El Estoque

Semiannual parenting class starts Feb. 29

The seven-session spring parenting class series, offered by student advocate and licensed marriage and family therapist Richard Prinz, starts Feb. 29. Classes will emphasize improving parent-child relationships. Photo by Sara Yang.

The seven-session spring parenting class series, offered by student advocate and licensed marriage and family therapist Richard Prinz, starts Feb. 29. Classes will emphasize improving parent-child relationships. Photo by Sara Yang.

Sara Yang

The seven-session spring parenting class series, offered by student advocate and licensed marriage and family therapist Richard Prinz, starts Feb. 29. Classes will emphasize improving parent-child relationships. Photo by Sara Yang.

Starting on Feb. 29, student advocate and licensed marriage and family therapist Richard Prinz will host the seven-session spring series of his parenting class, held Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the MVHS library. The class focuses on instructing parents about the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting program, with a sole cost of $15 for the purchase of a book titled “STEP: Parenting Teenagers”, by Dinkmeyer and McKay. Topics covered by the class, which include understanding teens and improving communication, are geared towards establishing healthy parent-child relationships.

“I think the main thing is [that] communication is just not there. I think in this day and age … there seems to be less time together,” Prinz said. “Sometimes the parents don’t have time and sometimes the teens don’t want to do that you know, so it’s very hard to be influential of one another or to trust one another.”

Each year, there is a session held in both the fall and spring. Prinz estimates up to 35 parents attend during the fall, with a slightly decreased number of 15 or 20 parents in the spring. In fall 2011, about 12 Physiology students also sat in on the classes; according to Prinz, a similar number should return in the spring as part of Prinz’s collaboration with the Physiology teachers

Students — mostly juniors and seniors —  volunteer to provide student perspective in the classes as their outside learning experience project for Physiology class. The idea for the collaboration came from an observation Prinz made while attending continued education classes to retain his marriage and family therapist license.

“I got a little offended by going to workshops about teenagers when there were not teenagers present. It was a bunch of adults going around and talking about how to help teenagers,” Prinz said. “The teens have already been through quite a bit, so they have a lot of insight and knowledge … They keep me honest by sort of the theories that I might put out there or the experiences that I’ve had.”

Parents can register for the spring series by emailing Prinz at [email protected], or by calling (408) 366-7638. Learn more about the parenting classes here.