NEWBERRY — In an effort to help parents work better with their children, the Department of Social Services now holds parenting classes for those who may feel stressed, feel like they have nowhere else to turn or want to build their skills as a parent.
“A lot of cases we end up referring families to parenting classes so they can learn skills on how to discipline, the best ways to work with your child as far as getting them to do what you want them to do, setting up some structure, things like that,” said Ken McBride, Newberry DSS director. “A lot of us learn our parenting skills from our parents, so a lot of it is generational, passed from generation to generation.”
He said the classes educate parents on being aware of simple things, like knowing their child is in the front yard by themselves.
The classes also go over do’s and don’ts, such as getting down on a child’s level, talking eye to eye with them when disciplining.
“It talks about doing some family structure, having regular times for meals, doing homework, a structured time to go to bed, different things like that. This is for whenever we have someone with a newborn or whenever the child is two or three and they wonder how they can get this child to do what they want them to do,” McBride said. “Our goal with this is to not only help some of the families we’re already working with, but help do some prevention. If people want to attend the class and gain information from it, I think it’s a great thing.”
Parenting classes are held every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the DSS office, 2107 Wilson Road, and is taught by Sam Etheridge, who also teaches karate to at-risk youth. The classes are for parents only and daycare is not available for children during the class. They are also free to the public.
“He (Etheridge) said that he would do it whether there was one person or 20 and if we were to get that many people involved and needed a bigger space then we would find it. We want this to be a positive thing for folks. We’re not wanting this to be a negative thing, we want it to be something that can grow and help prevent us from being involved in anybody’s cases,” McBride said.
McBride added that the best part about the parenting class being offered is it does not have a start point, meaning someone doesn’t have to wait for one class to end before starting.
“You can come in at any time and just loop back around, that’s the best part about it. If someone wants to start this coming Wednesday then they can,” he said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.