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Parenting Advice and Courses

parent with two children

Time Out in the Early Years

Sessions for anyone parenting children under five.

Date: 7 October - 25 November (no sessions on 28th October and 4th November).

Time: Every Thursday morning from 9.30am to 11.30am.

Venue: Old Malden Children's Centre, 100 Lawrence Ave, KT3 5NB.  

For more information and to book a place contact Siobhan Meacher on 07784 006661/020 8339 9848 or email siobhan.meacher@achievingforchildren.org.uk

What’s in the course?

The course begins by looking at what happens when we become a parent – the surprises, disappointments and joys.

We consider how to develop children’s emotional security, and build the bond between parent and child through recognising their feelings, responding appropriately, listening well, and being positive in what we say.

Play is important for a child’s development, and we look at ways in which we can support and encourage their growth and learning. We also consider different parenting styles, what our own particular parenting style is, and how that affects our interactions with our child.

A vital topic is boundaries and why they matter. We look at how routines and giving limited choices help reduce battles. There’s a toolkit of strategies for handling difficult behaviour and we see how we can choose one that is right for our child.

As adults we have needs too, and so we think about how to meet those needs and also how we handle conflict within the family.

The final session focuses on ‘belonging’ – the importance to children of feeling part of their family – and we see how we can develop this through shared activities and creating family traditions.

Session titles:

Session 1 – Expectations and realities of parenting

Session 2 – Children’s needs

Session 3 – Play and listening

Session 4 – Parenting styles

Session 5 – Discipline and safety

Session 6 – The wider family

Time Out in the Primary Years

Online starting Thursday 4th November from 10am-12pm for 6 consecutive weeks.

Focussing on children from 5 to 11 years, The Primary Years helps parents look at how to support their child as they start to find out how the world works, learn how to manage their feelings, find out what they’re good at and experience the consequences of keeping or breaking the rules.

How does it work?

Sharing ideas with other parents and carers is an important part of the course, and discussions are started from real life situations. Each session includes space to plan any changes you want to make in your parenting and, from week 2, you will have an opportunity to discuss how you’re getting on with trying these at home.

Session titles
  • What being a parent’s really like
  • Children’s needs
  • Feelings and listening
  • Boundaries and parenting styles
  • Keeping safe
  • Building strong families
adult and teenager in kitchen

Triple P Teen - for parents and carers of adolescent (11+)

Next sessions - online starting Tuesday 2nd November from 7pm to 9pm for 4 consecutive weeks.

Who is this for?

• parents of teenagers

Teen Triple P can help:
  • build a better relationship with your teenager
  • reduce conflict
  • keep your teenager safe
  • be realistic about parenting
  • take care of yourself
What happens at Group Teen Triple P?

Group Teen Triple P is a great opportunity to meet other parents in similar situations – other parents who’ll support you and share stories with you. From the start, you’ll be given tips and suggestions to suit the needs of your family. You’ll see scenes from the Every Parent’s Guide to Teenagers DVD, which will show you how the ideas work in real life. And your workbook will give you the tools and information you need to start positive parenting straight away at home. Your Teen Triple P provider will guide you every step of the way and even provide backup phone support as you put your new skills into practice.

How long does it take and how big are the groups?

There are about 12 parents in a group session. Usually, each session lasts no more than two hours at a time. In all, you’ll attend no more than five group sessions – the first four should give you the tips you need to start positive parenting.

Then, you’ll have three weeks to practise Teen Triple P at home. Your Triple P provider will call you every week at a set time to find out how you’re doing and offer advice if you’re having any trouble. Those calls will last about 15 minutes.

Finally, you’ll meet up with your group and Triple P provider for one last session. This is a chance to go over any problems you may still have – and to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!

For more information and to register contact Karen Williams on 020 8547 6965 or 07771 974388 or email karen.williams@achievingforchildren.org.uk

 

Special Educational Needs and Disability 

Parenting courses focussing on SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) are on the Local Offer section (opens a new window) of this website.

How to apply to go on a course 

You can complete a self referral form at any time. This will help us understand demand for courses. We will then contact you to let you know when the next course you are interested in will run and where.

Parents can self-refer using the parenting support expression of interest form (word).

Once a referral has been made, the parent will be contacted by phone and text to discuss the referral and to establish which course would be most suitable. You can complete a self referral form at any time. This will help us understand demand for courses.

We will then contact you to let you know when the next course you are interested in will run and where.Where possible we offer crèches but this depends on the location of the course and the target age group. 

We aim to offer some evening courses but these are mainly for the courses for parents of teenagers. We do not offer crèches for evening courses.

All referrals and requests for additional information for both boroughs should be addressed toKaren Williams

Parenting Officer

Achieving for Children

Phone : 020 8547 6965/07771974388

Email: karen.williams@achievingforchildren.org.uk

 

Self help resources

 

The Emotional Health Service Resource Hub contains self help resources including pre-recorded video workshops, helplines, online counselling and information leaflets (opens a new window)

We hope you will also find the following advice and suggestions helpful when dealing with some of the common issues and challenges that might arise in your family.

