Parents cope with unruly teenagers in Rowland Unified

Many parents need help with strong-willed or out-of-control children. Rowland Unified’s Parent Project will offer 30 hours of free training over a 10-week period, beginning Jan. 20. It even provides baby-sitting.

Families can catch a preview Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Alvarado Intermediate School in Rowland Heights. They can learn about the topics that will be covered in the 3-hour classes held on Tuesday nights starting at 5:30 p.m.

Topics include recognizing drug and alcohol use, gang involvement and threatening to run away, among many other subjects.

“We help frustrated parents understand that help is out there. That they can change their teen’s destructive behavior for the better, “ said Irma Almanza, a community liaison for the local school district.

Over the past 27 years, the Parent Project has worked with 500,000 parents to create this special course, which uses UCLA self-help support group model. It has developed no-nonsense answers to many of the tough questions that local parents face.

“The program is very interactive, we not only talk about behavior modification, we help them change the way they interact with their teenagers,” Almanza explained. “They have to actually use these techniques at home if they want to see a change in their teen’s behavior.”



Naturally, this doesn’t happen overnight, which is why the classes are held over two and a half months. And parents have to do their homework if they want to change things at home.

So where do distraught parents start?

“Of course, it all has to start with your love for your children,” Almanza replied. “But you have to express your love, in many cases, teens are acting out because they don’t think you love them. The child needs to feel your love.”

Experts say love and affection are the keys to effective parent-teen communications. Often, fathers have a problem expressing their love, which needs to be done on a daily basis. Three words, “I love you,” can work wonders.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PARENTS.