The Family Institute

The Howard County Family Institute is a parent education program of the Office of Children and Families, Department of Community Resources and Services. We offer informational sessions and training workshops for parents on many topics, including child development, positive discipline, finding resources, and adolescent issues. Click here to view some of the workshops we have offered. To suggest topics for future workshops or to learn more, please email children@howardcountymd.gov or call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay).

    


Keeping Kids Healthy 

Learn how to choose healthy snacks, meals and beverages for children. Discuss common eating concerns such as picky eaters or refusal to eat. Explore nutrition labels and healthy eating on a budget. Learn more about the importance of exercise and how you can keep children active in a variety of fun and easy ways.

When:  Wednesday, January 25, 2017; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Cost: $8 per person
Who Should Attend: Any parent, grandparent or caregiver who wants to improve their parenting skills and learn hands on ideas for raising a healthy, happy child ages birth to eight. 
Register Online for Keeping Kids Healthy
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940 

 


Keeping Kids Safe

Discuss safety-proofing your home for different ages; who to contact in an emergency, car seat safety, and tips on how to protect your child from abuse. Learn ways to cope with your own stress and how to teach children relaxation techniques and stress relief. 

When:  Wednesday, February 1, 2017; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Cost: $8 per person
Who Should Attend: Any parent, grandparent or caregiver who wants to improve their parenting skills and learn hands on ideas for raising a healthy, happy child ages birth to eight. 
Register Online for Keeping Kids Safe
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940 

 

Friendship Skills for School and Life Success

  • Have you heard that your child doesn’t know how to play well with others?
  • Does your child cling to you in new environments?
  • Is he or she slow to warm around new kids?
  • Does your child prefer to just play alone?
  • Are you hoping they will just grow out of it?

Social skills are at the top of the list of important school readiness skills. Parents can have a strong impact on their children’s social/emotional development to help their children learn positive interpersonal skills that breed both success in developing friendships as well as the “side effect” of stronger academic skills. Learn ways to intentionally impart this critical school and life skill.

When: Monday, February 6, 2017;  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Cost: FREE
Who Should Attend?: Parents of Children 2 to 8 years old
Register Online for Friendship Skills for School and Life Success
Register by phone (voice/relay):  410-313-1940


 

Teen Parenting Strategies: Strengthening Relationships and Improving Behavior

Parenting a teen today can be extremely challenging and frustrating.  Parents typically find that as children grow into the teen years, new behaviors emerge and the old methods used to interact with them need a new approach in order to be successful. Attend this workshop to:

  • Review common behavior problems in teens
  • Learn strategies to communicate and strengthen your relationship 
  • Create a positive environment for your relationship to grow 
  • Introduce strategies to improve your teen’s behavior 
  • Learn ways to encourage your teen to choose positive coping skills
  • Learn techniques to teach and demonstrate strategies to help your child process and solve their worries
  • How to avoid becoming the victim of scams and identity theft
  • How and when to use credit and debit cards
  • Contracts and their consequences
  • Making smart decisions when buying goods and services
  • Warranties, retail store refund and return policies, and more…
When: Wednesday, February 8, 2017; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Cost: $8.00 per person
Register Online for Teen Parenting Strategies

Register by Phone (voice/relay):  410-313-1940

Discipline and Communication Part 1 & 2
Part 1 (Wednesday, February 22 • 6:00-8:00 p.m.)
Set the stage for better behavior. Become familiar with temperament types and learn how to use this information to individualize your interactions with your child. Learn how to proactively prevent misbehavior by preparing your home and routine to encourage success. Discuss ways to effectively communicate with your child and the importance of structure, consistency and self-esteem. 

Part 2 (Wednesday, March 8 • 6:00-8:00 p.m.)
Learn how to teach children self-control and problem-solving techniques that they can use in the moment of behavior problems. Establish rules and logical consequences for misbehavior that are developmentally appropriate. Discuss behavior charts and a variety of other options to encourage behaviors that you want to see. Leave with practical strategies and tools to implement immediately!
When:  Wednesday, February 22 & March 8, 2017; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Cost: $16 per person
Who Should Attend: Any parent, grandparent or caregiver who wants to improve their parenting skills and learn hands on ideas for raising a healthy, happy child ages birth to eight. 
Register Online for Discipline and Communication Part 1 & 2
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940 
 

Growing Your Baby's Language

Everyone knows that talking to our babies is important, but what does that really mean? In this session, parents will learn how to use research-based tools to develop a good foundation for communication as a part of their daily routine. From having conversations with your newborn to helping your child gain those early words, all the way into reading with your toddler, this interactive class is eye-opening and fun. Join Bonnie Bricker, M.S., for a session that will set the foundation for school and lifelong readiness.

When: Saturday, March 4, 2017; 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way Columbia, MD 21044
Cost: FREE. Space is limited, pre-registration is required
Register Online for Growing Your Baby's Language
Register by Phone (voice/relay):  410-313-1940

Preparing to Launch!

When your children turn 18, they become legal adults and can enter into many types of contracts without the permission of parents or guardians. Young adults are vulnerable to scams that take advantage of their inexperience. Does your teen know what to do? Parents and Teens are invited to join an investigator from The Howard County Office of Howard County Consumer Protection to learn about:

When: Thursday, March 23, 2017; 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia 21044
Cost: FREE Space is limited, pre-registration is required
Register Online for Preparing To Launch
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

How to be a GREAT Grandparent
A lot has changed in parenting since grandparents were parents! Learn the latest research based information to balance your tried and true skills with current best practices. Discuss your role as a grandparent verses being the parent. Discover ways to safeguard your home for infants and toddlers and gather important resources to help support your children in their new role as parents.
When: Thursday, March 23, 2017; 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, MD 21044
Cost: FREE. Space is limited; pre-registration is required
Who Should Attend: Grandparents
Register Online for How to be a GREAT Grandparent
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodation to attend a workshop, call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay) at least one week in advance.

 

 


Parent Pages Newsletter

Parent Pages is a family newsletter published by the Howard County Office of Children and Families. Each quarterly issue features news and tips from many of the programs in our office, including the Local Children's Board, Parents as Teachers, the CARE Center, Healthy Kids, and more. Parent Pages is a part of the Howard County Family Institute, an education and community outreach program. If you need this publication in an alternate format, please call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay). Access previous issues of Parent Pages.

The Office of Children and Families is a division of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services. We post updates on training classes, information on upcoming events, and reminders about parent workshops on the Community Resources and Services Facebook page. You'll also find posts from other divisions of Community Resources and Services; The Office on Aging and Independence, Disabilities Services, and Consumer Protection. We hope you'll "like" us!