Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Parent to Parent: When Parents Head Back to School
Ask any student and they will tell you going to school is a lot of hard work. But what if you're a working mother with three kids? In today's Parent to Parent, you'll see how it's possible to go back to school, raise a family and get a passing grade.
WSVN -- The tests, the papers and all that homework. It's not easy being a student -- just ask the Rairden family.
This family of five had to adjust when mom went back to school to finish her bachelor's degree in nursing.
Marlene Rairden: "When I stayed home I started realizing, 'Wow, I can do a lot of other things,' and there was one main thing I really wanted to do and that was to finish my schooling."
At first, Marlene's three daughters were worried about losing precious time with mom -- but they knew she needed their support.
Rachel Rairden: "I supported her all the way. I was like, 'That's what you want, you're going for it, and I'm proud to say that you're my mom going for what you want.'"
Seven's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says it is possible to go back to school and raise a family.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Going back to school, and perhaps if you have to work along with that, it's very difficult, but you have your priorities."
Dr. Valerie says make your children your number one priority.
Only take one or two classes so you don't overload yourself.
And schedule your classes around your kids' schedule.
Dr. Valerie: "Getting an A in the class or a B in the class really doesn't matter when it comes to your children."
Also, plan ahead for events that will come up -- like if your child is sick and you have to leave class to pick them up from school.
Don't miss any of your kids' school events and make homework family time.
Dr. Valerie: "One of the good things that occurs when you go back to school is that you can go to the libraries to do research and take your children along with you, and it's a time that everybody does homework."
For it to really work, Dr. Valerie says everyone will have to pitch in.
When Marlene was writing her final paper, she posted a sign on her bedroom door saying "Do Not Disturb."
That's when it was time for dad to step in and take over.
David Rairden: "First thing they do is want to talk to mom, and mom is busy doing work. 'No, no, dad is over here. Come talk to me. How was your day? What it is you need? Do not disturb me is do not disturb."
Marlene's hard work is paying off. She's graduating this year, just in time for daughter Natalie to graduate high school.
Marlene proves it: You can be a loving, supportive parent and an inspiring role model.
Marlene Rairden: "You just have to know that you can't give everything 100 percent of time, but you can certainly give 100 percent of your love."
Lynn Martinez: "And Marlene is not done yet. She is planning to spend some downtime with her family, and then she's going back to school to get her master's degree."
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode
7711 SW 62 Ave. Suite 203
Miami, FL 33143