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 or call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay). 


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:

  • 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: 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!