OGDEN -- Members of Weber State University's Single Moms Support Group got some good advice on how to "Parent with Love and Logic" during a class held by WSU's Women's Center.
The lunch-time class Tuesday was led by Julee Smith, an adjunct professor in the Child and Family Studies Department, and contrasted different parenting styles. The class drew from the work of Jim Fay, Charles Fay and Foster Cline, who have published several parenting books. Two such books were handed out to attendees; Love and Logic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years, and Parenting with Love and Logic.
Smith suggested that parents need to trust their children to make, and learn from, their own mistakes, which she referred to as significant learning opportunities.
Smith clarified by saying not every situation is a learning opportunity, particularly if the child is in danger. "If they're running to the road, don't say, 'Oh, this is going to hurt.' Put a tomato in the road and let a car run over it. Then say, 'That's what you're gonna look like if you get run over.' "
Smith said allowing children to see this cause and effect teaches them to think about the consequences of their actions. Rescuing children or refusing them the freedom to make mistakes does little to foster their decision making abilities, Smith said.
"I think these ladies have issues that I think a lot of us that have never been a single parent don't appreciate," Smith said, adding that the support group gives WSU single moms access to important resources and friendships.
"They are being a support to one another, and they are looking for resources so they can be the very best parents they can be. They are powerful. They learn fantastic ways of not only parenting but also being a person that they are really proud of. They are doing the things they never thought they could."
Natalie Laramie, a single mom mentor through the WSU Women's Center, said most of the single mom support group classes change every semester, but the parenting with love and logic and the financial strategies classes have been so popular that they are consistently offered each semester. Upcoming classes for the fall semester include financial strategies with Chris Swaner from Cottages of Hope, organizing for success and stress relief, nutrition for kids, and a class on how single moms can pamper themselves.
"Sometimes, especially as single moms, we don't get much support or help from a significant other or family and we feel like we have all this to do by ourselves," Laramie said. "Well, we're still important, we still need to take that time or else we're going to become ineffective as single moms and students. It's a really stressful time, but it doesn't have to be the worst time of your life. You still need to be there for your kids, and you, and enjoy yourself."
Laramie said that before she joined the single moms support group, she often felt overwhelmed by competing home and school duties. She also said the support and education she has received by being part of the group has changed that.
"Once I got involved, I just felt so much more empowered and so much more supported," Laramie said. "Personally, I feel like I am set up for more success."
Smith said being in touch with people who know what you're going through can, in and of itself, be a huge relief.
"I think knowing that someone is there for you and they understand, they've been there, they're going through it, makes all the difference in the world," Smith said. "Too often we feel like 'If I don't have all the answers, I'm less than, I'm not worthwhile,' and they really find out they are. Everybody has some questions, some concerns, and the more they learn, the better they're able to not only help themselves, but others."
The single moms support group is free and open to all single moms. You can register for the support group by going to the WSU Women's Center support page at: www.weber.edu/womenscenter or calling (801) 626-6090.