"Parenting Wisely" CD-ROM teaches parents through interactive learning how to handle early-adolescent kids 

Learning Parenting Skills on Disc

The next time parents are dealing with an unruly pre-teen and don't know where to turn they can go to the library. Chesterfield County has adopted an interactive CD-ROM that aims to teach parents more parenting skills and has made it available at its libraries to anyone in the Richmond area, says Sharyl Adams, a youth-services specialist in Chesterfield. Developed at Ohio University, the relatively new and nationally praised "Parenting Wisely" CD-ROM teaches parents through interactive learning how to handle early-adolescent kids. The CD-ROM allows a parent to look at a variety of situations, ranging from how to stop children from fighting to getting them to do chores. Each example gives the user three options for dealing with a problem. It then gives reasons on why the user's choice was right or wrong. The county bought 13 of the CDs at $500 each - down from the retail price of $900 each, Adams notes. "It's not just for parents of kids who have problems," Adams says. "It's for all parents." "Parenting Wisely" has been praised by the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Its creator, Don Gordon, praises the county for its enthusiasm for the program. Usually, an agency or maybe two in a community will use the program, but no other region in the nation has gone into it like Chesterfield, Gordon says. "They're pretty innovative there," Gordon says. The county organized a committee and researched the program before jumping aboard, he adds. All but two of the nine Chesterfield libraries feature the CD-ROM, Adams says. Juvenile-court judges have agreed to use the program as one of the options for court-ordered parenting classes, she adds. Nonetheless, it hasn't caught on yet with parents. Since the county started using the program in September, it apparently has been little-used. Adams says the county has worked out some glitches and plans to market "Parenting Wisely" heavily.

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