MANSFIELD -- Yvette Givand, director of the Madison Early
Childhood Learning Center, 103 Bahl Ave., chose three speakers, who
are on three different paths but had the same goal, to address their
peers during the closing ceremony of the Creative Parenting
Relationship Training Program, which concluded in May.
"The reason why I chose them (is) they really took interest in
the workshops and brought back their homework assignments," Givand
said, noting they each came from different backgrounds and had
different parenting issues.
The keynote speakers included Jennifer Rose, a divorced parent
with two young children, Gretchen Davis, who has a blended family,
and Joanne Parks, a grandmother and a foster parent. "I really
thought they did (a good) job of sharing with the rest of the
graduates how the class helped them," Givand said.
Despite the buzz of a possible tornado, the ceremony went on as
planned. "We should have named this class parenting with nature,"
Givand joked. She pointed out how they had survived a couple of ice
storms when the parenting workshops started this winter.
The graduates, who had gathered at 5 p.m. on June 14 in a
classroom in the basement of the facility to receive their
certificates, also took a test before the talk.
Davis, the mother of an infant and a recent high school graduate
was the first to address the audience. With speech in hand, she said
the program was a wake-up call for her. "This class has been really
helpful for my husband and me. I recommend it for anyone," she said
before she took her seat.
"I can't thank you ladies enough for offering this to my husband
Joanne Parks of Mansfield didn't have a handwritten speech
prepared, but she had a lot of meaningful things to say.
"I really enjoyed this class and I plan on teaching a parenting
class at my church or in the community," said Parks, who noted her
kids are grown but you are always going to be there (for them).
Jennifer Rose, was a little more impromptu, which she referred to
her off-the-cuff manner as she addressed the group. "I just hope
that we are able to take these kids we have and turn them into
reasonable adults who can deal with the world," she said as she
appeared totally relaxed.
She also made a few remarks about the double duties of single
parents and allowing her kids to be able to make some of their
decisions on their own.
"It's not (always) going to work out the way I want it to," she
Givand and Kirkendall also gave the graduates a few words of
advice before Givand handed out their certificates. She advised the
graduates not to just put their workbooks away but to continue to
Kirkendall had similar advice. "Keep your folder and savor it,
use it over and over," she said as she told the group their
parenting was still a process in motion.
Help your children learn how to be respectful and fun to be with,
but they have to do it own their own, she advised.
"I really like applauding all of you," Givand said, adding she
would be looking for the pay off of the classes.
For parents who are interested in learning more about Parenting
With Dignity materials which served as framework for the Creative
Parenting Relationship Training Program held at Madison Early
Childhood Learning Center can log on to the Web site with the same
Originally published June 27, 2005