Christian Center helps parents brush up on their skills | ParkRecord.com

Christian Center helps parents brush up on their skills

Lauren Hansen, left, a counselor with the Christian Center of Park City, and Leah Harter, the organizations director of counseling, are set to host a parenting seminar called Parenting with Love and Logic. Hansen says the goal of the seminar is to give parents tools they can use when parenting gets difficult.

When Lauren Hansen worked for the United Way, time and again she heard from Park City parents about the need for parenting classes in town.

"That just came up over and over again from parents saying, 'It would be helpful if we had some tools to use,'" she said.

About a year ago, she became a counselor for the Christian Center of Park City, putting her in a position to actually help make one happen. Hansen and Leah Harter, the organization's director of counseling, put on a parenting seminar called Parenting with Love and Logic this spring, bringing more than 100 parents together to polish up their parenting skills.

The event was so successful, in fact, that the Christian Center is hosting another one. The seminar, which costs $20 per person, is scheduled for Saturday, from 7-9 p.m., at the Christian Center.

Hansen said the Love and Logic parenting approach, which can be used with children ranging from toddlers to adolescents, is based on allowing children to make "small and affordable" mistakes so they can learn that there are consequences to every choice. The goal is that, by the time a child is a teenager, he or she will think through decisions and weigh what effects they will have.

"The nice thing for parents with this is you allow the consequence to be the bad guy," she said. "You as a parent don't have to be the bad guy. It's about, 'Wow, you really made a poor mistake here, and this is the natural consequence of that.' And you love the child through that, providing empathy and support."

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Hansen added that the approach encourages parents to use "one-liners" when their children misbehave. That helps parents keep a calm demeanor instead of becoming overwhelmed by anger or frustration. One example is "I love you too much to argue."

"You keep repeating that so you don't get into a power struggle," she said. "It allows you to have a line that you go to that's a signal to the child that, 'I'm not going to get into this with you and I'm not going to cave on this.'"

Hansen, who has two small children of her own, acknowledged that not everything the seminar teaches will work for every parent. She encouraged attendees to take what they learn from the course and mold it into their own parenting philosophy.

"There are a lot of different parenting styles out there," she said. "Find something that works for you. Love and Logic has great tools and ideas for any parent, even if they come to the seminar and think, 'Oh, that part of it is pretty cheesy.' They can still find something they can go home and use right away. That's the idea."

To register for Parenting With Love and Logic, or for more information, visit ccofpc.org. The cost of the course is $20, though scholarships are available upon request.