Parenting skills can be learned

By Sheryl Borden: Columnist

Information on quick projects, seam finishes and making mini albums will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at noon on Tuesday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Evelyn Langston, a designer with Ozark Crafts, will show a quick and easy ice scraper project that can be made in minutes — and it makes a great gift item. She lives in Gilbert, Ariz.

Sewing expert, Vivian Lavinskas demonstrates French, flat and slotted seam finishes for jackets. They offer sturdy construction and enhance the appearance of the inside of the garment. She is with Singer Sewing Co. in Lavergne, Tenn.

New Mexico Cooperative Extension home economist, Connie Moyers will show how to make mini albums in tin boxes using accordion-folded paper to capitalize on the space. These mini albums are a great way to get lots of pictures memorable occasions together in one place to enjoy. She lives in Clovis.

Information on parenting skills and making edible vegetable bouquets will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and at noon on Thursday.

Representatives of the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service in Carlsbad, Sandra Fry and Cathy Grandi will talk about parenting skills and teaching decision-making to children. They’ll also discuss why children misbehave and explain how to use consequences in teaching correct behavior.

Geri Schwandt, a former food stylist from Portales, will show what it takes to make edible creative centerpieces that are guaranteed to be conversation pieces as well.

Parenting Skills

Years ago, parenting skills were learned from the extended family. If parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles didn’t live in the same house, they usually lived within a few miles. They were always available to impart their considerable wisdom to the younger generation on the subjects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children. Now, we have become such a transient society; it is rare that the extended family is even in the same state.

Since the late 20th and early 21st centuries, parents have had to learn creative ways to raise their children. People surf the Internet, read books, take classes, talk to people on the telephone, and make friends with parents who have “been there and done that.” These things are then filtered through our own morality, sensibilities, and personalities to make them work for our own families.

Probably the most important and controversial parenting skill is discipline. Parents are conflicted over what type of discipline to apply at what time. Appropriate discipline for a 2-year-old might not be appropriate or effective for a 10-year-old or a teenager.

The most important piece of the discipline puzzle is determining who is in charge: the parents or the child. This may sound simple, but the answer isn’t always clear. The fear of hurting a child’s feelings or crushing his spirit coerces many parents into allowing their children to rule the roost. Children need firm boundaries that come from clear and consistent parental discipline.