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June 14, 2007

DeBord spreads parenting education via airways

Karen DeBord
Karen DeBord talks by phone with WPTF. (Photo by Suzanne Stanard)

How should parents handle a whining child? What can they do to make a smooth transition to home after picking a child up from day care? What safety advice should parents share with teens before the high school prom?

Dr. Karen DeBord, parenting specialist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at North Carolina State University, helps answer these and other questions in eight-minute segments that air Mondays at 8:08 a.m. on WPTF radio in Raleigh.

Jack Boston, host of “North Carolina’s Morning News,” and DeBord discuss relevant issues on parenting children, from babies to teens. She has discussed topics ranging from when teens should get paid jobs to Internet use and children.

Staff at WPTF radio have mostly school-age children or teens, DeBord says. So it makes sense that they tend to focus on issues related to children of those ages.

In early April, DeBord did a segment on teens and grief, following the deaths of several teens from a local high school in a car accident. Later that Monday, the tragic shootings of 33 students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University occurred, and DeBord felt she needed to address the issue again the following week.

It was a hard discussion for DeBord, who grew up in Blacksburg, Va., where Virginia Tech is located, earned her bachelor’s degree and doctorate at Virginia Tech and saw her parents retire from there. She talked about how students who commit such crimes are typically disengaged from their school communities and often from their families. But while keeping students engaged is important, it is not always possible to predict such tragedies, she said.

She and host Boston also have addressed multiple choice questions from an on-line quiz, “What’s the Risk?” The quiz helps parents become “emotion coaches” for their children by recognize their display of emotions, then helping them identify and name their problem, brainstorm solutions, then choose an appropriate action.

Other show topics have included understanding the stages of parenthood and parenting types, limiting television and media use, keeping lines of communication open, and understanding children’s sleep patterns.

DeBord is professor of child development in the College’s Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences, with more than 28 years experience with Cooperative Extension. She is also the NC State director of a master’s degree program, in Family Life & Parenting Education jointly administered with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also hosts the program, “One-Minute Parent” on “Army Wife Talk Radio,” an on-line radio source.

-N. Hampton

Posted by Natalie at June 14, 2007 08:48 AM