Weekend seminar focuses on parenting males

Bringing up boys raises multitude of questions

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2006

Author Rick Johnson says few people question the benefit of having a male role model present when raising a boy, but many, especially single moms, don’t know where to go to find one.

Two parenting seminars conducted by Johnson today and on Saturday at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai are geared toward providing the answer.

From 6 to 9:30 p.m. today, Johnson will present “Dynamite Dads” for men and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, women will hear him speak on “Courageous Moms.”

The author of “That’s My Son,” in bookstores since July, and the soon-to-be-released “Better Dads, Stronger Sons,” Johnson will speak on the powerful influence fathers have on their sons and daughters and the importance of being a good father and being a healthy influence.

Johnson said the seminar for women is basically general interest and teaches moms about maleness and masculinity.

Organizer Joanne Meckstroth said “Courageous Moms” teaches women “how boys differ from them, the importance of building boys up and what pitfalls to avoid in a mom parenting a son.”

“We have many single moms here and moms parenting for two weeks at a time while their dads are (working) on the (North) Slope,” she said.

Johnson, a certified trainer by the National Center for Fathering, has been offering the seminar for dads for five or six years, and said the moms seminar “has really exploded in the last year.”

“We get a lot of single moms, married moms and women without kids yet,” he said.

Attendees will receive manuals at both seminars, Johnson said, and can expect to see “lots of film clips and overheads. It’s not just me standing up there talking.”

Depending on the amount of time available, he said the moms seminar will probably include break-out workshops.

“These are really interactive seminars,” he said.

The seminars have been presented in Washington, Oregon and Kansas, and will be offered in Atlanta later this year.

“This is our first time in Alaska,” Johnson said.

The cost of the seminars is $25, and scholarships are available to those who cannot afford to pay. To register for the seminars or to arrange for a scholarship, call 260-3750.

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