A free parenting series covering topics such as toilet learning, the importance of the family table and raising responsible children is being offered in Yaphank this summer by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

Parents can attend one session or all five. They'll be led by parent educators from the Family Health and Wellness Program of Cornell University Cooperative Extension. "Parenting is difficult and children don't come with instructions," says Kerri Kreh Reda, one of the parenting educators. "All parents can benefit from courses like this."

On July 15, Reda will discuss the signs that children -- and parents -- are ready for toilet training and offer guidelines for success.

On July 23, Tim Jahn will talk about the harm parents can cause when they overindulge their children by giving them too much, having lax rules and overnurturing.

On July 28, Dinah Torres Castro will talk about the importance of family bonding and establishing nutritional eating habits at family meals.

On July 30, Castro will lead a session looking at four styles of parenting when it comes to food and how they contribute to either healthy or unhealthy eating habits.

At the final session, on Aug. 5, Nancy Olsen-Harbich will cover parenting practices that teach children responsibility for themselves, their schoolwork and their relationships.

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All sessions run from 7 to 9 p.m., and preregistration is required. Register at 631-727-7850, ext. 340. Sessions are presented at the Suffolk County Farm's Diabetes and 4-H Education Center, L.I.E. Exit 67S, 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank.