Parenting Classes Teach Practical Techniques,
Communication Skills

Parenting classes are offered each Thursday from
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Van Nuys Jeopardy facility.

    Needless to say, parenting is difficult at times, but the highly valuable Parenting Classes offered by Jeopardy are here to help. Based upon Jayne Major’s “Breakthrough Parenting” techniques, the class is a 20-week, open course, which allows parents to join at any time in the cycle, and to complete any missed sessions when a new cycle starts.
“The parenting class creates an opportunity for parents to shift their attention to the needs of their children,” says Veronica Ornelas, a Marriage and Family Therapy Counselor trainee at Valley Trauma Counseling Center who teaches the classes. “By using a psycho-educational approach, this program focuses on the enhancement of the children’s ability to function within their families and how to improve the parental relationship to provide a nurturing, non-threatening home environment.”
    Though many of the parents enrolled in the course are court-ordered to attend parenting classes, the program is open to anyone in the community interested in attending. The classes are taught in Spanish (in the Van Nuys facility) to accommodate the community in which it serves, and there are currently 36 parents registered. Typically, there are six to 10 participants per class because not all parents come to every session, and the small size keeps the groups personal and interactive. “This provides opportunities for interaction among parents, practice of concepts and techniques learned, and individualized problem-solving,” says Ornelas, who is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Cal State Northridge.
    The classes, which are held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in one of the study rooms at Van Nuys Jeopardy, help parents in a variety of ways, according to Ornelas. Among the topics covered are: Providing life management tools designed to help families; teaching effective communication skills; fostering sensitivity to the child’s needs and feelings; creating discipline that works; and establishing the long-term benefits of parenting.
    Ornelas became involved in the program when one of the Jeopardy officers contacted the Valley Trauma Counseling Center, and the director of programs there presented her with the opportunity to provide the classes. “The director offered to send me to a weekend-long training session to become a certified parenting instructor, and once I completed the training, I jumped on board,” she explains.
    The Van Nuys Jeopardy Parenting Classes are free to participants: All costs are paid for by grants and donations provided by the Valley Trauma Counseling Center, a non-profit organization providing counseling services to the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.