A - Some parents worry that coming to a parenting class is an open admission that you are failing to do things well. This is a natural feeling. Coming to a parenting class shows a commitment to your role as a parent, and a commitment to your child(ren)'s future. It doesn't mean you're not already doing a good job as a parent however a recognition of the fact that parenting skills can be learned.
A - 10 parenting classes take 20 hours to fit in with term time. Each week there are practical homework tasks where you put the child parenting skill you have learned into practice. Within the class, we look at managing time and balancing priorities as parents can feel overwhelmed about the number of activities and commitments the family has. There is a lot to cover - parenting is a lifelong commitment, like a job or running a business!
A - Our experience. We have been working in child parenting classes for 12 years. We've had contact with thousands of families who have come along to our face-to -face classes and consultations. Our team know the issues that families face - and - the solutions that work. Families we work with are creative people and when we hear back about additional tips that work we blend those into our class content.
Our facilitators are all parents. We have first hand experience using our parenting skills and strategies on the courses, as well as a lot of understanding and empathy. All parent practice facilitators have undertaken our Skills Courses and our Training Programme so have trained for 12-18 months to lead classes - far more than most other organisations. At times, we're assisted by volunteer clients who have been using the skills for some time themselves and want to share experiences with other parents.
Our classes are easy to sign up for and to come along to. There's no jumping through hoops in order to attend one of our classes! If you'd prefer to come alone or with your partner, that's fine. We realise you are committing time and money in signing up for classes so we're flexible about attendance. We send in-between class emails, give you take home exercises to encourage you to put your new parenting skills into action. During the classes, we give extra support with a folder of written materials for you to use.
Our venues are friendly and supportive. Most of our classes and consultations take place in the friendly and supportive environment of family homes. You'll sit on a comfortable sofa or chair and be offered refreshments and something to eat. There's a break in the middle of the class where you can stretch your legs and get to know and exchange ideas with other parents, if you want to.
And... All our courses are quality assured by CANparent which is the UK governments quality mark for Parenting Courses
A - For our longer (6 and 10 week) courses we offer a free trial so you can experience the course and work out it if suits you and provides value for money. We have a range different courses with prices starting at £140pp so hopefully one may suit you. The 6 (@£300pp) and 10-week courses (@£500pp) run over a number of weeks/months, with breaks for half-terms and holidays and courses can be paid for in installments on request (see next question). Although this seems to be a significant amount, the results go well beyond the period of the course. See the results sections in our brochure.
A - Yes. In order for the classes to run smoothly for all parents, we do need to know who is coming to each class on each day. We can organise instalment payments by direct debit.
A - On our 5 or 10 week courses the number of parents is varied but there is a maximum of 12
A - You don't have to. It is important that your facilitator knows what your goals for your family are, and what issues you're facing and before the course starts you will be asked to complete Background Information Forms but this information does not have to be revealed in class. Confidentiality is important to us and all parents are asked to keep anything said in class about other families private. Many parents find it a relief when they share worries and talk through the situations they are facing with the class. You often find other parents are facing similar issues and that you are not alone. Some parents stay in touch for support and develop friendships after the course ends.
A - Most of us come to parenting with little experience, yet many expectations about how it will be. We tend to think parenting will be instinctive and some of it is - like loving, nurturing and protecting - but much of it is not. Our ‘instinctive' responses are often based on previous experiences and deep conditioning.
Our instincts can leave us torn between two approaches - 'should I be loving or strict'. You have never been faced before with this child, who has a unique temperament, facing the issues that this child faces. You may have a different temperament yourself and there is no doubt that you grew up in different circumstances, facing different pressures. Instincts don't necessarily help us deal with the modern world.
Most of us in the developed world prepare for the birth of a baby with ante-natal classes. This preparation can be beneficial - to help allay anxieties and give us strategies for coping. It makes sense then to prepare for the rest of the child's upbringing.
Don't give yourself a hard time but get all the support you can to enjoy your children and bring them up with your family values. Fortunately, parenting skills can be learned and mindsets changed.
A - Life never goes according to plan. If you have paid for the course, and are not able to complete it because of circumstances outside your control, you can come back and finish the course within 12 months. We are flexible and will support you in any way we can so you get the full benefit of the course. You can complete the course in any of our locations.
A - Some parents come to our classes because they think family life could be easier and calmer. Some parents come because they are facing difficult challenges. Many come because they don't feel family life is "quite right" - or want to see how they can feel better about their parenting.
Once you start, many parents find that they're doing a lot of things reasonably well. You get a boost to your confidence by understanding what is working and why, particularly when you hear new ideas and tips on how to maintain and extend it. Others aren't doing so well. Many parents are committed to the concept of lifelong learning and come knowing there is always something to learn - a reflection of commitment to the happiness and wellbeing of family life.
A - We strongly recommend that you do not miss any classes if possible since each class builds on the last and the effectiveness of the course relies on your regular attendance. However we also know that emergencies arise. If you cannot make a class please let us know even if it is on the day itself - we often have people waiting on a space to try a taster. In the event that you miss a class we will endeavour to offer you a place in the same location the following term (subject to space at that time), or we will send you the relevant online module for you to catch up at home before teh next class.
A - You are welcome to come along to our free trial class to see how you feel.
A - Yes. We have dads taking the daytime classes and in the evening classes. Some couples take the course together.
Each year we run a dads only workshop which is run by John Hood which looks at How to be an even better dad.
A - It's wonderful when couples can do the course together. However it's often not possible. Some parents take the decision to get a babysitter booked and take the evening course and go out for a bite to eat afterwards to talk it through. Others decide to take the course with different facilitators on different days and compare notes along the way. If that's not possible either, the other partner can attend a workshop, or have a 1-1 session. Your facilitator will help you incorporate what you are learning with your partner, so your children benefit from the united approach and you don't feel like you're both working in different ways - or that your partner is missing out.
A - We have never had this issue. If there is ever any problem, we'll help to resolve it to your satisfaction - it may be a different class that is the solution.
A - Yes. You can arrange a course of individual sessions with a facilitator via skype. In 2014 we will be launching a distance learning course that you can download and use at your convenience.
A - We ask for a minimum of 48 hours notice for the cancellation of a workshop place and for a private consultation. If you cancel earlier than this you will receive a full refund or can use any money paid as a credit for another workshop (if cancelling a workshop ) or Private Consultation (if cancelling a consultation).
If the cancellation is less than these minimum hours we reserve the right to charge you as per our Terms and Conditions however we will make every effort to fill the place or schedule another. For our complete Terms and Conditions click here.
A - Your children will benefit in many different ways from skilled parenting which in turn makes your life much easier:
- Children will learn how to listen and co-operate.
- Children will know that you understand and will listen to them, and that you value their thoughts and opinions.
- Children will become more independent, self-assured and resilient.
- Children will adopt and practice the values important to your family.
- Children's self-esteem and confidence will grow.
- Children will develop a strong, happy and respectful relationship with you and with their siblings.
- Children will interact more constructively with others and have more insights into relationship building and conflict resolution.
- Children will do their best in school and other areas of their lives.
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68 Thurleigh Road London SW12 8UD