Children First


Through agreements with local county court systems, the Society provides parenting education services to parents involved in divorce in McDowell, Mercer, and Wyoming Counties.  These programs provide divorcing parents the opportunity to learn about and discuss the effects of divorce and the changing family situation has on children.  By helping parents learn to communicate effectively with each other and focus on the best interests of the child, the impact of divorce can be mitigated.  



Parenting Education in Action:

Many parents are nervous and skeptical when they first approach the West Virginia Supreme Court-mandated Parenting classes and may openly wonder, “What can these people teach me about parenting my own children?”

In the opening statements of the class, the primary focus is on the children and how the parent can help the child cope with a difficult period in both of their lives. Confidentiality is stressed and class participation becomes less embarrassing as parents begin to center on the needs of their children.

Once the “Children in the Middle” video starts and discussion about divorce and changes in their children’s behavior begins, a noticeable shift occurs in the parents’ attitudes.

Evaluations of the classes show that parents value most the discussion of the effects of divorce on children and many wish the class extended beyond two hours.

The following are some of the comments from parents who have attended these classes:

“program tries to make parents realize that the child is priority #1 and parents should not put each other down no matter what happens.”

“Scenarios provided real-life examples of what parents should not do.”

“it made me really want for me and my ex to get along for the kids. I really liked the class.”

“This session made me realized that my situation is not uncommon and I learned how to handle many different situations in a positive way.”

“I learned how to help my children through the hard times and make sure they don’t blame themselves.”

“It is insightful to watch (the videos) and catch the mistakes you may not know you are making.”

“Very valuable information on how to handle many different situations that may arise.”

When asked what the parents liked best about the program, the overwhelming response was the open discussion of each video situation.

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