The Family Institute Library of Workshops

Learning Unplugged
Every family has different needs during these challenging times of learning at home. Join for a resource packed webinar that will provide you with tips on teaching your pre-school aged children through unplugged learning. Parents will be provided with hands on activities of things to do with their children. There will be examples of learning spaces, ideas on planning your day and tips on scheduling both learning and quiet time for children and parents.
Mon., August 17, 7:00. FREE online workshop, register here 

Tips for Surviving the Fall

Parents are worried about how to manage the Fall transition to school for their children’s needs while balancing with their own work and home life. Join this workshop to help you in developing plans for a successful transition. Topics include: setting up a home space and schedule; finding supports and local resources; and contact information, if you have questions about kindergarten waivers, homeschool, licensed child care, safety considerations, and self-care.
Thurs., August 27, 7:00 p.m. FREE
online workshop, register here

Parent Pages Newsletter

Parent Pages is a newsletter published by the Howard County Office of Children and Families for parents, caregivers and agencies working with families. Each monthly issue features information to help parents and caregivers learn more on how to promote positive parenting for children’s development. It highlights workshops, local resources, events, parenting information, and agency programs targeted to help families grow and thrive in Howard County. This newsletter is a part of the Howard County Family Institute, an education, information and community outreach program.

Sign-Up to receive Parent Pages e-newsletter and updates here.
View the Current Parent Pages and archived issues here.
If you need this publication in an alternate format, please call 410-313-1940 (voice/relay.)

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. We hope you'll "like" us!


The Family Institute provides informational sessions and training workshops on the latest child and parent topics geared to children of all ages. Want to see what we have been up to?

Young Children

Behavior Basics and Managing Meltdowns

SEFEL, Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning, is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all of the factors that impact a child, family, and a child’s behavior. Learn how to teach your child new skills to replace challenging behavior rather than punishing. Learn how to set the stage to decrease negative behaviors from happening and what to do when they do occur. Leave this 2-part workshop with skills to use immediately and a follow up coaching session to help with implementation.

Developing your Child’s Emotional Intelligence
In addition to keeping children physically safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important to care for their emotional health. Children may be sensitive to changes in their routine and the stress experienced by caregivers, as well as their own feelings about the pandemic. Most often, they cannot express or manage these big emotions effectively. This workshop will provide you with the tools you need to support your child’s social-emotional development during this unprecedented time. Parents will explore the meaning of emotional literacy and learn practical strategies to teach children how to recognize and label emotions as well as appropriate ways to manage those big emotions. 

Give Peas a Chance: How to Reform Your Picky Eater
Most children will go through a stage of picky eating.  Although it is a normal developmental stage, it can result in mealtime battles that take a toll on the whole family.  There are many ways to help your child learn to enjoy new foods. Learn more about picky eating and strategies for raising a healthy eater.  Topics will include: When is it problem eating versus picky eating, what is your role as the parent and the child's role in establishing healthy eating habits, how do you keep from unintentionally using strategies that actually backfire, and how do you promote healthy eating on a budget?

Family First Workshop Series

Join the Howard County Family Institute for a special series designed for parents and guardians raising children from birth to age 8. 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 6 classes can receive a Certificate of Completion upon request. 

Family First: Exploring Childhood Stages of Development

A child passes through typical stages as he grows and learns. By knowing what to expect, you are better able to respond to new behaviors. 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 experience matters, and ways you can capitalize on these moments.

Family First: 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.  
Family First: Children’s Temperament and Parenting Styles
A child’s temperament affects his interactions with his parents and with the world. Become familiar with temperament types and learn how to use this information to individualize your interactions with your child. Learn how to encourage the development of positive self-esteem. Explore effective praise and find out what you can do to build self-esteem and what you may say that can accidentally backfire. 
Family First: Discipline and Communication Part 1
Set the stage for better behavior. 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 and consistency. 
Family First: Discipline and Communication Part 2
Learn how to teach children self-control and problem-solving techniques that they can use in the moment. 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 to implement immediately!
Family First: Keeping Kids Healthy
Learn how to choose healthy, age-appropriate 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 physically active in a variety of fun and easy ways.

Talk With Me • Howard County 
Your baby's brain grows with every interaction you have together. From the earliest moments when you repeat your baby's sounds back to her or tell him how much he is loved, your baby is making important connections. Children who have parents and caregivers talking and interacting with them in positive ways from the earliest moments are put on a path to better development. At our workshop, you'll learn the importance of these back and forth interactions as well as the many simple ways interactive routines can be a part of your baby's day. Talk With Me • Howard County is a partner initiative of the Howard County Public School System.

Choosing Quality Child Care

Finding a child care setting to trust putting your child into is a very important yet stressful task. Don’t go unprepared! Attend one of these free workshop to help you make an educated decision on how to choose preschool, family child care, co-ops, or another type of program. Gather information to determine the best fit for your family. A child care counselor will discuss factors to consider, including schedule, price, location, activities, academic preparation, accreditation, and the differences between various types of programs.

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.


Nutrition workshops in partnership with Howard County Health Department, WIC. Choose from one 30 minute + topic or combine multiple for more information in a session.

Shopping for Fruits and Vegetables:
Participants learn how to make healthier substitutions, swapping fruits and vegetables for less nutrient dense foods; money saving tips to help fruit and vegetable purchases go further; and how to save money on groceries by planning ahead, eating at home, and saving at the store.

 Good Food on a Budget:
Participants learn how to make the most of leftovers and make their grocery budget stretch further; how to make a weekly or monthly family meal plan to save both time and money; and how cooking at home and eating out less will save more money that can be used for other necessities.

Help for the Picky Eater:
Parents will better understand why children sometimes don’t want to eat and what the parent/caregiver can do about it.  Discussion will include information on children's appetites and growth patterns, stomach sizes and capacity, and ways to encourage children to try different foods. 

Why Iron is Essential:
Parents will better understand why iron is important in the diet, the role of hemoglobin and iron in the body; symptoms of low iron, and how to increase iron absorption.

Staying Healthy with the Seasons Series:
This series provides advice on ways people can improve their degree of wellness by adopting a whole-body approach that includes the mind with relaxation and stress-reduction techniques; the body with nutrition advice specific to the season; and movement introducing participants to various

Breastfeeding workshops in partnership with Howard County Health Department, WIC.

Breastfeeding Class Part I: The Benefits to Breastfeeding

This class is designed to help mothers make informed, healthy decisions about breastfeeding that are right for you and your family.  Learn about the benefits and get answers to common questions about breastfeeding.  For example: Will breastfeeding hurt? What if I have to go back to work in 6 weeks? Will baby and daddy bond if I breastfeed?

What if I don’t make enough milk? Explore some of the “truths” and “myths” about breastfeeding.  Come with all your questions and concerns.

Breastfeeding Class Part II: Getting Started (30-45 minutes)

4-6 weeks before EDD. The purpose of the class is help mom and partner understand what to expect and discuss 14 steps to better breastfeeding.

By the end of this session, participants will have: identified the importance of breastfeeding, know how to prevent nipple confusion/laziness, know how to latch baby correctly

Breastfeeding CLUB/Support Group  (1 hour)

For expectant mothers that are planning to breastfeed after the birth of their child, this workshop provides support and encouragement. By the end of the class, participants will receive any needed additional information to successfully enjoy their breastfeeding experience and feel encouraged and supported in their decision to breastfeed their baby/toddler.


School Age

Parenting on the Same Page