Parents meet in Topeka for leadership conference

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Children’s groups are looking to make parenting a little less challenging. The Kansas Children’s Service League is hosting a parent leadership conference this weekend.

Moms and dads who have faced struggles while parenting are in Topeka, learning from child development experts and sharing experiences.

Shandi Pase is a Topeka mother of a 7-year-old boy. This is the fourth year she has attended the statewide parent leadership conference.

“Knowing that I wasn’t alone, that there are other parents out there, single parents, adoptive parents, just other people going through what I was going through,” said Pase.

Pase came to the conference for the first time while she was in the middle of getting a divorce. She believes she has learned things that have helped her become a better mom.

“Learning the coping mechanisms of being a single parent household and how to do the single parenting and dealing with his behaviors on my own,” Pase said.

Pase is now on the statewide parent leadership advisory council with other parents that attended the conference.

Matthew Ogden is a father from Abilene. He said the meeting helps empower parents.

“Sometimes you think you’re doing a terrible job and you’re not fit,” said Ogden. “And you come here and it just kind of makes you feel good about yourself.”

Ogden has a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. He said parents need to realize how crucial their job is.

“What you do affects their entire life, so it’s important that you realize how important you are to your child,” Odgen said.

Parents like Pase and Ogden were selected by various organizations that believed the conference could help them.

Parents get to hear from experts and go to a variety of workshops on various topics like children’s behavior, health, co-parenting, and discipline.

“We’re hopeful that they won’t feel isolated, that they’ll feel more connected to a community of parents and other parents that are like them,” said one of the organizers, Vicky Roper, the Prevent Child Abuse Kansas Director with Kansas Children’s Service League.

The conference continues on Saturday.

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