What do YOU think of the Government’s new initiative to offer Parenting Classes ?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

We go on courses from marketing to management but still get embarrassed to say we’d like to go on a parenting class – why is that?

I’ve been interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio and BBC Radio Sheffield today discussing the new Government’s initiative to offer free parenting classes to parents.

The standard objection is that the parents who need them the most won’t go on them – but I’m far more interested in breaking the parenting taboo of asking for help – free from finger pointing, judgement and criticism.

Bringing up children is probably the most important job you will ever do in your entire life and yet there is no handbook, manual or guidebook to help you but I was amazed to see that my new washing machine came with full instructions in 7 different languages!

We all know that ‘kids don’t come with a handbook!’ and even if they did – would we really read it unless we hit a niggle, a worry or a problem?

Of course there are plenty of parenting “gurus” out there extolling “their way is the only way” but one size really doesn’t fit all does it and with our families now spread all around the globe getting practical down to earth advice from our mums or neighbours is often quite difficult.

There is absolutely no doubt that raising a family can be an absolutely exhausting, overwhelming, challenging and on many occasions a downright frustrating business but it can also be a huge joy, privilege and source of inspiration.

But what if you find that your kids push all your buttons with their untidy bedrooms, undone homework and un-brushed teeth and come down numerous times in the night after you have put them to bed (with 3 stories and lullaby and lots of cuddles) and you find yourself nagging, shouting, and angry most of the time? What if your beautiful and usually very sweet, endearing little toddler has a major tantrum by the sweet counter at the checkout at Sainsbury’s and people start ‘tut tutting’ about parents nowadays having no control over their kids  and it feels like you are  trying to tame jelly – all wobbles and no rules ? What if your delightful daughter turns into the teen from hell, defiant, belligerent and with her fingers constantly glued to her ‘screenager; technology of  ipad, iphone and ipod simultaneously?

Where do parents turn for advice, practical tips, simple strategies and fresh techniques for raising a child if they have had poor role models themselves and find themselves at a loss for ideas?

It seems to be the internet, yet chatting on social media sites may not give you the breadth, the background or the psychology behind why communicating effectively with your child is important,  or why playing with them develops their imagination or talking with them is key to their self esteem and confidence or why reading stories will enhance their language skills, vocabulary and imagination or  where do you actually learn the skills to help you control your temper and increase your patience?

I think in the UK we have a distrust  of asking for help as we see it as admitting we are struggling, failing or out of our depth or that we must be broken, troubled or in need of  ‘therapy.’ We go on courses from marketing to management but still get embarrassed to say we’d like to go on a parenting class.

Asking for help raising our children is the last parenting taboo and my work is all about inspiring parents to be the best they can be free from finger pointing, judgement and criticism as my job on my workshops is all about building confidence, positivity and harmony within families, enhancing and fine tuning, not judging, criticising or blaming and empowering parents with skills, strategies, techniques and practical tips to make life with kids more rewarding, enjoyable and fun.

I want to pat parents on the back as my job is to ask the questions that help parents find their own answers which is very different from most experts, authors and parenting gurus. I help parents focus on the bigger picture to their parenting  and take them from where they are now to where they want to go in their family relationships.

Family success, happiness and parenting confidence are not accidents that happen to some parents and not to others. They are created by specific ways of thinking and acting in the world. Consistent research has found that the quality of parenting in a child’s early life has an overwhelming influence on their later progress at school and in life generally so I welcome the Government’s initiative.

Most parents want to do the very best they can for their children and aspire to be the “perfect parent” and of course there are pockets of dysfunctional families who do need some guidance to break the cycle of poor parenting but they are often the very families who won’t pick up the offer of help as it takes courage and confidence to admit you are finding things challenging. I sincerely hope that by offering vouchers for parenting classes and making them more an extension of ante natal classes through a high street chain Boots can break the taboo.

Fancy coming on one of my courses?

Click here for my  PARENTING MADE EASY WORKSHOPS  and let the adventure begin !

Read more => David Cameron says parenting classes are not ‘nanny state’

 

 

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