The Family Institute

The Family Institute A parent education program

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 or call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay).  

Family First Workshop Series

A workshop series to help improve parenting skills and raise children with confidence and care

Join the Howard County Family Institute for a special series designed for parents and guardians raising children from birth to age eight. Learn about child development, how to encourage self-esteem and good behavior, positive guidance and discipline, and how to keep children safe and healthy. Each class, offered in an interactive group format, will include practical tips and advice for handling common situations, as well as hands-on activities.  Participants who complete all five classes can receive a Certificate of Completion upon request.

When:  Mondays, Winter 2018; 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (see below side for dates)
Location: Howard County Office of Children and Families, 3300 N. Ridge Rd., Suite #360, Ellicott City, 21043             
Cost: $35 for complete five part series or $8 per class
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 The Family First Series
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

Child Care is not provided

Be a Brain Builder: Know as They Grow (Monday, January 22 • 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) Scientists have made discoveries about how a child's earliest experiences affect the way the brain is organized. By knowing what to expect as a child passes through typical stages, you are better able to respond to new behaviors and expand their learning experiences to build a strong foundation. Explore the ages and stages of child development in several areas such as cognitive, social-emotional, motor and language. Learn about the latest brain research, why early experiences matter and how your interaction with your child during their early years can have an impact on their learning abilities in the future.

Keeping Kids Healthy and Happy (Monday, January 29 • 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) 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.   

Discipline and Communication Part 1 & 2 (double session)

Discipline and Communication Part 1 (Monday, February 12 • 6:30 – 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 to help build a growth mind set. 

Discipline and Communication Part 2 (Monday, February 26 • 6:30 – 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!

Keeping Kids Safe (Monday, March 5 • 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.) 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.  


Parent’s Survival Guide For the Elementary Years
Changes occur with your child as they grow and develop in the elementary school years. Children fluctuate between independence and dependence and the combination can bring a wide range of behavior issues. Attend this workshop to help understand how to help your 5 to 12 year old:
Set the stage to create positive situations for empowerment and pride
Develop consequences that work
Gain strategies to handle oppositional behaviors
Learn ways to develop better homework habits
When: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Deep Run Elementary School, 6925 Old Waterloo Rd, Elkridge, MD 21075
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians
Child care available upon request (2 yrs. and older)
Register Online for Parent’s Survival Guide For the Elementary Years
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940


Teen Anxiety How to Help Your Teen
Adolescence is a stressful time filled with academic, community and social pressures. Stress tops the list of concerns of most teenagers today. To manage anxiety, teens must learn to practice positive emotional resiliency skills rather than avoiding situations that cause stress and developing maladaptive coping strategies. This workshop will discuss how to recognize anxiety, gain a better understanding on how to support your child, communicate with your teen about their symptoms, and ensure you don’t perpetuate or ignore anxious feelings to make them worse. Take part in an open discussion or submit questions anonymously.
Teens that have parental support during stressful times are more likely to 
navigate daily struggles successfully and learn lifelong skills.
When: Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Hammond Middle School’s Media Center, 8110 Aladdin Dr., Laurel, MD 20723
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians Only
Register Online for Teen Anxiety How to Help Your Teen
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: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Deep Run Elementary School, 6925 Old Waterloo Rd, Elkridge
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians of children 4 to 10 years old
Register Online for Friendship Skills for School and Life Success
Register by phone (voice/relay):  Call 410-313-1940


Behavior Basics and Managing Meltdowns
Do tantrums, power struggles and misbehavior make daily life difficult in your household?
Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (SEFEL) is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all the factors that impact a child and family. Learn how to teach your child new skills to replace challenging behaviors. Learn how to set the stage to decrease negative behaviors from happening in the first place and what to do when they do occur. Leave this 3-part workshop with skills and resources that you can use immediately that will help you feel more confident in your parenting.
When: 3 Tuesdays; March 13, 20 & 27 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Howard County Office of Children and Families, 3300 N. Ridge Rd Suite #360
Cost: $18
Who Should Attend: Parents, Grandparents & anyone involved with children ages 1-6
Register Online for Behavior Basics and Managing Meltdowns
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
When: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Location: Clarksville Middle School, Media Center, 6535 S Trotter Rd, Clarksville, MD 21029
Cost: FREE; Space is limited; pre-registration is required
Who Should Attend: Parents, Grandparents & Guardians
Register Online for Teen Parenting Strategies: Strengthening Relations and Improving Behavior
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). Would you like to be notified of upcoming Family Institute workshops? Sign-Up to receive the quarterly Parent Pages e-newsletter and updates.

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!