High school holds free parent workshops over conferences

Speaker from Family Recovery Resource Experts introduces new strategies to parenting


Kaia Myers

Park parent Paula Engelking attends a parent workshop with therapist Marc Hertz March 22. Engelking attended the conflict resolution session in order to find solutions for disputes with her children.

Sofia Seewald

After sitting in on a parenting workshop led by Marc Hertz, the founder of Family Recovery Resource Experts, Park parent Paula Engelking said the session changed her view on certain parenting strategies.

“It was helpful. I learned this whole new technique for dealing with my kids,” Engelking said. “I think so many of us have learned ‘I’ statements, but my kids can’t stand that. This is a different formula. It’s kind of like repeating objective information, but then explaining where your head went with it.”

The first session, provided from 4:30-5:30 p.m. March 21 at the high school in room B135, focused on the fallacy of perfect parenting. The second session from 6:00-7:00 p.m. discussed how to resolve conflicts and improve communication between parents and children.

After counseling several parents and students, Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) coordinator Kelly Brown said she saw a need and demand for these parent workshops.

“It sounded like a really neat opportunity to get more information on a couple topics that seemed to be coming up when we talked with parents or talked with students on a regular basis,” Brown said.

Founder of Family Recovery Resource Experts (FRre) Marc Hertz said the reason he initiated his organization was to provide more support and counseling for parents and families going through rough patches.

“I started this practice because I was working in the mental health field doing interventions with addicts and alcoholics and I saw how affected families were by that,” Hertz said. “I started doing research and nobody in the field was paying attention to families. And so, I started this practice to pay attention to the families.”

According to Brown, these sessions were held to demonstrate how school faculty are here to support kids, as well as being here to support parents.

“The goal was to help parents get some ideas about how to go about working through stuff with their teens, and also to understand that we’re in this together,” Brown said. “As a school, we support kids in the school day, but we realize there’s a lot more to parenting and to being a teenager than the academic piece.”

Engelking said she believes parents would like to see more parenting workshops in the future, as all parents want to know how to best support their children.

“I think it’s so important to provide this kind of education for families,” Engelking said. “I think there is a hunger for this kind of education because people want happy. You want your family to get along and you want to feel like you’re a good parent.”

Hertz said his goal is for parents to leave the sessions feeling better about themselves and how they can improve communication with their kids at home.

“(Parents) can relax a little bit about not having to be a perfect parent, and that language is important, and the way they communicate with their children can make a lot of difference in avoiding conflict,” Hertz said.

According to Hertz, FRre focuses on all families, no matter what age the children are.

“I bring these (techniques) to parents of all ages, and so I think this is important for parents of toddlers, adolescents, high schoolers and adult children,” Hertz said.

Since the workshops proved to be productive and discussion-brewing, Brown said she anticipates more parent sessions will be held in the near future.

“It’s important for parents to have an opportunity to learn more and to provide this workshop,” Brown said. “I do hope to continue these sessions, because I think once the word gets out like it does with a lot of things it will continue to fill and we will build our audience and our capacity.”