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).

 

Parenting on the Same Page

Whether you are together or apart, parenting your children on the same page can be tough. Parents have different upbringings, personalities and opinions, yet still need to figure out how to be a united front for their children. Kids are great observers of their parents and their environments and hear more than we realize. It becomes even more imperative for parents (or grandparents) to work together to create similar expectations and parenting decisions in each home when families are separated, divorced or blended.

Attend this workshop to learn:

  • Strategies on how to make decisions to be on the same page
  • Create plans for your family that focus on creating responsible, successful and emotionally secure children
  • Learn co-parent strategies to create a stable foundation in one or two homes and how to manage children's reactions when there are significant life changes

When: Thursday, April 27, 2017; 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Cradlerock Elementary School, 6700 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians; Child care available upon request during registration (2 yrs. and older)
Register Online for Parenting on the Same Page

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

 

 

From Chaos to Calm Managing Family Time with Yoga

Research shows that yoga is full of benefits for children and adults alike. But how does a family incorporate yoga practice into a busy household amidst demanding schedules? What does yoga look like when it is a functional tool for providing calm during stressful family moments?

Attend this workshop to:

  • Learn introductory yoga designed to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Identify practical ways to integrate breath work and body movement into basic family routines.
  • Empower yourself and your child with simple methods to 'countdown to calm'.
  • Make and take home a 'Mindful Jar' for your family. 
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017; 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. or  10:15 - 11:15 a.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, MD 21044
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents with children ages 3-6
What to Bring: Wear comfortable clothes and layers. Mats provided.
Register Online From Chaos to Calm Managing Family Time with Yoga
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 

Behavior Basics & Managing Meltdowns

Do tantrums, power struggles and misbehavior make daily life difficult in your household? 

SEFEL, Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning, is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all of 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, May 9, 16, & 23, 2017; 6:00- 8:00 p.m.
Location: East 50+ Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045
Cost: $18 per person
Who Should Attend: Parents, Grandparents & anyone involved with children ages 1-6
Register Online for Behavior Basics & Managing Meltdowns
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 


TEEN Anxiety: Recognize, Communicate and Help

Adolescence is a stressful time filled with academic, community, and social pressures. Stress tops the list of concerns of most teenagers today. A teenager who has been anxious since childhood may have a lifestyle built around anxiety.  An anxious teen may use their anxiety to filter out activities and environments and may have trained friends, family and teachers to limit expectations. It can be more challenging to treat anxiety due to the developed unhealthy coping mechanisms used to manage and avoid stressful life experiences.  To manage anxiety, teens must learn to practice positive coping skills rather than avoiding environments and situations that cause stress. Teens that have parental support during stressful times are more likely to navigate daily struggles successfully. Parents can support their children by being aware of their child?s stress signals and challenging behaviors to express their feelings.  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 anxious feelings to make them worse.

When: Thursday, May 11, 2017; 6:00  - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, MD 21044
Cost: $8 per person;  Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians Only
Register Online for TEEN Anxiety: Recognize, Communicate and Help
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 



Keeping Kids Healthy and Happy
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, May 17; 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 and Happy
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940 


Happy Child Circle Time

We all come with a lot of different feelings. Feelings can be overwhelming for kids, especially when they don't yet know what they are yet. Come together for fun circle time activities to play around with all our feelings and see the interactive ways your children learn these skills at pre-school. Leave with your own take away to use at home.

When: Saturday, May 20, 2017; 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.
Location: Bain 50+ Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, MD 21044
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parent and child (ages 3-5 years)
Register Online for Happy Child Circle Time
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 


Creating Social Stories and Using Visuals

Have you ever wondered, "If only my child would just LISTEN!?" Kids do better when they know what to expect. Many children benefit from seeing-not just listening. Social Stories and visual schedules can help young children know what to do.  In this session we will discuss what Social Stories and visuals are and how to create them to fit your child's individual needs.  We will look at a step by step approach to creating Social Stories that can be used practically anywhere.  We will also discuss the importance of using visual cues and schedules to help children succeed throughout their day and learn skills to develop better behavior. Leave this workshop ready to help your child tomorrow. 

When: Wednesday, May 24, 2017; 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Location: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center, 9411 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042 
Cost: FREE! Space is limited and registration is required!
Who Should Attend: Parents and Guardians (no child care)
Register Online for Creating Social Stories and Using Visuals

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, May 31; 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

 

Discipline and Communication Part 1 & 2 (double session)
Part 1 
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.
Part 2
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: Wednesdays, June 7 & 14; 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
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

 

Where Does My Money Go?

Be Proactive! Don't wait until there's a financial crisis. Be in the know BEFORE they go! Everyone talks about college being so expensive, yet tuition is not the only place money is spent.  When children turn 18, they become legal adults and start their financial future. Teens are vulnerable to financial pitfalls that take advantage of their inexperience, marketing that encourages lots of spending and credit and many opportunities to head down the path to large debt and fiscal misfortune. Have you laid the groundwork for your child? 

We will discuss but not be limited to these topics:

  • Tracking your spending so you know where your money goes
  • Effective and practical budgeting techniques
  • The power of compounding and its effects on savings and investments
  •  Building and using credit wisely
  • Turning even 1 cent into more than 1 million

Parents and Teens are invited to join MakingChange for a lively and informative exchange of ideas regarding a wide variety of money management tools.

When: Thursday, June 1, 6:30 – 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: Parents and Teens
Register Online for Where Does My Money Go?  
Register By Phone (voice/relay): 410-313-1940

  

 

Setting Your Child Up for Success in Kindergarten

Is your child excited for the “big” school, but you are nervous for this next step? Need help feeling prepared to help your child in this transition? There are a lot of fun things that you can do now as they launch into learning for the fall.

Attend this workshop to:

  • Discuss ways to set your children up for success in reading, writing & math 
  • Take a closer look at a typical kindergarten schedule
  • Leave with great activities and ideas to practice at home with your child as ….they prepare to head to kindergarten in the fall! 

When: Thursday, June 15, 6:30 – 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: Parents and Guardians (no child care)
Register Online for Setting Your Child Up for Success in Kindergarten  
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.

 

ParentPagesLOGO

         

     
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!