New parenting class helps frustrated parents

17-year-old Randy Garcia Jr. is doing well in his senior year at San Jose's James Lick High School, but he's just come back home. His grades took a dive in the spring and he had moved out to live with relatives for a few months.

"Feels good to be back at home with my folks, my family, with my little brother," says 17-year-old Randy.

Garcia is back after his parents, Randy Garcia Sr. and Katrina Garcia, completed a program called 'The Parent Project', where they learned invaluable parenting tools.

"We found out that we don't have control of our children. We have control of the water, the energy bill, but we don't have control of our children who are going to grow up to be who they are," says Randy Garcia Sr.

The Garcia's were in San Jose's pilot parent project this spring. The 12-session, nationally recognized course helps frustrated parents by teaching strategies to deal with kids that seem out of control. It takes on everything from not following house rules to gangs, drugs and alcohol use.

"Having a lot of patience. I have a lot of patience. Well, I think I have a lot of patience, but my husband doesn't, so he learned a lot from it," says Katrina Garcia.

San Jose decided to bring the program here after seeing the juvenile crime rate rise and hearing from the community.

"From young people, we heard 'I want to change, but I don't know how to change'. From parents, we heard 'I need some help,'" says Angel Rios, San Jose Mayors Office.

"The communication was a problem between me and my dad. It's better now. He actually listens," says 17-year-old Garcia.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will be running the program. It will be available at five locations in San Jose starting later this month.


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Backround information
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