What kind of issues do people come along for?
We find that many parents do not necessarily have one burning issue they want help with, but rather are looking for ways to enjoy their day-to-day experience of parenting more. However, areas of concern that often arise are childhood worries, sleep difficulties, non-compliance, social difficulties, fussy eating and sibling problems. We often also have parents whose children have quite complex issues (such as special needs, including ADHD or ASD, or physical health problems) which we address in relation to how they impact on the use of the strategies and skills we cover, in the same way that every family’s individual circumstances are considered. We are also happy to discuss an additional individual consultation after the course if requested.
How does this course differ from other parenting courses around?
other parenting courses are facilitated by parent trainers, who are first and
foremost parents themselves who have then carried out training in practical
parenting strategies. Whilst also
providing this perspective and knowledge, our clinical background and
experience brings an additional layer of expertise. This enables us to consider the wider family
dynamics which may be getting in the way of implementing any strategies that
are taught. Our own parenting model, incorporates the best elements of the
parenting literature, research and background psychological theory, to deliver
a coherent, stimulating and effective parenting programme. Finally, our groups are much smaller than usual to ensure that strategies can be thought about in relation to each group members individual needs.
Why a group? Wouldn’t seeing someone individually be better?
Having both worked extensively with parents in both individual and group settings, we began to see how parenting groups could really be life-changing for the families involved. Especially with younger children, even seemingly entrenched problems could be resolved with the right thinking in the right areas. The group setting widens the focus, allowing us to cover more material but the small numbers in the group ensures that individual concerns are also addressed and multiple perspectives heard. We find that group members benefit enormously from learning anecdotally from other parent's issues and appreciate the support, reassurance and ideas that come uniquely from the group experience. In a small minority of cases, parents request an individual meeting to address a specific issue or for a refresher session after completing the course and this can of course be arranged.
Do you cover set topics?
We were keen to ensure that The Parent Space would address the core difficulties that parents came across in the time-efficient, stimulating and outcome-focused way that many of today’s parents need. Based on a thorough review of the parenting research and literature, and our own professional experience of working with a wide variety of parents, we developed our parenting model, which we deliver in five sessions. We cover core parenting strategies, but discuss these in the context of the real issues and difficulties group members bring. In this sense, each group is tailored to the needs of its members. Our aim is to resolve any existing problems but, as importantly, provide parents with a framework for thinking about and confidently dealing with the new issues their children bring throughout their continuing development.