by Diana King
are just a few of the issues employees can face after the workday
has ended and they begin their other full-time jobparenting.
As dawn breaks and the alarm clock rings early the next morning,
these family issues often follow employees to work, causing stress
and possibly affecting on-the-job performance.
Today, however, associates working at The Home Depot Store
Support Center in Atlanta can learn positive techniques for handling
these situations by attending an Active Parenting Today
(ages 2-12) or an Active Parenting of Teens Lunch-and-Learn
Program. The new program has been formatted to fit a 45-minute
to one-hour employee lunchtime break and features six self-contained
video and discussion sessions focusing on parenting style, redirecting
misbehavior, natural and logical consequences, building courage
and self-esteem, effective communication skills and peaceful
"Taking care of our people is a core value at The Home
Depot, and one we take very seriously, says Layne Thome,
associate services manager. We offer different Life-Balance
programs such as parenting and elder care classes to help associates
balance their home life. We know if people are more satisfied
in their home life they are generally happier and more effective
In this scene from Active
Parenting Today, Mom learns a powerful method for redirecting
her young artist to a more appropriate canvas.
progressed, The Home Depot associates with teenagers began asking
if there was a class that could help them deal with the special
challenges of teen behavior. Our associates were telling
us that the teenage years are hard, said Sherilynn Bare,
associate services coordinator and leader of the first Active
Parenting of Teens class. They wanted to develop stronger
relationships with their teen sons and daughters and needed better
ways to communicate and encourage responsible behavior. They
asked, How can I talk about difficult things like drugs,
sex and violence? How do I get my teen to listen
to me without lecturing? and How do I figure out
the correct discipline for misbehavior?
"I cant believe how helpful the class has been to
me, said Homer Fund associate Patience Hendrix. It
came just in the nick of time. I didnt know where to turn,
explaining that her relationship with her teen daughter is improving
after a family crisis. I have learned a lot about teenagers
and ways to calm myself down. I am listening to her more. It
was so helpful to listen to the other parents and share my frustrations.
Just knowing that there was someplace to go and people were there
to support me meant a lot.
Lola Layne, an information systems associate, explains a
co-worker on my team had taken the class for younger kids and
when I heard about the teen class I jumped on it. These classes
have helped me re-open the lines of communication with my 14-year-old
son. It helped me stop and think, to put on the brakes and think
before I said something. It also helped to talk with other parents
about a situation and get their perspective. Now we are working
better together and theres a lot more fun in our house.
Home Depot associates Glenn
Suppe and Patience Hendrix learn positive "Active Parenting"
techniques at a Lunch & Learn.
||Having fun together is an important building
block in the development of healthy families. In both classes
parents are urged to initiate regular family enrichment activitiesas
short as ten minutes or as long as an all-day outing. Taking
time for fun is important because its easier to like someone
you have fun with. Often, though, the fun part of being a family
gets lost in the daily rush of work schedules and household chores.
For Home Depot associates David and Denise Wooten, in information
services, the family enrichment activities led to fun and learning.
Our sons, 8 and 10, wanted to tie-dye T-shirts with a friend,
said David Wooten. It was fun and we all learned how to
do something new. The boys never want to take their shirts off.
Several associates indicated they would like to take a refresher
class again in a year or two when their children are a little
older and entering a new behavioral stage. In the meantime, they
are referring to the Parents Guide for tips on handling
new situations. The Home Depot also has a second set of the videos
available for associates to check out if they miss a class, want
to review specific skills, or wish to share the program with
Along with stronger parenting skills, many associates find
the program helps them develop communication skills that improve
other important relationships in their life. The classes
were eye-opening, adds Peck, and not just for parenting.
I have learned skills I can tailor to relationships with friends,
family and co-workers.
The class was incredible. It shows that The Home Depot
does care about its people and not just when they are at work,
said Layne Thome. Her feelings are echoed by other associates
who consider the classes a valuable associate benefit, stressing
the convenient time and workplace location. And, as associates
continue to ask Thome and Bare, When is the next parenting
class being offered? its clear that The Home Depot
is not only providing lumber and hardware to construct houses
but supporting the emotional construction of strong associate
Click here for information about Active
Parenting's work-life solutions.
Reprinted from Leader magazine.
Copyright 2001 by Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.