David Briseno knows the job of a parent is an important one. He uses his parenting skills gained dealing with four children and three grandchildren to teach parenting classes at the Portales Municipal School’s Family Leadership Institute.
July is Purposeful Parenting Month and Briseno teaches parents what it means to be a good parent.
Briseno spent 26 years in education in Clovis as a teacher, principal and director of federal programs. He helped start Family Leadership Institute in Clovis.
The 10-session course for parents, which is focused on giving parents knowledge, tools and inspiration to help their children succeed in school and in life.
“Doctors, lawyers and accountants take classes every so often to learn more about their field and become better. Then why not have parents take classes that help them become better?” Briseno said.
Briseno works as director of outreach at La Casa Family Health Center and he facilitates the FLI in Portales schools.
What does being a purposeful parent mean to you?
To be a purposeful parent you need to have good solid foundation for you and your kids. You need to know what your goals are as a parent so you can inspire your own children to go forward in life.
What is some feedback you get from the Family Leadership Institute?
I have many reactions from parents about how the classes have helped them.
I had this father and son who came together to a class and after the class he came up to me and said, “Thank you very much. This is the first time I have ever talked to my son. I talk at him and not to him.”
Part of FLI is that parents have to devote time to the class and I had this one parent who was upset by it. He was very angry at the first class and we told him he did not have to come to anymore classes.
The class he did attend was about our past and how it shapes us. He told me that after the class he just fell to the floor and started to cry. He realized he was not being the best father or the best spouse.
How did you get involved in the Family Leadership Institute?
I attended a conference as director of the district’s federal program and I met the founder of FLI, Consuelo (Kickbusch) of FLI. I told her about a parents’ day we did at school. She told me a parent is 24/7 and they need more than a day devoted to them. She told me about her program and I did some research.
At the time the cost was too much to start up initially. Three years later though, the program was started.
Why should parents take classes?
The FLI helps parents understand how to help their children grow. It encourages parents to be more involved with their children.
Every session is unique and different. We have open dialogue with all the parents and I get something out of it every time.
Parents share their experiences and it is great.
You said you learn more things about being a parent by teaching. What are the most important lessons you learned?
There are a couple of things.
One is listening and allowing your child to follow their dreams and what they want to do. A lot of times we want our children to live our dreams. We should listen to them more and encourage them to pursue their dream.