FORT POLK, La. -- Parenting is a daunting task. Consistently, experts and books hail their child-rearing practices as the ultimate guide to training perfect, docile children who behave accordingly in every situation. What experts fail to fully illuminate is the fact that gleaning cooperation from a child of any age takes patience, know-how and dedication.

North Polk Elementary School's Parents Helping Parents program offers tried-and-true, matter-of-fact parenting procedures sure to produce positive results. Once-a-month workshops deliver no-nonsense, child-rearing advice, which provides a multitude of practical implements to add to the parenting toolbox.

Becky Cyr, NPE Title I coordinator, facilitates the Parents Helping Parents sessions, which consist of the parent edition DVD series, "Tools for Teaching" developed and presented by clinical psychologist Dr. Fred Jones. The DVD lectures address many of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to effective parenting -- staying calm, dealing with backtalk, being consistent, teaching right from wrong and building healthy relationships.

Each meeting centers on a theme that helps parents develop positive interaction skills with their children. "These sessions provide a way for parents and teachers to work together with a common language and set of skills to create the best environment possible for their kids," said Cyr.

Some of the attendees are veterans of the Parents Helping Parents sessions. Family member Courtney Lee, mother of a 5-year- and 5-month-old said, "I attended these meetings last year, but I'm attending again this year as a refresher. There's a lot to remember when parenting and seeing the videos for a second time serves as a great reminder."

Cyr has been leading these meetings for a number of years and still extracts useful information from each session. "You know how to parent on so many levels, but a lot of these tips are lost if you don't use them every day."

Cyr facilitates a discussion and answers parents' questions after each video is completed. Parents talk about the topics covered in the video, share their experiences and interact with one another to get the most out of each lesson.

"Overall, there are nine sessions in the series. Even if you've missed the first few sessions, you still have much to learn. Dr. Fred Jones' approach to teaching children is entertaining and his methods really work," said Cyr.

Refreshments and door prizes are provided at each meeting, which are open to every one in the community, not only NPE students' parents. "Our goal with this program is to benefit the children," Cyr said.

All workshops are held at the Dogwood Community Center at 11:30 a.m.

• Jan. 18 -- "I was not put on this earth to be your servant" covers rules to live by, children's ploys in resisting chores and learned helplessness.

• Feb. 15 -- Teaching your child to do it right deals with modeling and explaining expected behaviors, corrective and positive feedback and the rules of chores.

• March 15 -- Teaching right from wrong is comprised of truth telling, incorporating values, punishment and social skills.

• April 19 -- Building relationships pertains to love, trust and investing in an emotionally stable child."

For more information regarding NPE's Parents Helping Parents workshop call 537-5109.