There is no job description written and no training provided to guide adults through the challenging task of parenting.
The mental health centers of Northern Virginia hope to change this by offering "Parenting Day," a series of free workshops on common parenting issues and problems to be held Saturday.
"The way families are structured and the way society has changed makes parenting a more difficult job," said Ken Disselkoen, director of the prevention and early intervention program at Northwest Center for Community Mental Health. "Now, both parents are working and families are moving more often."
Parents play different roles depending on the age of the child and the changing nature of these roles can be stressful. "With an infant, parents are concerned with taking care of basic needs," said Disselkoen. "But at age 2, this changes and parents want to explore things with the child and are more concerned with developmental growth." Roles change again during school years, adolescence and teen years.
Twelve workshops will be offered and parents can choose to attend two. The topics will cover such issues as teen suicide, parents as sex educators, drug and alcohol abuse and letting go of adult children.
The workshops will be held at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, off Rte. 50 and 495, in Falls Church. Registration begins at 9 a.m. For more information, call: 471-6030. 90:Wendy Melillo