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Family Advocacy classes available

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Emotions, anger and stress are often related and just as often seem to be triggered by sources that are not clear or easily controlled. What causes these issues and what escalates them can be hard to determine and difficult to handle.

The Family Advocacy Program on Peterson Air Force Base is offering classes targeting these issues and others. The classes help attendees learn effective ways to manage anger and stress, as well as ways to deal with parenting a teen. The three sessions of Emotion Management s are January 11, 25 and February 1 and run from noon to 3:00 p.m. Active Parenting of Teens sessions are February 22 and 29, also from noon to 3:00 p.m. and both class sessions are required.

"(Instructors) teach very specific things based on what they Air Force Medical Operations Agency wants," said Jeanette Barzee, family advocacy intervention specialist with the Peterson AFB Family Advocacy Program. "We augment that with the experience of the instructor."

The Emotion Management class helps identify triggers for anger and stress and teaches communication skills aimed at reducing conflict. The class sessions also help participants tune into the physiological aspects of stress and its impact. When the class sessions are completed each participant will develop a self-care plan to manage their stress.

"The whole curriculum is about how to deal with emotions overall. It will help them recognize anger styles and how to focus on being assertive versus aggressive, or even too passive, behaviors," Barzee said.

The class is a strategic outreach for the family advocacy program. Barzee said the motivation behind the class is prevention and avoiding mistreatment, showing how to best handle emotions and stress in appropriate ways. That said, the class is not limited to those who are being mistreated or struggling with emotional issues, but for all people who have access to Peterson AFB.

"We want to help people prevent (mistreatment) before it is out of control," Barzee said. The same classes will be offered at Schreiver AFB as well.

Active Parenting of Teens delves deeper into teen development, helping parents recognize how their teens grow emotionally, intellectually and socially while letting them explore that development with some limits. The classes equip parents with what to expect when their children hit the teen years and how to handle the process.

Another program being offered is "Becoming a Love and Logic Parent." The four-week parent training began Jan. 6 and runs on Wednesdays through the end of the month from 1 -2:30 pm. The program teaches parents how to handle situations in a more relaxed manner, navigating away from punishment. Barzee said parents learn to guide children to making wise choices from an early age.

"'What kind of adult will I raise by the time they are 30?' We help start that process at a very early age," she said.

For more information or to sign up for classes, contact the Family Advocacy Program at 556-8943.

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