'Monster' proceeds make parenting program possible

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Shelly Birkelo
Friday, September 13, 2013

JANESVILLE—When her 4-year-old daughter was sick and irritable earlier this week, Elizabeth Licary felt stressed out.

But the 23-year-old single Janesville mother gained control thanks to positive parenting tips she learned at a Nurturing Parenting program through the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services Exchange Family Resource Center.

"I stepped out of the room, thought about how to handle the situation, went back in the room and took care of the situation," she said.

Licary admits that being a parent isn't easy.

"It doesn't come with a handbook," she said.

That's why Licary is grateful she had the opportunity to enroll in the free parenting program.

"It gave me the tools to learn my daughter's personality and how to handle her better. It's also made me have more patience and learn how to handle situations better," she said.

Nurturing Parenting, however, wouldn't be possible without proceeds from the resource center's upcoming Monster Machines in Motion fundraiser scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Wright Road and Delavan Drive.

Sponsored by the resource center's board of directors, the event lets children climb aboard massive quarry and construction equipment and take rides on a backhoe, a front loader and a monster truck.

"Monster Machines in Motion is crucial to our operation," said Chelsea Calvert, child and family service specialist at the resource center.

"We wouldn't have a location to offer the class and wouldn't have copy machines to make handouts without the proceeds from it. They pay our rent and keep the electricity on," she said.

Calvert said the Nurturing Parenting program is a philosophy based on research and studies of child development and best practices in child rearing.

"The focus is on how the nurturing and care we give to children really makes a difference in how they turn out," she said.

The 10-week program is open to everyone, and discussion focuses on topics from communicating with respect to alternatives to spanking.

The goal is for parents to become more aware of best practices and what beliefs they have about parenting, Calvert said.

"They're going to feel supported in their parenting role, and that's what we're all about," she said.

Program participant James Pulliam, Beloit, who has children between the ages of 1 and 14, said the program has changed how he parents.

"I've learned the basic principles on how to have a structural foundation for a child as far as discipline. I've learned to praise my children, encourage them and let them know I'm proud of them when they've done a good job," he said.

Pulliam also said the class has changed his perspective on how to interact and compromise with his children and be more open minded about the appropriate times for a timeout.

"It's great, and I'd highly recommend it to anybody dealing with parenting issues," he said.

Calvert emphasized that the class is for anyone.

"Taking a parenting class doesn't mean you're a bad parent," she said.

"We all need advice or help occasionally."

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