Parenting Skills

Being a parent is hard work. Though we need to take classes, earn degrees and be certified or licensed for many jobs, there are no prerequisites to being a parent. Most of us received our only "parent training" from our own childhood, whether it was positive or negative. There are many agencies that will offer services to families in Ontario County. Please refer to other sections of this GUIDE or call LIFE LINE if you are unsure of what services to call.

Some Helpful Discipline Hints

  1. Tell children what they CAN DO instead of what they CAN'T DO. Focus on DO'S instead of DON'TS.
  2. Try to restrict the use of strong, negative words to critical situations of great importance. When children hear many negative words (e.g., NO!, DON'T, STOP, SHUT UP, YOU CAN'T, etc.), the meaning of the words may become lost.
  3. Only offer children choices you are willing to accept. Sometimes, either because we want children to like us or because we are so polite, we offer children too many choices or inappropriate choices.
  4. Try to change children's environment or activity instead of expecting young children to change their behavior.
  5. Give children safe, clear, firm limits they can understand.
  6. Try to be consistent. Agree on a few basic rules and consistently enforce them.
  7. If children break the rule or a limit, allow them to experience the consequence of their behavior.
  8. Protect and preserve children's feelings, self-respect and self-esteem. (See Self-Esteem.)
  9. Try to be an effective disciplinarian by teaching through example.

The following community resources offer a variety of parenting services. Please call for specific services offered, schedules and fees. In addition to the agencies listed, please contact your local school district, PTA Association, neighborhood community centers, your pediatrician and/or family doctor, and/or your local church for parenting classes and/or support groups that may be available.

Alternatives for Battered Women

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Rochester
Big Brothers/Big Sisters provides one-to-one mentoring with child-safe adults matched and monitored with children aged 6 to 16.

Self-administered pregnancy tests, professional referrals when called for and individualized services.

Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes
Various counseling and educational programs, including parenting programs.

Center for Dispute Settlement
The Center for Dispute Settlement offers several mediation programs for families with a variety of concerns. All programs are private and confidential. The Juvenile/PINS Mediation Program works with families and youth where youth behaviors are a problem. Issues discussed often include, issues of respect among family members, responsibilities and choices, rules and curfews, school attendance, completing homework, running away from home and unacceptable language. This program serves families of youth aged 7-18. The Custody and Visitation Program offers families the opportunity to discuss and resolve issues relating to the care, custody and visitation schedules of their children. The Special Education Mediation Program offers parents of children with special education needs the opportunity to resolve educational/service problems with their children's school district in an informal, consumer friendly, confidential format.

Child Abuse Hotline
This is the official state Child Abuse Hotline.

Child and Family Resources
Early childhood programs, growing with baby, parent education (including young parents), babysitter training.

Children First
Geneva Library Children's Desk at (315) 789-5303

Community Action Partnership
Provide assistance to families regarding homelessness, domestic violence, educational advocacy.

Coordinated Child Development Program
The agency provides child care for ages 6 weeks to 5 years; before and after school care for those aged 5 to 12.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County Family Budget Counseling Program
(585)394-3977 x21
Provides free, confidential counseling to families and individuals have difficulty making ends meet.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County Parenting Education for Families
(585) 394-3977

Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)789-2613 or (877)789-2613 toll free
Individual counseling, family counseling, play therapy, sexual abuse assessment and treatment, Hispanic youth groups.

FF Thompson Hospital Family Health and Education
Baby and You pregnancy education classes and other programs related to childbirth.

Finger Lakes Parent Network
The Finger Lakes Parent Network provides parent eduction and training, peer-support for parents and advocacy for the children, including children with emotional, behavioral, mental or developmental disablities.

Finger Lakes WIC (Women, Infants and Children)
(585)394-9240 or (888)942-6886 toll-free
WIC provides nutrition information and supplemental foods for 0-5 year olds and pre-natal, breast feeding and postpartum women.

Foster Grandparent Program
The program enrolls senior citizens in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties to work with children who have special needs.

Geneva Police Department
The department's youth officers work with juvenile deliquency and sometimes petitions to family court for Persons in Need of Supervision.

Geneva Salvation Army
Provides programming for youths and adults including volunteer and community service work and recreational activities.

Juvenile Aid Section Ontario County Sheriff's Office
(585)396-4675; (585)924-7500 or (315)781-1200
The section investigates crimes and offenses committed by persons under 16 years of age, and makes presentations to increase public awareness of crime, health and safety topics.

MISS Foundation
(315) 573-7431
MISS Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support to grieving families, empowerment through community volunteerism opportunities, public policy and legislative action, and programs to reduce infant and toddler death through research and education.

Ontario County Probation Department
The department provides screening and referral services for youth under age 18 who are referred by schools, parents and police as persons in need of supervision due to truancy, incorrigibility or runaway behavior.

Parents Anonymous
(585) 396-0886
Self-help group for parents struggling with family abuse issues.

Rape and Abuse Crisis Service of the Finger Lakes
(315)781-1093 or Hotline: (800)247-7273
The agency provides a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, counseling, medical and legal assistance for people involved in rape or abuse.

Student Transition and Recovery Program
(585) 396-4482
Challenges faced by the S.T.A.R. program include bullying, truancy, fighting, stealing, disrespect

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