August 14, 2004
New moms programs to assist in life adjustment
By Amanda Bolsinger
Motherhood is one of the most demanding jobs a woman can have. Michelle Jensen has made motherhood her labor of love, sharing her wisdom, knowledge and insight with other soon to be moms through a new program called First Time Moms.
Jensen has a master's degree in counseling humanistic psychology, and more than 25 years experience as a businesswoman. She also is mom to a teenage son.
"I have a passion for parenting," Jensen said. "In graduate school last year I saw the need for a program that bridges the gap between healthy and unhealthy parenting."
Jensen built the bridge as the First Time Moms program. The program is designed for women who are considering motherhood, or are about to become moms. It covers topics like emotional readiness, fantasies and expectations of motherhood, lifestyle changes, relationships, and child development from zero to two.
Jensen developed the program as an extension of her graduate school thesis with the help of Kim Oveson. Oveson has her master's of science degree in clinical psychology specializing in addiction and parent education. The two women hosted a pilot group of the program with five women that were entering motherhood.
"This is my thesis," Jensen said. "I put it into practice with the focus group. The women were fascinated and found it very educational as well as fun. Women are hopeful and joyful about being good moms."
Jensen also based much of the program from her own personal experiences with parenting and with observing other parents.
"I paid close attention to what things my child had to teach me. I learned what worked and what didn't," Jensen said. "I also saw that many didn't know what being a parent meant, or were actually afraid of their kids, or too afraid to discipline them consistently and properly."
Jensen disagrees with the sentiment that there is no formula for raising children. She feels that there are four broad categories that can make parenting much easier.
The first category is prevention. Learning to recognize, and handle potential problems before they arise. The second category is that parents need to learn to be conscious and aware of themselves as people before parenting another person. The third category is knowledge. Knowledge of child development both emotionally and physically as well as knowledge of what to expect from yourself and others. The fourth category is instinct. While instinct can't be taught, First Time Moms is designed to teach and explore different aspects of the parenting process and help build parenting instincts.
The first of the First Time Mom programs will begin on Sept. 25 and 28. Each program is a 5-week, 12-hour long program.
"Its not about diapers and bottle-feeding," Jensen said. "Its about themselves, their relationships, and the dynamics of this new third person."
First Time Moms is a part of a new Parent Resource Center. The Parent Resource Center is in its building phase but will eventually encompass other programs and resources such as First Time Dads and relationship workshops. Many professionals are working in conjunction with the Parent Resource Center to offer a wide variety of parents of all aged children.
"We want to change the views of generationally passed down poor parenting habits," Jensen said. "Parenting is an on-going learning process and most parents could improve upon their parenting skills."
Source:Ashland Daily Tidings.