By Les Morris
Being an effective parent has always been a challenge. Today, that’s perhaps truer than it’s ever been.
Rob Evans is a Hamilton County probation officer and, along with fellow probation officer Sheri Ross, leads The Parent Project, an 11-week course for parents of strong-willed and out-of-control children. The program is designed to curb destructive teen behaviors like poor school attendance, alcohol and drug use, runaways and violence.
“These parents are doing a lot of good things. The problem is that no other generation of parents has ever dealt with some of the issues we’re dealing with now such as social media, cell phones, designer drugs and vaping,” Evans said.
The Parent Project has been offered to Hamilton County parents for more than 15 years and started its summer program in early June.
The class meets once a week for three hours and is presented entirely on Zoom. Evans is quick to point out it is not simply a lecture format. Participants are divided into groups of between eight and 10 parents so parents can learn from each other. Evans believes it is this support which is the most beneficial aspect of the class. Indeed, the groups become so valuable that they continue indefinitely long after The Parent Project class has ended, with some going strong two years after the initial class.
Parents are given concrete prevention and intervention strategies that can be put into immediate use within the home.
“We have seen real transformation in families,” said Evans, who has been teaching the class since 2013. “That’s why we love to do the class and we want more people to be a part of it.
The next 11-week session of The Parent Project begins Sept. 6. The program fee is $80 per family. For more and to register, visit bit.ly/3GYK6jG.