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By breaking generational cycles of dysfunction, Cope 24 makes holidays easier for families

Renee Howitt’s organization has become a social necessity

Abesi Manyando on

No More Family Holiday Drama in 2020 hopefully.

The holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year but for those families who experience dysfunction and carry trauma it can be the most uncomfortable time of the year. How can families maintain peace during the holiday if they suffer from underlying issues that impact how they get along? Well one organization has been at the forefront of breaking generational dysfunction through education and training all year round. Cope 24 has been on a quest to make parenting class a priority in schools and is also one of the nation’s most resourceful organization as it pertains to family health and breaking trauma.

Based in St. Louis, MO Cope 24 helps families cope, grow and bond. We talked to founder, Renee Howitt about her organization and its national impact. She acknowledged how the holidays can become a microscope of family dysfunction highlighting issues that may lay dormant during the year. She stressed the importance of family health being a priority in our educational school system and the core of our social issues.

“As our nation struggles with issues like crime, imprisonment, mental health, domestic violence, poverty, homelessness and addiction we must ask ourselves, what is the root cause of these issues? We will find family health,” Howitt stated. Howitt says that in order to improve the health of our families we must start with the following: Educate our youth on the stresses and tremendous responsibility that come along with parenting. Parents are the family leaders. Educated parents lead healthier families. Healthier families lead to healthier communities, cities, states and nation.

Renee Howitt: COPE24’s goals are all about breaking the generational cycle of dysfunction in our families. Think about this…most dysfunction isn’t illegal ie. yelling and screaming and name calling not illegal. What does that do to a child’s self image? Our mission statement “Making Parenting Education A National Priority”. We mean all high school student should be taking parenting and/or child development classes during their high school career. We don’t need to spend money (the schools already have the teachers in place. We don’t have to mandate this but we may want to consider removing mandates that have been in place for over 50 years. I’m always asked “where is the evidence that these classes would improve parenting skills in the future?” My answer to that is two folded:” 1. We don’t have the evidence because only about 10% of the student population takes these courses now. 2. Where is the evidence that a gym class has reduced obesity or made us healthier as a nation in anyway?” We have the ability to create awareness. Students can’t possibly know that something they have always lived with is dysfunctional. We have Family Consumer Science FACS teachers in most of our high schools. We have the text books. We just need to make this a priority, If education works on math and science why would we not expect it to work on family health?

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COPE24 Parenting Skills Program for Child Welfare Workers, Foster Care Agencies, Hospitals and Community Groups

Call 314-488-3766 or email Rene Howitt for set-up, purchase and pricing.

What does the program include?

We’ve taken 10 very common frustrating parenting situations and put them into a program, so that we can begin discussing with our youth the realities of parenting. This program includes:

  1. Teacher/Instructors manual meeting all national curriculum standards
  2. Manual also includes student worksheets and pre/post student surveys
  3. 10 parenting scenario videos. Each parenting video situation is approx. five-minutes in length. There is one video situation for each of the 10 chapters of this program

The teacher/instructor would begin the class by showing one video. Each scenario will escalate to the point of abuse, neglect, or dysfunction. The video is then stopped and the teacher/instructor can turn to class asking….what went wrong? What other choices did the parents have? What will you do?