Lincoln County’s Early Childhood Task Force partnered with the Lincoln County R-III School District and Boone Elementary, where to host a behavioral clinic for parents that facing challenging behaviors. From tantrums to outburst to power struggles, no parent is alone when facing these challenging behaviors. 

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Rebecca Elliot of Parents as Teachers spoke with Jen Kaiser and James Crawford, with St. Louis Counseling, about challenging behaviors. 

The Lincoln County Early Childhood Task Force opened this free event to the public in hopes to provide practical information to support healthy child development. 

The task force is made up of several different organizations throughout the community including the Love-N-Learn Preschool, First Steps Preschool, Parents as Teachers, Principal of Early Childhood Center, Youth in Need, Head Start, Compass Health Network, Nurses for Newborns, The Child Center, Lincoln County Health Department, Mercy Hospital, Lincoln County Resource Board and Crisis Nursery. 

Alicia Frankenhauser, a preschool teacher at Love-n-Learn Preschool, has been a part of the task force and this event for the past three years that the event has been going on for. 

“We all help in whatever capacity we can. Some help in planning, some help with supplies, some help with giveaways, some help with childcare etc,” Frankenhauser said. 

The task force decided to host the challenging behavior clinic to help parents in the area with the problems they face at home. 

“Parents would ask me for advice all the time and that’s when I saw a need,’’ Frankenhauser said. 

That is when she came up with the idea to host a Challenging Behavior clinic for parents to be able to talk one-on-one with child behavior specialist. Many times parents can feel alone or like they are failing as a parent when their child acts out. 

“I didn’t want to give the parents just pamphlets that will sit there, I wanted to give them the opportunity to talk with professionals about their specific problems,” Frankenhauser said. 

The first year of the event featured booths and professionals in the industry that spoke to the parents, and it proved to be successful, with a large turnout from the community and allowed for the event to continue. Last year the event was held at Claude Brown Elementary and had seventy-seven in attendance. This year the attendees were welcomed by Al Slusser, the principle of Boone Elementary, where the event was hosted. The event offered free dinner and free childcare for the parents. 

Although the event was aimed to work on the foundational developmental years of children, which is age zero to five, parents of children of all ages were welcome to attend and gain advice to work with their behavioral challenges. 

“The main goal is to let parents know that they are not alone and that help is available,” Frankenhauser said. 

This year the event partnered with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to talk about stranger danger. The event is planned to continue each year in the Lincoln County area. 

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Detective Erin Dorherty of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Becky Tilly of The Child Center spoke about the dangers in today’s society.

“I think it would be great to expand this program to more communities, but for now all we can do is focus on what we can do here and trying to improve the event each year, “ Frankenhauser said. With this being the third year of the event and there continues to be positive results each year, there is no plan to stop anytime soon. The event is a good opportunity for parents to understand what they can do to help their child’s behavioral challenges at home as well as get support from other parents in similar situations. No parent should feel helpless when challenging behaviors strike in their household. 

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