The Care for the Family 'Time Out for Parents' courses are here to help you build a strong and secure relationship with your child, whatever their age. The courses are run in community venues and are usually made up of six two-hour sessions, each led by trained and experienced facilitators.
We asked a Care for the Family Facilitator some questions on why they run the course, and here are their answers...
I have led 9-10 Parenting courses over the past twenty years. Firstly, the Care For the Family Video based course called Parent Talk, covering all ages. Then I found a course tailored to Pre-school children called Parent Play. After that I adapted my own course until I found and was trained to deliver Positive Parenting. I have delivered the Early Years Course a number of times, and also the Primary Years and the course on Handling Anger in the Family. On one occasion I lead the Raising Faith Course.
I personally would have welcomed a parenting course when I was bringing up our two lively and strong willed sons and recognised a great need of the parents who attended the weekly Parent and Toddler Group at my church. Many of them had no family support as the parents had come to work in the UK. They were also struggling to find ways of disciplining their children in this country where physical punishment is not allowed. I also recognised that by running a parenting course I would be able to form closer relationships with those who attended.
1. What made you decide to run a course for families in your church?
I was attracted to the Time Out for Parents course as it had a solid theoretical basis, was professional in its presentation and had a clear constructive handbook for participants giving age-appropriate examples. The course was constantly looking at ways to foster strong family bonds.
2. Why this one?
I delivered the courses at my local church so the only costs involved were the Leaders Manual and the Parents Handbook. (As a CFF licenced facilitator leading the course voluntarily I receive a discount on materials). Initially I suggested that the parents might like to make a voluntary contribution to cover the cost of the manual but on the last course I requested £6 from everyone who attended.
3. What were the costs involved?
Without exception each course was a success and greatly appreciated by the parents. They gained in confidence as they came to understand their child’s temperament and the importance of drawing boundaries. Deeper relationships were formed, and I have remained in contact with one parent years after they have left the country!
4. How did it go? What were the highlights?
5. What would you say to anyone looking at this course and wondering whether it might work in their community?
I live in a multicultural area and on a recent course the group comprised of 11 parents from 8 different countries! So interesting conversations arose concerning cultural practices. The course covered a variety of learning styles.
I have always found that the hardest part is getting a group of parents willing to commit to attend a course and finding a mutually convenient day and time. Once people attend, they usually value the “Time Out” and complete the course. I often tease group members that they only attend for the cake, but it is small acts of care that communicate powerfully.