P.O. Box 880, La Luz, NM  USA  88337
800-745-0418 • fax 575-437-0524
e-mail: iasd@zianet.com

Making a difference together
Barrie Examiner, December 1995

Parents discover their kids can do it

By Donna Danyluk
Celebrations Editor

    Karen Morin is making a difference in the lives of her children.
    Morin is one of 30 Oro parents who participated in the Making the Difference Together program through the Simcoe County District School Board.
    “I came because I'm thirsty for knowledge,” said Morin, mother of six-year-old twins, Rachael and Michelle and four-year-old Zachary.
    For 10 weeks the parents gathered in the community room of Shanty Bay Public School to hone their parenting skills and learn new methods to help build their children's self-esteem.
    “I wanted to try some new things.  Sometimes parents get stale with using the same old methods all the time,” said Morin.
    “The course also reaffirmed some of the things I am doing at home.  I learned that I’m not as bad of a parent as I think I am at times.”
    What Morin didn’t expect to learn was more about herself.  She quickly discovered that in order to understand her children’s behavior she had to take a good look at her own.
    “I learned a lot about myself.  That can be scary at times,” she said.
    Parents attending the course had many different reasons for making the trek to Shanty Bay.
    “Some parents come because they are in crisis and some come to affirm the good parenting skills they are already using,” said Joanne McFarland, coordinator of the Making the Difference Together program.
    “And some come because they want to choose a different way of parenting.
    “But all parents come because they care very much about their kids.  They want to be the best parents they can be and support their children’s journey to success, not just in learning but in living.”
    Wayne Halyn is one of those parents.
    He wants to equip his daughter Alyra for life by developing her self-esteem.  As a single parent he is on a quest to learn as much as he can about positive parenting.  The Making the Difference Together course is just one stop on that journey.
    “One of the things I’ve learned is how poisonous a negative self-esteem can be,” said Halyn.
    “This course gives you the tools to identify it, deal with it, and get rid of it.”
    Halyn says both he and his daughter are laughing together more during situations which, prior to this course, would have been a source of conflict.
    Monica Valleau says the course has brought a sense of calm to her home.
    “I seem to be talking differently to the kids and I have more patience,” said Valleau, mother of Alex, 7, and Stephanie, 5.
    “I don’t yell as much as I used to.  I try to stay calm and that’s difficult for me because I’m like a volcano, even a little thing can set me off.”
    Like Morin, Valleau came to the course to become a better parent and thanks to the techniques learned at the course she’s doing it.
    “I think I’m doing that too,” said Morin.  “And I feel good about it.”
    The workshop is financially supported by the Kiwanis Club of Barrie and the Barrie Rotary Club.


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P.O. Box 880, La Luz, NM USA  88337 • 800-745-0418 • fax 575-437-0524
e-mail: iasd@zianet.com