transitions workshop

Reflections for parenting classes
The parenting classes were started the first week in October, 2011, and we have met on a weekly basis ever since and ‘The Step Program’ was initiated.
This program is based on the Adlerian theory of Mutual respect and a democratic parenting. The parents look closely at their style of parenting. It was interesting when the group shared their parents’ style because they either followed the style modeled or they went towards a diametrically opposed style.
The difficulty with this program demands a total re- think on their styles. The hard part as well, was to identify their feelings when interacting with their children and the behaviour that they wanted to change.
The chapter on Goals of Misbehaviors explains what the parent feels and what the child’s goal is.

Parents Feelings Child’s Goal of Misbehaviour
Annoyance Attention
Anger Power
Hurt Revenge
Inadequacy Giving up

Parents had difficulty identifying feelings, and depending on their style (brick wall), (Jellyfish), (Backbone) had difficulty changing their responses to the goals of misbehavior, in other words skills implemented to diffuse the outcome. This was a course heavy in content but really practical in use. In hind sight I should have spent more time working in groups on individual scenarios, either created by myself or the parents.
The trust in the group was established quickly and they have built friendships based on these experiences.
The difficulty of small groups is the diversity of the language. I had to simplify the content somewhat, as well as talking slowly, and revisiting many ideas presented in each chapter.
As I needed to simplify content constantly I will have to use highlights of my course for the next school year plus add more practice time. The change that took place in the styles of parenting emerged slowly, but I was pleased to see results, however small, in the way they handled problems within the family.

I also taught the parenting class to a parent who came from 8 a.m. to 9a.m. before going to work. We met in Zielinskiego, also on a weekly basis. He was the only parent to implement the weekly family meeting with a successful outcome.
I felt that the course went well. It also opened up lines of communication between the parents and counselor. Next year I will revisit this course but spend more time working on individual scenarios in smaller groups.

How to talk so children listen

The sessions were interesting and the parents enjoyed them. We had conversations on how the ideas should be implemented and some parents were uncomfortable, thinking that the words seemed contrived. I encouraged them to use words that made sense to them, but still carried the essence of the idea. That worked but again the language diversity made for difficulties.
I used the cartoon approach which helped. Fewer words but clear pictures. I am still thinking of how I would change this course. I am trying to discover books by the authors in other languages.
The school will not pay but the parents might be prepared to do so if I order for them.

Siblings without Rivalry

This course made for interesting sessions. I suppose the content evoked some of the experiences the parents had had as members of a family. The content also reviewed the other components of ‘The STEP’ programme. Sessions on family birth order, difference in age between siblings, and family atmosphere. This led to in-depth discussions between members. Cultural issues were presented and I found these discussions very interesting. They also gave me some insight into how the parents engaged in their own parenting styles. For some they disciplined their children in the same way and for others they disciplined in a totally opposite direction .

I used cartoons again as they highlighted the major points. I will also look for this book in other languages.

I thought the sessions went well other than the language issues. I am really at a loss to see how to change and improve. I might search for video clips to reinforce the points that the sessions are highlighting.