When you communicate well with your child, it leads to a strong relationship, greater co-operation, and feelings of worth. When communication is a struggle, it can lead to your child switching off, conflict and feelings of worthlessness.

Good communication is about:

  • Encouraging children to talk to you so you can tell what they are thinking and feeling.
  • Being able to really listen and respond in a sensitive way to all kinds of things – not just the nice things or good news but also anger, embarrassment, sadness or fear.
  • Focussing on body language and tonality as well as the words so you can really understand what children are saying.
  • Taking into account what children of different ages/stages can understand and how long they can pay attention in a conversation.
Listen and talk technique – one to one

For the parent to say something like ‘I’m really unhappy about how things are at the moment – what seems to be the problem?’

Then to let the child answer, without any interruptions from the parent (even if it appears way off course).

Then for the parent to summarise what the child has said and say something like ‘Is this what you’re telling me’. If the child says yes, for the parent to reply ‘Thank you for sharing that with me’.

If the child says no for the parent to ask ‘What is it I haven’t understood? Hopefully the child will help the parent clarify what they have misunderstood.

To finish with something like ‘This has helped me understand things better – thank you’.

Learn to listen so you can listen and learn

 

Conflict is a clash of interests!  

Responding in the wrong way will make things worse - responding in the right way will make things better.

Teaching children conflict resolution skills:

Identify why the children are experiencing conflict.

Come down to their level.

Let each child take their turn in recounting their side of the conflict.

Then repeat what each child has told you in your own words so that they know you understand the situation and their individual feelings.

Ask the children if they can come up with ideas to solve the problem together.


Four part ‘I’ messages are a way of telling someone that their behaviour towards you is not OK without attacking or blaming them.

I feel (taking responsibility for one’s own feelings).

When (stating the behaviour is a problem).

Because (what it is about the behaviour or consequence that is not OK).

I would like (saying what you want to happen instead).

eg: I feel really annoyed when you leave your dirty clothes on the bedroom floor because it makes extra work for me to pick it up. I would like you to put it in the dirty washing basket in future.


Tips for managing conflict with teenagers

Conflict has a purpose – use it in a positive way to understand each other better and improve family relationships.

Teenagers don’t normally like rules but will respect them better if they are involved in drawing them up.

Accept that parents and teenagers see things differently.

Decide whose problem it is.

Avoid misunderstandings - be clear in what is being said.

Build in family time together.  

 

Conflict management with teenagers

Stay calm.

Take a break to let things cool down if staying calm is hard.

Let your child know you are listening.

Show your child you care about their thoughts and feelings.

Stick to the issue you’re in conflict with rather than getting onto other issues or past events.

Try to negotiate a decision that you can both live with or at least try to be clear about why you can’t agree.

Set Rules 

Decide what your rules will be and stick to them. Try not to give in to demands from children for extra time.

Restrictions could include: 

Setting time limits

Setting device curfews

Having no devices in the bedroom

Age appropriate content and having no devices during mealtimes

Provide Alternatives

Give children ideas of other activities that they could do, children may need some encouragement and support to get started on something new.

Be a role model

As parents and carers we need to be mindful of how much we are accessing screens and devices for non-working purposes. If they see us doing other activities, they are more likely to copy.

Time it

Young children have a poor understanding of time and older children can get too carried away with their games to look at the clock. Set egg timers, alarms or buzzers to give an audible signal when time is up or set warnings so the child is aware that time will be up soon, e.g. 5 minute warnings.

Use tech to control tech

There are many settings and apps that allow parents to restrict device usage automatically, see some links below:

Use screen time as a reward

Encourage children to earn screen time, this could be awarded in blocks of minutes based on completed chores or accomplished goals. For example marbles in a jar could be rewarded to represent so many minutes of screen time earned. Chores could be divided and written on lollypop sticks and put in a jar or put on pieces of paper and folded and put in a lucky dip box.

  • Try to start screen time as late as possible in the day
  • Once children are on devices it can be harder to get them off
Plan usage 

Let older children take responsibility for their actions. Have a family meeting and discuss what is reasonable, healthy and fair regarding screen use. Draw up an agreement/timetable for everyone to follow.

Share experiences with them

Too much screen time can cause potential isolation and lack of social interaction for your child. By getting involved and sharing the electronic experience you can turn it into a fun, positive, family-bonding opportunity.

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Parenting and Family Support - Family Lives (Parentline Plus) (opens a new window)

Netmums offer an online course in association with Family Links:

Netmums Parenting Course (opens a new window)

Positive Parenting Solutions is a Facebook group that offers daily information

Care for the Family on talking to our children about COVID-19 (opens a new window)

Triple P - Parenting During Covid 19 (opens a new window)

You can find more information and suggestions in the COVID 19 section (opens a new window) on this website.  

Families Under Pressure (opens a new window) - During this stressful and cooped up time, don't let the pressure of parenting get you down. Try these tips, backed by science for Families Under Pressure

Care for the Family’s podcasts

Care for the Family’s podcasts for parents of Primary and Teenagers cover a range of topics with valuable insights and practical tips – share the link and invite people to watch then comment or discuss using the questions provided.

Primary (opens a new window)    

Teens (opens a new window)