Nonprofit helps couples learn basics of having a baby while building relationship

Family Expectations is a free program for expecting couples and new parents to teach life skills to make their relationships stronger. FE staffers believe that the most fundamental relationship for a growing child is the relationship of his or her parents.

Through a series of workshops, participating couples learn how to:
" talk to each other,
" handle anger and stress, and
" keep fun, friendship and intimacy in their relationship.

"Some of the couples just enjoy coming and spending time with other couples who are in the process of having a baby and sharing that time, and having a chance to get away from other things that life throws at them," said David Kimmel, the program's site administrator. "They see it oftentimes as kind of a date night."

To be eligible for the 10-week workshop, couples must be:
" married or in a committed relationship, and
" be expecting or have a child that is not older than 3 months.

"The program taught us how to be more open with each other, but most importantly, it taught me how to understand my baby," Percilla McDuffey said. "They taught us infant cues, so now I know if my baby is crying because he's drowsy, hungry or just bored with the toy he's playing with."

She even convinced her neighbor to check it out.

"It changed our lives, and I know it's changing theirs," she said.

For more information, call 639-2054 or visit their site. "Lauren Parajon