The VIP Group, formerly known as the Parent Group, of the First Presbyterian Church of Monticello is offering a six-week video series workshop based on The New York Times best-selling book, “The Whole-Brain Child” by Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. and Daniel Seigel, M.D.

The workshop will meet on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. beginning on October 6. A meal and childcare are provided at no cost, and the workshop is open to any who wants to attend.

The video series will also include material from Bryson’s video, Ten Brain-Based Strategies to Help Children Overcome Anxiety and Promote Resilience. Using stories, humor, and plenty of practical suggestions, Siegel and Bryson will demonstrate how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development in children.

Siegel, an internationally acclaimed neurophychiatrist, and Bryson, a brain-based parenting expert, have created multiple tools such as these videos, as well as books and workbooks, to help parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators, and clinicians understand and survive the everyday parenting struggles by learning how to turn outbursts, arguments, and fears into opportunities to foster vital growth. Some of the topics and strategies included in this series will be: Connect & Redirect; Engage, Don’t Enrage; Name It to Tame It; Move It or Lose It; SIFT-What’s Going On Inside; Increase the Family Fun Factory; and Connection Through Conflict — Teach Kids to Argue with a “We” in Mind.

Kathy Carmical, a Licensed Professional Counselor and member of First Presbyterian Church, along with Emily Stell, a Licensed Associate Counselor, will facilitate the video series each week.

Jill Hudson and her child care crew will entertain the children with craft projects, quick life lessons and play time.

The First Presbyterian Church is asking that all of those who wish to attend the workshop to pre-register by calling or leaving a voice message at 870-367-6883 or by emailing [email protected] so that preparations can be made.

The VIP (Values in Parenting) Group, which is one of First Presbyterian Church’s more popular community outreach programs, is intended to create a safe, calm, and confidential venue for parents and other caregivers to share and receive encouragement, support, and helpful suggestions about childcare. It is an open group, meaning that the group is open to anyone in Monticello or the surrounding communities. An open group also means that people who wish to attend may do so at any part of the year and may participate as long as they would like.

The schedule of events for a night begins with a meal at 6 p.m. Childcare begins at 6:30 p.m. while the parents remain in the Fellowship Hall for a 30 minute video followed by a discussion that usually lasts until 8 pm.

“Having childcare provided and a wonderful meal is a big bonus,” said one parent. “I can only imagine what that must mean to our single parents that come.”

The average attendance during the six week video series is about 20-30 people whose ages range from late teens and up. Singles, divorced or divorcing, married couples, grandparents, teachers and other caregivers attend. The parenting group has helped more than 200 people over the past ten years and hopes to see that number rise.

“For me, this group started as a way to simply get out of my house when my kids were three and newborn. I never expected to grow so much as a parent within the group,” one parent said of the VIP group. “I’ve learned parenting skills I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve also calmed down dramatically in my daily life.”

“Instead of getting through each day as tantrum-free as possible, it keeps the reasons I have for parenting my children the way I do at the forefront of my mind,” said another attendee. “If that was all the group offered, it would be a great success. The parenting group is so much more than just learning about parenting.”

The VIP Group is supported by the First Presbyterian Church and is conducted through the CE Committee within the church. Tax deductible donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Monticello with a notation of “ VIP” or “Parent Group.”