WESTMINSTER — In recent years, employers have offered programs for their workers to deal with alcohol and drug abuse, overeating and stress.
But theCarroll County Youth Services Bureau now is offering area businessesthe chance to teach their employees about parenting.
"The little ones don't come with a manual, and as a result, we have seen a surge in demand for parenting classes," said Lynn D. Davis,a Youth Services Bureau counselor.
With the advent of two-income households and single-parent homes, it is natural that there are going to be more problems in family life, Davis said.
In addition, families are changing. The traditional autocratic, patriarchal family has changed into a more democratic one in which the parents are equals.Children also face more pressures now than in the past.
Both factors increase the stress within a family.
Davis contends that problems in the family spill over into the workplace. Distracted by problems at home, workers are not as productive as they could be.
The Youth Services Bureau, a non-profit organization, reports that many family related problems -- lack of communication and discipline problems-- can be solved with techniques that are taught in parenting classes.
Once parents learn to use those techniques, Davis said, they can create a more positive family life.
She said employers also can learn to make their workplaces more "family friendly."
For the past 5 1/2 years, the bureau has been offering parenting classes around Carroll County -- in Taneytown, Eldersburg, Manchester, Hampstead andMount Airy -- using a program called "Systematic Training for Effective Parenting."
The course takes eight weeks. Each weekly session lasts about 1 1/2 hours. The cost depends on the size (maximum of 16)of the group: The cost for 12 is $740; for each additional person, add $15.
The topics covered include an understanding of why children misbehave, learning to build a child's feelings of confidence and self-worth, learning to speak more effectively to children, and learning positive forms of problem-solving.
Davis said the bureau is looking for employers who want to play host to a group. Meetings can be conducted before work, during lunch or even after work, said Davis.
"We are very flexible, and we can design the program to meet the needs of the employers and employees," she said.
Davis and others inthe bureau have made presentations to several businesses, but none has started a class.
"We think this will be a very successful program because better parents make better workers," she said.
Information: 848-2500 or 876-2500.