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LETTER: Author to discuss better parenting

To the Editor:

A few years back, many of us were surprised to learn that Davison County was No. 4 in the state for juvenile drug abuse and juvenile arrest rate, and that commitments to the Department of Corrections had nearly tripled since 2000. In recent years, the Mitchell community has rallied to change these frightening statistics regarding our youth. I appreciate all that has been done through organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Snack Pack program and other work through local churches.

I'm writing to tell you about another opportunity to help change the statistics -- through better parenting. Like many in my generation, I was raised in a broken home, and that can sometimes leave us feeling unequipped for how to be the best parent or spouse we can be. In talking with other parents, I've seen this is fairly typical for our generation.

As a result of seeing these needs of both kids and parents, Northridge Baptist has started a parenting initiative called CORE. Last fall, I attended the series of talks involving psychologist JC Chambers from Sioux Falls, who spoke on encouragement strategies and conflict cycles with our children. We received some great wisdom and advice on practical parenting.

The CORE group is now bringing in nationally known author and speaker Rob Rienow April 12-13. I think this is going to be an incredible opportunity for our community to hear real life wisdom and practical teaching on marriage and parenting. There have been great things said about him -- that his teaching can change your family forever and have a positive impact on the people around you. He's been described as being poignant, humorous, authentic and practical. I appreciate his perspective that it is never too late to be a better parent. He will inspire you, no matter what your past experience has been. If you are a parent or a grandparent, I encourage you to be a part of this event.