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THE BAYTOWN SUN Wednesday, December 1, 1982 ::i:',ACHING CHILDREN that shoplifting is a ;;-rdous crime, not a game, was the purpose of o Uilh by MikeShortis, area security manager fov Soars. Shortis spoke to several classes at v lola Cobb Elementary in Channelview and Stowed a television program on shoplifting. 'rogram "There is one thing r:!). parents have in common," says Lin•. a Head, a mother of children attending school in the Channelview Independent School District. "We ;ili want to do what is best for our children." For parents like Mrs, Head whose children have speech and language difficulties, the process of becoming an effective parent is even more challenging. That is why she and Marilyn G a r z a , another Channelview mother, have been spearheading an effort to involve parents like themselves in monthly parent discussion groups. The meetings, \v h i c h are c o o r- dinated by Theresa Price, speech therapist at Scho- ehler Primary, are intended to give parents the opportunity to come together in an informal way to share creative ideas, experiences and solutions which will help their children. According to Mrs. Price, the primary goal for the group is to develop parental skills, attitudes and understandings which win enable the participants to become more effective partners in their child's education, particularly as related to speech and language development. At the first meeting held on Nov. 12, nine parents of children enrolled in Mrs. Price's speech thereapy program and ivlartha May's early chi.ldhood classes attended. The parents were given handouts on speech and language development and later discussed how they could use common household objects as a starting point for developing their child's language skills. Mrs. Price surprised the group by literally exploding three common myths written on ballons. The myths included beliefs that parents shouldn't teach their children because the teacher won't like it, or because they won't do it right, or because it's the teacher's job to instruct their children. "AH parents are teachers," Mrs. Price explained .to the group. "This does not mean that parents do the work of the school, but that they send their child to school with the language skills and feelings that will make him a better learner." Another highlight of the meeting was the showing of a filmstrip entitled, "My Mommie Likes Me," which pinpointed the eight basic needs of children. These needs include love, acceptance, security, control, guidance, independence, respect for themselves and others arid self- confidence. The filmstrip paved the way for a period of discussion in which the parents shared their personal experiences and common concerns. "When one parent begins to share, it makes it easier for the others to open up also," said Mrs. Price. The end result is that the parents end up learning from each other. They discover that they are not alone and that there are solutions and positive ways to handle problems. "I'm fairly new at this," said Mrs. Head, "and it's really helpful to meet with other parents. There is so much to be learned by sharing our experiences," she said. Mrs. Price said she uses a format for the parent discussion meetings based on recommendations made in Ruth Bo\v- doin's "Parent. Kit." An educator for 35 years, Ms. Bowdoin has received numerous awards in the field if education including the Educational Pacesetter Award for experimentation, creativity and innovation in the teaching field. The next parent discussion meeting will be held Dec. 9. The main topic on the agenda is "Thousands and Thousands of Words," .a filmstrip and discussion of effective ways to build a child's vocabulary. Better ways of communicating with young children will also be among topics discussed. 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