MARQUETTE — Parenting in the 21st century has challenges not faced by parents in previous generations.

Professionals and volunteers will attend the 22nd annual Parenting Awareness Michigan Conference this Thursday at the Marquette Holiday Inn. Workshops will be held for parenting advocates.

Effective basic parenting may always remain the same, but organizers say the modern family has added concerns.

“I think its harder to be a parent in today’s day and age because there are so many different messages out there for parents,” said Shelley Ovink, parenting conference organizer, former social worker and EMT. “I think the word I would use is, it’s ambiguous; you have professionals telling you to do things. You have family culture and how you may have learned to do things with children, or how to deal with discipline, for instance. And you have children sometimes telling you how to parent, so I think the world is harder for parents. There is a piece of the puzzle that comes in because parents sometimes get information from places that perhaps aren’t the best sources of that information.”

The main speaker is Pittsburgh-based parenting expert and family physician Deborah Gilboa, better known as “Ask Dr. G” – who will host two workshops – including teaching respect to children.

That’s based on her three “R’s” of parenting – raising respectful, responsible and resilient children.

For more information on the conference, you can go to or .