Floyd and Diana Green of Raleigh, N.C., earned their parenting stripes rearing six children, now ages 13 to 26.
The Greens have passed through all the child-rearing phases, from toddlerhood to the teen years and beyond to learn that "parenting is not a romantic process," but it teaches couples to act as a team, Mr. Green said.
The Greens will lead a two-day FamilyLife seminar on parenting March 5 and 6 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3185 Wheeler Road. Registration is $20 for individuals and $40 for couples before Feb. 1 and $25 for individuals and $50 for couples after that date. The fee includes materials from the Little Rock, Ark., ministry, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ. Child care will be available.
Sessions use biblical principles to address topics including building parent-child relationships, instilling identity and character, releasing a child and discipline.
They say that in disciplining a child, grounding is effective at first, but it won't work every time. "The kid knows what is going to happen (after awhile). If he does this, he gets grounded, so no big deal," Mr. Green said.
The seminar can help parents "expand their toolbox," said Mr. Green, a certified financial planner. He holds master's degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Ill.
The Greens illustrate the principles with personal anecdotes, then give parents time alone to consider what they have heard, whether they agree and how they are doing with the principles themselves.
Single parents are paired so that they can bounce ideas off one another and gain mental and emotional support, said Ms. Green, who earned a degree in sociology from North Carolina State University.
The Greens are available during breaks to listen and answer questions. "People find it helpful to have somebody listen and hear what they are doing right. That is also very affirming to people," she said.
The Greens do not do counseling, but will refer people to resources or counselors in the community.
Children are very clever, and parents have to be creative and think on their feet, she said.
"We (parents) think we have it figured out, and we don't," she said.
For more information, call 733-4416 or see FamilyLife's Web site, www.familylife.com.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: FamilyLife parenting seminar with Floyd and Diana Green
WHERE: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3185 Wheeler Road
WHEN: March 5-6
COST: $20 for individuals, $40 for couples before Feb. 1 and $25 for individuals and $50 for couples after that date; includes materials; child care is available
Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.