The Division of Family Services hopes that its new "positive parenting" magazine will offer suggestions and ideas for dealing with some of the problems parents can face.
The magazine was released to coincide with the beginning of June, which Gov. Norm Bangerter has proclaimed "Positive Parenting Month" in Utah."Most of the time in the Division of Family Services we deal with families in crisis," said Jean Nielsen, division director. "We asked ourselves, `what can we do to prevent families from crisis?' "
The answer, "Utah Parenting, Smarter Parents, Happier Children," was released during a press conference that included Gov. and Mrs. Bangerter, Department of Social Services Director Norman Angus, Nielsen and representatives from several child advocacy groups.
The idea for the 32-page magazine came from Maine, which Nielsen said published a similar one "with great results." In Utah's version, most of the articles are written by local therapists and professionals who work with children and families. Topics include developing self-esteem in children, communicating with teens, establishing a nurturing bedtime routine, single parenting, coping with stress, choosing child care, age expectations, family life in a second marriage, discipline and others.
The magazine will be distributed free through Department of Social Services offices and Smith's Food King stores.
"In every job, there is a training period," Bangerter said. "But in the most important job ever - parenting - there is no training. Being a parent is one of the toughest, but most rewarding jobs."
Bangerter said the magazine will do a lot of things, including helping parents communicate with their teens, a time many find difficult.
Colleen Bangerter encouraged parents to pick up a copy of the magazine, read it "and keep it and refer to it often. We are committed to ensuring a safe, healthy and bright future for young people."