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ASU offering free program for divorced parents

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A divorce is a difficult time in anyone's life, especially children who feel caught in the middle.

In response, Arizona State University is offering a free program designed to help divorced couples be better parents.

"The New Beginnings program is a program that helps parents develop high quality parenting following a divorce or separation," said Dr. Irwin Sandler, the program's director.

Sandler said the program teaches parents how to handle several issues.

"Things like developing a more positive relationship with your children, learning to be a good listener for your children, learning to provide high quality discipline and rules for your kids, and keeping your kids out of the middle of conflict between the ex-spouses."

According to Sandler, putting aside your differences and being a parent can lead to better things for your kids.

"It can lead to [fewer] mental health problems for your child, less substance use, better grades and higher self-esteem," he said, adding that divorce is a tough time that without good parenting could cause problems for kids for years to come.

To be eligible for the free program, parents must be single and divorced or separated from a spouse or domestic partner during the past two years, and have children between the ages of 3 and 18.

Parents who are interested in signing up for the program can visit or call at (855) 531-0851.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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