Home Local News Active Parenting Matters by Johanna Hicks, Family & Community Health Agent

Active Parenting Matters by Johanna Hicks, Family & Community Health Agent




Active Parenting Matters

               What if parents could change the world?  They can!  Most experts agree that the first five years of a child’s life are critical to his or her development.  Attitudes and personalities develop from seeds that are sown and nourished during these early years.  These attitudes play an important role in determining whether children grow into healthy men and women who contribute to their society or whether they become discouraged people who cause pain and trouble to themselves and others.



               There are many influences on a child’s development, but the most fundamental is his or her parent or caregiver.  Many people begin the job of parenting armed with enthusiasm, high hope, and parenting skills.  Yet they may not be ready for the tremendous demands that caring for a young child can impose.  They may even find that what they thought were tried-and-true parenting methods just do not work.

               If parents aren’t prepared early on, their hope can turn to frustration as their children become more difficult to manage.  By the time their children begin school, much damage has often been done.  Instilling positive values in children is so very important.  After all, no one ever had the dream of being hooked on alcohol and drugs.  Nor was their goal to be locked up in jail because of violence, stealing, embezzlement, or any other offense toward people.

               Parents of young children should not be embarrassed to reach out for assistance.  There are many opportunities to expose young children to positive influences, including Mothers’ Day Out, Community Bible Study, church programs, Vacation Bible School, “Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness”, and others.

               A recent post on social media talked about the importance of youth choosing their friends wisely.  I couldn’t agree more!  Peer pressure, whether negative or positive, plays a huge role in the future of our youth.  Once they start down the wrong path, it can be difficult to turn around.  If youth are given a firm foundation of good morals, faith, and responsibility, they might drift, but will eventually return.  So parents, don’t give up!

               Michelle Collins, Educational Consultant for Active Parenting Publishers states, “If we as a society are going to realize the full potential of our people, we have to do a better job of supporting and educating parents of young children.”  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has resources to help parents learn the stages of development in young children and recognize their own parenting styles.  For more information, please call the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443.

Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop

               Are you planning to say “I Do” in 2020?  Perhaps you know someone who would benefit from a marriage refresher.  The February 2020 Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop is the perfect opportunity to meet other couples and learn how to make your marriage a top priority.  I’ve often said that if couples would spend as much time and effort on their marriage as they do on planning the wedding, marriages would be in great shape.

               Twogether in Texas is a free workshop featuring Marriage Expectations, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Money Management, and Goals.  The workshop is presented in a fun, interactive format and uses video clips, couple interaction, and fun activities.  The workshop is offered three times each year.  And the best part – engaged couples will receive a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license.  The State of Texas values marriage education because it strengthens marriages and thus strengthens families.  Therefore, the state portion of the fee is waived.  Here are the details:

  • When:  Saturday, February 8
  • Where:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Hopkins County
  • Address:  1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482
  • Time:  8:30 a.m. to approximately 3:15 p.m.
  • Cost:  none
  • Please call 930-885-3443 to sign up by Thursday, February 6

Lunch and refreshments will be provided, along with a workbook and door prizes.  Make this a priority as Valentines’ Day approaches!

Closing Thought

Great quote from a 14-year-old: “I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.”

Article by Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent


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