STUTTGART, Germany — One kid is a brat.

The other is fat. OK, a little heavy. Either way, the list of issues for parents is long — long enough to be bundled into a package called “Family University.”

“It’s us giving parents the skills they need, so they can take hold of their families and make them a success,” said Lori Everly, a social worker with Army Community Services in Stuttgart. “It just seems like a good opportunity for them to grow as parents.”

Family University will offer 16 different classes, including one for men who want to be better fathers, for parents whose teens use drugs or alcohol, and for mothers who want their toddlers to start reading and writing.

The event will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Swabian Special Events Center at Patch Barracks. Classes will be offered four at a time during four different time slots, so parents can pick and choose which ones best suit their needs.

Everly said the event — bringing all the parenting classes together at one site — is the first of its kind in Stuttgart. She hoped it would give parents more reasons to come out, sample the family-help resources in Stuttgart and tune-up their households.

“All families can always do better,” Everly said.

Some classes are specific to military-family issues, such as coping with relocation. Others are meant to help with issues such as planning for college or helping a lazy kid become more active.

The “university” idea might be shared with others bases throughout Europe, according to Mildred Skidmore, family advocacy program manager for Installations Management Agency-Europe.

“We encourage that when [installations] have something that is working well for them share with other installations,” Skidmore said. “It makes it easier for everybody, so we don’t have to always be creative all the time.

“We generally don’t initiate Europe-wide [programs] from this level. We let the communities determine what works for them and how they can tailor their services to best meet the needs of people in those communities.” Everly said one of her Army Community Service colleagues had used a “family university” approach at a previous duty station.

About 50 people had pre-registered for classes a week before the event, Everly said. She hoped more would sign up before the event, adding that walk-ins are welcomed.

Everly said she hoped the format would be convenient for busy parents.

“A lot of times ... people have trouble going to ongoing classes,” Everly said. “If we have a one day conference people could really benefit gain lot of knowledge.”

Family University facts

When:8 3 p.m. Thursday

Where:Swabian Special Events Center, Patch Barracks, Stuttgart

To register for classes:Fliers are available at sites throughout the Stuttgart military community, or at the Army Community Services office on Patch Barracks.

Topics:Strong-willed children, stress management, language and literacy, keeping children drug-free, helping children succeed in elementary school, dealing with teens, developing a family mission statement, paying for college, adapting to change for a military family, attention-deficit disorder, family fitness, spirituality, father skills, pediatric medicine, Internet safety and local crime.

Information:DSN: 430-7176; civilian: 0711-680-7176

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