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Parenting seminar broadcast locally

| Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001

Graystone Presbyterian Church in Indiana will be one of many sites around the nation Saturday simultaneously playing host to a live broadcast, 'Secrets to Great Parenting.'

With promoters calling it a 'family-strengthening' event, hundreds of churches are expected to show the satellite broadcast featuring authorities on family life, presented by Church Communications Network and Christian Parenting Today magazine.

People are welcome to come to any part of the sessions, which run from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Over a snack break at 2 p.m. psychologist Susan Shopland of University Psychologists in Indiana will discuss 'Helping Kids Cope with Trauma.'

A member of Graystone Church, she has taught family therapy at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and supervised in the family clinic of the IUP psychology doctoral program.

With the terrorist attacks on American soil still very much on people's minds, Shopland said parents need to consider the unique needs of each child. Some children tend to worry while others are more easygoing; all of them benefit from parents who understand them as individuals.

There are also general things for parents to remember. For instance, children at different age levels have different needs, Shopland said.

Very young children do not grasp that death is irreversible. 'I think we've seen that on TV with children asking if they can call (a missing parent) on the cell phone or asking when is Daddy coming home,' she said. 'It's also difficult to separate what is seen on TV from their own experience. At a young age, they need to be protected.'

Different children have different ways of showing distress. While older children may verbalize their thoughts, the very young lack words but may cling to parents or revert to earlier behavior patterns. Parents can help their child express their feelings through play experiences or perhaps drawing, Shopland said.

Shopland will include a question-and-answer period in her portion of the presentation.

The schedule for the parenting seminar is as follows:

  • 11:30 a.m. - 'What Every Child Needs'
  • 12:45 p.m. - 'Growing a Healthy Family'
  • 2 p.m. - 'Helping Kids Cope with Trauma'
  • 2:45 p.m. - 'Dealing with Problem Behavior'
  • 3:20 - 'Raising Faith-shaped Kids'
  • 4:25 p.m. - 'Dealing with Popular Culture'
  • 4:45 p.m. - Questions and Answers.

To attend any part of the seminar, call the church at 724-349-5556. The cost is $7 per person. Child care is available by reservation only. Refreshment breaks will be held throughout the day.

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