I am a firm believer in parenting skills courses. Many, if not most, parents of young children nowadays were disciplined physically by their parents when their behaviour was unacceptable. Parents are now told that that is not an acceptable way to treat their children but where is the advice on how to do it otherwise? I do not believe that most people have innate parenting skills and even those who take to it like a duck to water will have moments of self doubt and lapses of judgement. I certainly do. I started off as a single parent of 1, am now a step parent to 2 more and have had a further 2 with my husband. There is no way I could have coped without the parenting courses I initially attended as a learner and then co-facilitated for a few years. I am now looking for some time in which to attend another course on parenting teenagers…
The good news is that the advice on the techniques to use – and, more importantly, the peer support from others going through exactly the same thing – is out there and often free of charge.
The following charities and local organisations run parenting skills courses:
http://www.familycaring.co.uk/, www.careforthefamily.org.uk, http://familylives.org.uk/, http://www.theparentpractice.com/, http://www.parentinguk.org/. Also have a look at your local adult education college. Waltham Forest offers 20 different free parenting courses for its residents. Click here to see their brochure.
Everyone should go on one, they are liberating – even if just to realise that you are not alone. And there is no doubt that the children benefit too!