Steamboat Springs Two Steamboat Springs women are partnering to provide a series of Love and Logic parenting classes to local parents.
Beth Wendler, the mother of three children, ages 19, 17 and 17, and Heather Martyn, the parent of three children, ages 19, 17 and 6, both found the longstanding parenting program Love and Logic on their own, before deciding to partner and teach a course.
“Both Beth and I have a background working with kids, and we’ve been friends for over a decade,” said Martyn, who helped found the Steamboat Springs Boys & Girls Club in 2009 and now works with at-risk youth through the county’s Collaborative Management Program.
Both Martyn and Wendler are members of the Rx Task Force, and Wendler also helped found Parents with a Purpose, a local parenting group, earlier this year. She has also taught children’s music classes locally for 15 years.
The duo said the Love and Logic parenting approach, in existence since the 1970s, focuses on encouraging children to make choices on their own, rather than having a parent telling them what to do or making choices for them.
Martyn and Wendler said encouraging the power of choice in children at a young age can help kids later in adolescence, when they are faced with more serious choices or those that could have unsafe consequences.
“You’re instilling the power of choice in them at a young age,” Wendler said.
The program teaches parents to be proactive, not reactive, and emphasizes feeling empathy for children.
"Empathy is really an important factor," Martyn said. "If you don't have empathy, you're not doing Love and Logic."
The program also addresses situations that leave parents feeling worn out and angry.
“You don’t have to be exhausted anymore,” Wendler said.
The duo plans to offer their first series of six classes at 12:15 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Steamboat Springs School District office, 325 Seventh St. The classes are scheduled for an hour.
A second series of classes is expected to begin Jan. 10, also at 12:15 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Depending on the class’s popularity, Martyn and Wendler hope to offer six-week courses a few times each year.
“We want it to be a stable, continual program year after year,” she said.
Wendler and Martyn said the class is open to parents of children of any age, but may be most beneficial for parents of elementary-aged students.
“The sooner you can start, the better,” said Martyn, who has seen the results of using empathy and applying other Love and Logic principals when raising her 6-year-old son, Lander.
For more information about the classes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow