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January 2012

Welcome to Leader Online, an e-newsletter for Active Parenting leaders and educators. Here you'll find ideas to make your job a little easier. Are you a "leader in action"? Please share your tips, photos, or success stories by sending a note to our marketing team.

Active Parenting leader in action: Nancy Spence


Certified Active Parenting Trainer Nancy SpenceIt's time for a Top Tips Q&A with...Arizona leader and trainer Nancy Spence, M.A. Ed.  

Arizona's Nancy Spence has been leading and training in Active Parenting for so long, she eventually became a consultant for us! Nancy will be at the Phoenix Training of Trainers in March, and she leads her own LTWs throughout the year. Here she shares some of her strategies.


Q. Nancy, what is the key to a successful parenting class?  

A. The most important thing is to get the parents to show up! And of course that's also the most difficult, so it's what we need to spend our most effort on. I recommend promoting the class starting 6-7 weeks before the start date. The more ways you can reach people, the better.  


How do you go about promoting your classes?  

Face-to-face invitations are the very best way. For example, do a brief presentation about the class to a captive audience (PTA, church). Get them to sign up for your class on the spot. Tell them they can take the first session for free, with no further commitment. As we all know, after the first class, most parents want more. Something that works well for me is to break the 6-week class into Part 1 and Part 2. It's still 6 weeks, but parents find it easier to commit to 3 sessions at a time. I don't allow people to attend Part 2 unless they attend Part 1 first.


So once you have them in that first class, how do you keep them coming back?  

The class needs to have a very fast pace, especially at the beginning. I want people to get a lot of the material in their heads right away, so they can start having Active Parenting success stories. To keep the pace, I don't encourage much participation in the first half of the class. It's too easy for people to launch into a belly-aching session about their parenting problems. We can get to all that later.  


Another thing is to put a lot of positive energy into your presentation, and a lot of empathy, too. They're kind of afraid that they're not going to do it perfectly right. Encouragement coming from you, the trainer, will give them the confidence they need to continue practicing.  


When do you slow down and encourage more parent sharing?
Around the middle of Session III (discipline), we slow down and use our own examples.  


Do you charge for your parenting classes?  

Yes, I think it's important to charge for the class, so the parents will understand how valuable it is and keep their commitment. Even if you're only charging for the Parent's Guide, at least you're both acknowledging the value. I believe this class is well worth an investment.  


How about refreshments?  

I bring healthy snacks to the first session, and get parents to volunteer to bring snacks to subsequent sessions. That reinforces their ability to contribute to the group and also reinforces their commitment.  


Meet Nancy at the Training of Trainers in Phoenix this spring, or attend one of her Leader Training Workshops in Arizona later this year.


Phoenix training

Hurry! the early-bird discount for the Phoenix Training of Trainers expires January 22 

This spring we will host our very first Training of Trainers (TOT) in Arizona. That's a great airport, especially for you Westerners, and the training venue is conveniently located downtown. We've heard there will be some basketball going on at the same time, so downtown Phoenix will be an exciting place. But don't worry, we've reserved a block of rooms at a special rate just for you. Save $100 by registering before January 22. Call Training Coordinator Micole Mason at 800-825-0060 x121 for more information, or go to activeparenting.com/TOT.

Stop by our exhibit at these spring conferences

Will you be attending the National Title I or CADCA conferences this month? If so, be sure to stop by our exhibit and say hello! I'll show you what's new and even let you play our crazy twisty-disk game! Here's a list of all our spring conference exhibits—will we see you there?


We've moved!

Active Parenting Publishers has moved down the road to a sparkling new office. Please make this change to your records. Our telephone numbers remain the same.

New address: Active Parenting Publishers, 1220 Kennestone Circle, Suite 130, Marietta GA 30066-6022.

Announcing new team members   

Welcome to Larry Harvey, our new sales manager. Larry is a native of Georgia who is the proud father of two teenagers. He looks forward to meeting fellow Active Parenting enthusiasts!


Congratulations to Victoria Buchanan, our new Educational Consultant for Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.


Educational Consultant Susan Hopkins
Susan and her daughter.
Employee of the Month
Dr. Popkin and I are two members of a team that works together to serve you. This month I'd like to shine some light on another one of our hidden treasures, Educational Consultant Susan Hopkins. Born in Rome (Rome, Georgia, that is), Susan's lifelong passion has been music. From childhood on, Susan has been an avid singer and musician, playing piano, trumpet and (for a time) French horn. She met her husband, John, while she was a singer for a band. Both of their children are musical, too, so Susan has been a Band Mom for many years. In her 10 years at Active Parenting, Susan has found that she loves the many opportunities she has to speak with new people. Thanks, Susan!