Help for Sonoma families dealing with strong-willed teens

A new program to assist parents of teens is being brought to the Valley by the City of Sonoma’s Youth & Family Services program.

The Parent Project is a 10-week program specifically for parents of strong-willed, out-of-control children and adolescents, ages 11 to 18. The program is designed to give parents concrete, concise tools to change negative behavior. Parents learn how they can best influence their child’s choices through behavioral interventions that begin at home. The course addresses the most difficult adolescent problems such as gangs, substance use, truancy, sexual acting out, running away, family conflict, defiance and basic respect.

For many parents, repeated frustrations and failures combined with the daily stresses of life often lead to feelings of helplessness. Parent Project instructors encourage parents to: “Never give up, either on yourself or your child!” There is always hope for parents who are struggling to keep their children safe, strong and successful. Parents are given the tools to understand and communicate with children, and provide structure and supervision.

Parent Project classes begin the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Teen Services Sonoma and run for 10 weekly sessions. Parent Project classes will also be offered in Spanish, beginning in January. There is a fee of $35 to cover materials. To register, email your contact information to with “Parent Project” in the subject line. For further information, contact the Youth & Family Services office at 732-1507.

Sonoma Valley Youth & Family Services is a juvenile diversion program funded by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Sonoma. The program is designed to give young people positive alternatives to the juvenile justice system, suspension and/or expulsion. Community partners include Hanna Boys Center, Teen Services Sonoma, Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, Challenge Sonoma Adventure Ropes Course, and the parent support group RISK (Resources, Information, Support and Knowledge), among others.

“Empowered parents are the key to securing our children’s future,” said Mayor Rachel Hundley. “We hope this program is a launching pad for future progress in bringing parents to the table on issues affecting youth in all aspects of our community.”

Over the past 30 years, the Parent Project has partnered with over half a million parents nationwide to teach prevention and intervention strategies for destructive behaviors. Learn more about Parent Project at

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