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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Parenting 101

Jean Schumm, the President of Operation: Parent, has a lot to say about parenting for today’s Post From The Pro: “Parents maybe don’t realize how things have changed since we were teens. I have a passion to try and reach parents early in the adolescent stage so that we can get some prevention going on.”

This sums up the mission of the non-profit organization, which was founded seven years ago. Schumm started Operation: Parent because...
...she recognized the need for it: she is the mother of five children. As a parent herself, Schumm recognized a common goal among parents of “trying to raise good, healthy kids in a difficult culture.” 

What makes Operation: Parent an important part of our community is that it benefits families and parents directly by providing ongoing education on tough social issues that kids are dealing with like dating, self-esteem, drugs, and alcohol.

The organization also provides parents with the chance to interact and learn with other parents that find themselves in similar situations. “You’re not alone,” Schumm stresses. “Every family is going to struggle with something, that’s just the reality. We try to create a positive, professional environment where people feel safe to share and to learn.” 

Operation: Parent partners with local businesses along with JCPS schools, and one of their future goals is to offer classes online. “We recognize that parents are very busy. We’re trying to get contemporary information to them on multiple levels with our website, handbook, and parenting classes,” Schumm says.

Another of Operation: Parent’s goals is to create open discussion and provide education on issues that some feel reluctant to discuss openly. “It’s important because these are big issues,” Schumm says.  Operation: Parent offers “Parenting 101” classes every month at their Middletown headquarters, along with expert speakers and events like their “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” series, which offers topics like “ADHD and Teens” on September 20th and 21st and “Parenting and Social Media” on October 16th

More information, the Operation: Parent handbook, and a full schedule of classes and events can be found online at

Contributed by Tricia Hussung, Editorial Intern for Today’s Family magazine.


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