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Parents of troubled children share experience with UofM’s Regional Instructional Program

Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 2:51 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Parents are sharing about how a free program at the University of Memphis has helped them learn skills to parent their young children.

Jamie Klazmer needed help with her 4-year-old child.

”You know as a parent, there’s nothing more challenging than when your child is struggling,” she said.

Klazmer was looking to learn skills that would help parent a child with high emotions and tantrums.

“These were definitely problems happening before the pandemic, but absolutely the pandemic exasperated these emotions,” she said.

In October 2020, she learned about the Regional Intervention Program located at the University of Memphis through an online forum. The program has been around in Tennessee since 1969, and it teaches parents skills to raise troubled children under the age of six through activity-based exercises and mentorship.

”We’re truly a parenting program. So, since RIP has been around so long, we have a really well-defined curriculum,” said program director Robin Stevens.

The program teaches that change starts with the parent.

Jennifer Davis is a parent whose child was dismissed from preschools for difficult behavior. She shared what it is like to be a guide for other parents now that she has become a RIP Case Manager.

“I think it takes them a few days because at first it’s kind of a shock. Like, ‘OK, I have to look at what I’m doing. I might have to change. You’re not just here to fix my child.’ I think at first that’s a shock, but once they kind of get over that initial shock they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this works,’” said Davis.

Each parent that has been through RIP reaches a point in the program called “payback time” where they turn around and share their skills with new parents.

The program is free and is being held virtually right now due to the pandemic.

Parents or guardians must be the ones to reach out to RIP to get started with the program. Other adult family members are then welcome to participate in lessons.

Klazmer says the program transformed her relationship with her daughter.

“Completely changed the behaviors of my child into a more positive experience, and our family experiences,” she said.

To learn more about joining RIP, head to the program’s site here at https://www.memphis.edu/icl/rip/.

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