The Family & Intercultural Resource Center often hosts classes and seminars applicable to families and parents. Many of these are targeted for specific audiences. Back in November, however, FIRC decided to open its one-time "Beyond Timeout" seminar class to the public, hoping to widen its reach. The response was unexpected. Not only did more than 40 parents show up to listen to the presentation, but surveys conducted afterward conveyed appreciation for the seminar and a strong interest in continuation."We were pleasantly surprised to have such a large turnout," said Susan Turner, who led the class.Turner's second class, follow-up to the first, will take place Tuesday at the Summit County Community and Senior Center.A retired clinical psychologist, Turner has volunteered her time and skills to FIRC classes and education groups for the past five years. The "Beyond Timeout" class focuses on tactics and strategies for dealing with children between 2-12. Based on the book "1-2-3 Magic" by psychologist Thomas Phelan, Turner will discuss "start behaviors," which are positive behaviors parents should encourage in their children. The presentation is the companion to the November class, which overviewed the negative "stop behaviors.""It's a program I've used in my career for a long time and really think that it's especially helpful because it's not too complicated and it offers pretty straightforward effective results for families," Turner said. "It takes those everyday life circumstances that you have with kids and helps you tip the balance from being challenging to something that doesn't feel physically and emotionally exhausting."Based on the turnout from the previous class, Turner believes that her presentation is meeting a need within the community. "Our lifestyle now is that many families are raising young children without the support of family," Turner said. "Finding support in the community is really helpful and important. I also think that there are lots of stresses on families with young kids right now. Having the community set up and offer (the classes) is tremendous and I think it really speaks highly to Summit County that this kind of programming is available. I think it's very pertinent to families right now."Organizers at FIRC said that they had taken note of the interest in the open class."They really appreciated Susan Turner's knowledge and examples," said Kerri Bowen, parent education services coordinator at FIRC. "They wanted her to come back to do more and specifically mentioned these 'start behaviors.'"Turner, for her part, said she is happy to comply."I was delighted to see what the response was," she said. "I think it does speak to families wanting this kind of information. Not every family is going to choose or be able to go work with a counselor or therapist on their own, and they don't need to, oftentimes. Getting this support in the community is really what's most helpful."
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