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New programs for new parents

Elizabeth Weddle/The Observer

Elizabeth Weddle/The Observer

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The CWU Family Resource Center has created two programs that offer various resources  and assistance for new parents.

The Incredible Years and Mother2Mother parenting groups began on Jan. 10 and Jan. 12 respectively. The programs meet weekly for nine weeks in  Michaelson Hall 126.

The Incredible Years program has already been operating nation-wide and available at CWU for two years. The parenting group aims to help  parents who have children 2- to 6-years-old.

This nine-week program gives parents the tools and resources for parenting their newborns and infants. The program aims to reduce behavioral problems, build a stronger parent-child relationship, teach parents discipline techniques and build social support with other parents.

Debra Herendeen is the program director of Mother2Mother and graduated from CWU in 2015 with a master’s in Family and Consumer Science. Herendeen was able to work with Amy Claridge, director of the Family Resource Center, over the past year to create Mother2Mother for parents with children up to 3-years-old.

Claridge was a family therapist before she started teaching at CWU.

“I like working with parents,” Claridge said, “I am excited to see it launch after working on it for a year.”

A graduate student and professor lead each of the groups while undergraduate students provide childcare for the participating parents. This gives the graduate students an opportunity to put their college training into practice and the undergraduates a chance to work with the kids.  

Natalie Porter and Brittany Stamnes are first-year graduate students. Porter is the lead facilitator with Claridge and was able to get into leadership with the program through practicum.

Stamnes is one of the group facilitators who observed the Incredible Years in previous years. Stamnes said she wants to go into parental guidance and is excited to help lead the program this year.

“I’m interested in adverse childhood experiences,” Porter said.

Additionally, Porter said she has enjoyed, “helping create the curriculum” and that “working with the mothers will probably be my favorite part.”

Stamnes said she is excited to hear how the parents change over the course of the program and that it’s nice see to how it makes a difference in their lives.

Most of the attendees are from Ellensburg and the CWU campus, but anyone is welcome and can sign up by talking to Claridge.

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New programs for new parents