-County Mental Health Services, 1155 Lisbon St., Lewiston, on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The workshop series is free and encourages parents and caregivers to rethink their approach to discipline, punishment and empowerment.
Designed by Mac Bledsoe, father of former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the series teaches parents how to instill a sense of responsible decision-making in their children.
“Our children will make all of the most important decisions in their lives on their own. As parents, the only thing we can do is teach them how to make good decisions,” Bledsoe said.
“This ability to discern right from wrong cannot be overestimated and the series is specifically developed to teach parents how to raise happy, self-directed children with a strong value structure and a sense of accountability for their actions,” said GEAR parent director Carol Tiernan. “As parents we are aware that we cannot change our children’s world, however we can teach our children how to live in it.”
“It is so important to provide clear rules for our children, and doing so can be even more challenging if they have behavioral health issues concerns,” she said.
The curriculum also focuses on developing parenting skills that help to address many of the traumatic events caused by inexperience or being unprepared. “No parent should be afraid to find the help they need... kids don’t come with an instruction booklet. We all need help from time to time,” Tiernan said.
For more information about the series or other free services offered throughout the state, visit gearparentnetwork.org or call 1-800-264-9224.
GEAR Parent Network is a program of Crisis & Counseling Centers and has been dedicated to helping parents of children with behavioral health needs for more than 20 years. This program has provided vital help to Maine parents through free workshops and support groups and a statewide hotline.
An Augusta-based nonprofit, C&C helps individuals dealing with behavioral health issues. With clinical programs operating out of eight locations, C&C provides outpatient medication management, substance abuse and mental health treatment; integrated medical and behavioral healthcare in two large county jails; and family support services statewide.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, call the Voice & TTY Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112. For information, visit crisisandcounseling.org.