Parenting: There’s no instruction manual, but there is a class
SHIM provides support and education to strengthen local families
Many say that being a parent is the most rewarding job in the world; however, that’s not to say that the role comes without challenges. SHIM’s Nurturing Parenting class helps local families learn the ins and outs of parenting. This is especially useful since so many of SHIM’s families include foreign-born parents, who may be working to adapt to the culture of family life in America.
Once a week, SHIM’s instructors lead a curriculum focused on enhancing nurturing skills for parents and enabling families to flourish. The lessons are centered around positive self-worth, empathy, empowerment and strong will, structure, discipline and laughter, humor and play. The class is typically held at SHIM’s South Hills Family Center, though even during the pandemic, parents continue to come together virtually.
Devika Kharel, of Bhutan, says the instruction of the course changed her life and the way she parents her children. “There are techniques that I learned from the class that I use in my everyday life now, and I do see changes in my three kids,” Devika said.
Another participant from Bhutan, Lachhi Sapkota enjoys learning how to develop a deeper relationship with her boys: eight-year-old Ayush and one-year-old Amish.
SHIM’s Nurturing Parenting class isn’t just for young or inexperienced parents; it’s for everyone who wants to be a better guardian. According to Princeton University’s The Future of Children, there is conclusive evidence that parenting plays a pivotal role in children’s social, emotional, health, and intellectual development. When parents have access to services that improve parenting, children perform better in school, have fewer behavioral issues, experience better mental health and more.
Many parents, including Bina Gurung from Nepal, have been able to apply what they’ve learned. Bina can now help her three-year-old daughter Pelkit recognize, understand and handle her feelings thanks to the course teachings. “I also learned to set boundaries and limits so children can learn right from wrong,” Bina said. Uma Khanal of Bhutan echoes these takeaways, making sure her four-year-old twin girls Upama and Anupama know their parents love them even when they misbehave.
“We are grateful to offer this support to local families. Especially now when most people are spending more time at home than ever before,” said Casey Rich, Director of SHIM’s South Hills Family Center. “Not only does the Nurturing Parenting class educate parents on structure and discipline, it empowers them to prioritize their needs along with the needs of their child so their family can be as harmonious as possible.”
Hour-long classes are held weekly from January through October. To keep families safe, the class is currently being offered virtually. Parents can sign up by contacting Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.892.4673, ext 315.