Have you taken advantage of Family Academy: Courses and Trainings (FACT) yet? If not, you may be missing out on valuable information and resources for you and your family! FACT workshops are FREE to families and community members, take place all around the City of Philadelphia, and are designed to help children and families in their personal and academic success. Workshops cover a variety of topics by content expert individuals, agencies, District offices, and organizations. One of the teachers who has been with FACT since its beginnings is pediatrician Dr. Barbara Klock. Dr. Klock uses her professional knowledge and experience to help inform parents about the questions they may have about their children’s health and growth.
As a practicing physician, Dr. Klock saw trends in the questions that parents would ask about their developing children. She would see up to 35 families a day and hear the bottled up questions and concerns of her patients throughout the years. In response to these questions, she founded Dr. Klock Talks, as a way to get information out to families about these common concerns. She began collaborating with the FACE Office and FACT two years ago, in an effort to reach a diverse group of Philadelphia families.
Each of Dr. Klock’s workshops came out of the interests and questions that she was hearing from her patients. Many parents had questions about nutrition and healthy eating for their children, so she addresses this in her workshop, “Beyond the Beige Food Group Nutritional Workshop.” She saw that many parents got very stressed out about whether their children were eating healthy or not and what healthy portions of food were, so she wanted to teach families more about the food groups and what nutritious, balanced eating is for children.
Dr. Klock also observed that many people did not know when to visit a doctor or when a phone call to a doctor was necessary. Through her, “Your Child, Their Doctor, and You” workshop, she wants to empower parents with the knowledge to know when and how to care for their children. There is a variety of ways to care for your child including calling in and asking the nurse about the symptoms, going to the doctor, going to the emergency room, visiting Urgent Care, and using the internet as a resource to research. As a pediatrician, Dr. Klock also believed that many parents were not taking full advantage of doctors’ visits to ask the questions about their children. She feels strongly that parents should know their rights as they go into a check-up and know what kind of questions are good to ask their doctors. Parents and families should know that a healthy check-up is not simply for a child to get his shots, but should focus on the child’s entire well-being. This means that parents can not only ask the doctor about physical needs, but also other facets of the child’s life such as sleep, diet, performance, school life, social capabilities, and so on. Parents can come with developmental questions about raising children and partner with their doctors in order to have a better holistic understanding of the child’s health.
The third workshop that Dr. Klock leads is, “Big Emotions, Bigger Changes,” which addresses the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes that happen during puberty. Puberty is not just a physical change, but also a change in the way that a child thinks about themselves, their body, others, and the world. Children begin thinking differently about the world in a more ‘big picture’ way and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Even the way that a child interacts with others starts to change during this period. Dr. Klock wants to teach about the changes going on in the body, unique and individual changes that could be going on for people, the function of different body parts and how they work, and more. She believes that if she can have these conversations with parents, then those parents will be able to have conversations with their children in the future and break awkward and stigmatized barriers.
In addition to these existing workshops, Dr. Klock is thinking about future educational opportunities, like supporting teen parents. She explains, “I enjoy supporting and empowering parents to be able to do things on their own…and empowering parents that they’re doing a good job parenting.” Through these various FACT courses, Dr. Klock hopes that parents can love and simply enjoy their children by being present and asking questions to better their child’s growth and development.
Learn more and register for one of Dr. Klock’s courses and many others offered on the FACT course website!