Which Parenting Course?

The same five questions to some of the brilliant parenting course providers we sign post too.  Which could work in your community?  Let us know!

 

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Care for the Family logo
 
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...

 
1. What made you decide to run a course for families in your church?

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.

2. Why this one?
 
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.

3. What were the costs involved?
 
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.

4. How did it go?  What were the highlights?
 
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! 

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.

 

Babies Matter photo

 

Kids Matter logo

The Kids Matter Parenting Programmes are run in the heart of communities or prisons.  They are for parents and carers facing disadvantage and wanting to learn skills to help their children thrive.  The groups run for 6 weeks and are run by trained facilitators in an informal and warm environment.  

We asked a Kids Matter Facilitator some questions on why they run the course, and here are their answers...

 1. What made you decide to run a course for families in your church?

As a charity (Restore Collective) we work with families from disadvantaged backgrounds in our local community, running family events and, when necessary, signposting or offering one-to-one family support. We have observed that families need more opportunities to feel enabled and equipped, and parenting was a key area we saw this in; where we could support more. If we could offer a programme at an intervention stage it could potentially stop issues getting to crisis level but also bring new healthy dynamics to family life. Partnering with Kids Matter was a strategic step for us to build on the foundations we had.  We also saw the Kids Matter programme as a tool to build authentic community. To date, we have partnered with St Peter’s Church in Mancetter (one of the top two deprived wards in the whole of Warwickshire); the church has a desire to reach out to more families on the estate/school and has welcomed the Kids Matter programme. The church now has deeper family connections in the community as a result of this. 

2. Why this one?

The Kids Matter programme did not feel overly complex for the kind of families we are working with. It felt relational and informal; the parenting tools and behaviour suggested by the programme are simple and achievable, and can have profound impact on family life and a child’s well-being. Some parenting programmes are too complicated to be helpful for families facing disadvantages.  I also like the fact that community and relationships with families continue after the programme has run, and guests are encouraged to continue meeting as well.  Mums, dads and carers are not then back to parenting in isolation; they have an ongoing support network. 

3. What were the costs involved?

  • Training on zoom £180 for four days.
  • Partnership fee £52 a month – covers a Support Coach and all the Kids Matter resources needed for a programme. 
  • Basic running costs for a programme: refreshments and stationary resources i.e., folders, post-its, pens etc.

4. How did it go?  What were the highlights?

Parents did not feel alone. Parents found community. Parents felt safe. Parents helped and supported each other. New friendships formed. Guests were signposted to other support, which helped see positive change (in addition to that inspired by Kids Matter). Families developed better routines. Mums learned to respond differently to children's behaviour and saw positive, improved change. Parents saw strategies included in the Kids Matter programme work as they applied them at home.  Parents expressed an intent to spend more time together as a family and responded well to the Love Languages session. Parents felt more confident in their parenting and finished the programme with raised aspirations.  Parents evaluated their life/roles and realised the importance of loving themselves; taking time to invest in who they are as individuals, not just parents. Kids Matter gave parents permission be honest and space to reflect. Now, there is more holistic support in place for families who’ve done the programme – provided by Restore Collective, school and church, ongoingly. Eighty-five per cent of parents completed the course. 

5. What would you say to anyone looking at this course and wondering whether it might work in their community?

Go for it!  Kids Matter's Parenting Programme is a great tool, which is designed to encourage community confidence and competency, and ticks lots of boxes for meeting the needs of families facing disadvantages; it's a great way to get to know families and be more informed as how best to support them.

To find out more about Kids Matter, visit www.kidsmatter.org.uk

 

 

Mum and child

 

parenting-for-faith logo (2)

The Parenting for Faith course is a free online eight session course.  The goal of the course is to help parents discover that they are perfectly positioned to show their children the reality of a life with God and to empower them to have their own vibrant two-way relationship with Him.

We asked a Pastor some questions on why they run the course, and here are their answers...

 1. What made you decide to run a course for families in your church?

I’d been the Children’s Worker for a number of years, and we’ve previously run other parenting courses but they were more about how to parent well ‘generally’, and not so focussed on faith in the home. In October 2020 my role changed slightly to Growing Faith Pastor including how we can have a closer link between church and home life, and as part of that I wanted to see how we could support parents more in bringing faith into everyday life, and this was a brilliant opportunity.

2. Why this one?

The Parenting For Faith course focuses on how parents/godparents/team are in the best position to bring up their children in a life of faith. The course isn’t a set programme of ten steps to make your child a Christian, but identifies five key tools we can use in different situations to bring faith into normal everyday conversations. We were also in lockdown, and the Parenting For Faith course was easily adaptable to being held on zoom as it’s mainly video based with opportunities for discussion in groups which we did in breakout rooms!

3. What were the costs involved?

Running the course is free, which is very generous! We sent out packs to everyone who signed up which included sweets and a book, but that was something we wanted to do to bless those on the course.

4. How did it go?  What were the highlights?

Everyone really enjoyed it and found it extremely helpful. Parents saw they weren’t alone in dealing with tricky questions, or feeling like they didn’t talk about God enough at home. The highlight was connecting participants with people in a similar situation (parents, grandparents, godparents etc) and them being able to work through how they would use the key tools. A lot of people said they found the discussion time really valuable and wanted it to be longer.

5. What would you say to anyone looking at this course and wondering whether it might work in their community?

I would absolutely recommend they run the course – and it can work for any group of people! From a couple of parents getting together, to a large group from across a church congregation all in different situations, it’s really easy to adapt. It’s very straightforward as the host as it’s all done on the video for you and participant handbooks are provided so they can make notes and follow along with it. The Parenting For Faith team are super helpful at answering questions, and the website has a wealth of resources to help you with answering specific questions/situations children may have.

To find out more about Parenting for Faith, visit www.parentingforfaith.org