Parents are the most influential people in their children’s lives. Although sometimes challenging, one’s role as a parent can be very rewarding and fulfilling as they guide and encourage their children to develop into caring, confident, respectful, responsible and healthy individuals.

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Dallas County will be offering Great Beginnings for Families. In this five-week skills building program the following topics will be covered: positive discipline and guidance, helping children resolve conflict, basic principles of child development, handling uncomfortable emotions and feelings and encouraging learning through play.

“Our goal is to help parents realize the strengths they already have along with gaining some new knowledge, skills and techniques to assist them in providing and building a solid foundation to raise awesome children and create a happy, healthy family,” said Lisa Mickelson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach educator and Great Beginnings facilitator. “Parents will come away from this course with more confidence in their abilities as parents and reduce behavior problems along with encouraging and supporting their children as they grow.”

Great Beginnings for Families will take place on Thursdays, Feb. 1 through March 1 from 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. at the Waukee’s Grant Ragan Elementary, located at 645 Dartmoor Dr. Waukee, IA 50263. The cost is $10 per family. Free childcare will be provided. Families can register through Waukee Community Education beginning Dec. 15 at or (515) 987-2761. Please register by Thursday, Jan. 25.