Mac Bledsoe, father of retired Patriots football player Drew Bledsoe, will come to Hermiston next week to speak to area community members about what he believes to be the role a parent in their child’s success.

During his seminar, “Happy Homes and Empty Prisons - It’s About the Ideas and Pictures In Our Child’s Head,” Bledsoe will speak on what he believes to be simple yet effective principles on how to influence a child’s “script,” or perception of their inner core about who they are as an individual and what they believe their capabilities are in the various aspects of their lives.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at the New Hope Church, 1350 Highway 395 in Hermiston. Tickets to the presentation are available for $14 prior to Saturday at Alive & Well, 2150 N. Highway 395 or online at midcolumbiaparenting.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $18.

Bledsoe said his idea for offering a parenting program originated when he and his wife were still teachers.

“We were participating in conversations we heard daily at school, and we had to ask ‘What is wrong with kids today?’” he said.

Bledsoe said one day, he came home after a frustrating experience with some students in his classes and realized that, as teachers, they were probably one of the biggest parts of the problem.

“Working with kids without working with their parents is like working with alcoholics and sending them home to liquor stores,” he said. “We needed to talk about simple behavioral management skills for parents to teach their kids about how to make good decisions.”

Bledsoe said he and his wife put together a presentation for parents and presented it to them at the school he was working at the time. He said, initially, the number of people attending the program was small, but as the weeks went on, he really started to see a change in the way students were behaving and treating one another.

“We noticed a profound change in our classrooms,” Bledsoe said. “The biggest change was the number of blanks that got filled in our grade books. We noticed a decrease in the rude comments kids made to each other. It seemed to calm our classrooms.”

Bledsoe said, since then, he has published two books, “Parenting with Dignity” and “Parenting with Dignity: The Early Years,” where he lays out his basics principals for parenting for all ages. Bledsoe also released a 14-hour DVD all about his parenting and teaching principles. He has been featured on the TODAY show, 20/20 and more talking about his organization: Parenting with Dignity.

“Now, we are active in every one of the 50 states,” he said. “We estimate that we have educated in the neighborhood of 5 million families.”

Bledsoe said he is mainly interested in teaching parents how to teach their children to make good decisions in their lives.

“I am not interested at all in preaching what they should teach their kids,” he said. “There is no political, religious or ethical agenda. I am telling them the absolute truth. Their children will make all of the big decisions in their own lives.”

Bledsoe said it is how parents teach their children to make good decisions that will make all the difference.

“When they make those decisions, mom and dad won’t be there,” he said. “Parenting is not something you do to your children. It is something you do with them.”

Mid-Columbia Parenting President Mark Murphy said he has read probably close to 60 parenting books, and Bledsoe’s are in his top two choices.

“He is a genius in how he communicates these messages and how he puts them together,” Murphy said. “He has a very unique insight in how to deal with kids.”

Murphy said Bledsoe’s seminars changed his own life for the better after he and his wife attended the session.

“It is just really powerful,” he said.

Murphy said Bledsoe’s seminar Monday will kick off a series of workshops that will be offered to interested parents, which he projects will start in the beginning of January. He said the workshops are separated into eight sessions over the span of four to five weeks, where individuals will cover a combined 14 hours of material.

Murphy said he will have sign-up sheets for the classes available before and after Monday’s seminar for those who are interested. For more information , call Murphy at 509-845-2092, or visit http://parentingwithdignity.com/.

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