Learning you are about to become a parent can be exciting, and completely terrifying. One local program is using a model that’s been successful internationally to help prepare parents as best as they can.
“Being a first time mom, I was a little nervous,” said Damaris Vazquez-Rodriguez.
That’s something the folks from Parents as Teachers are used to hearing.
“It sounds a little bit like a cliché, but kids don’t come with instructions,” said Alice McAdam, Parents as Teachers program manager. “It’s the truth.”
There may be no instruction manual, but the parents as teachers program specializes in preparing parents for a child, and then guides parents as they prepare their children to be successful in school.
“Obviously babies are growing and changing all the time and every time is a new challenge, knowing what is normal, what is not and how to address it,” said Vazquez-Rodriguez.
“Children are learning whether the parent is conscious of it or not,” said McAdam. “But at the same time, if a parent can use their knowledge and support their child’s learning, we know that’s very important and that creates success.”
Funded by the United Way, counselors from the program work with parents from the time they’re expecting until the child graduates kindergarten. For any parent, first time or not, that is comforting.
“If they have good information, they can use that love for their child to help their child become ready and successful in school,” said McAdam. “All of that happens at the earliest part of life.”
“Every child is different,” said Vazquez-Rodriguez. “It’s really great if they participate in the program and learn how to handle different things for each of your children.”
After the children go on to first grade, parents have the option to move on to the parents as advocates program, which focuses on the parents relationship with their child’s school.
Learn how to become a part of the Parents as Teachers or Parents as Advocates programs by calling 585-436-0370 ext. 308.