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Homepage Slider Parenting — 08 March 2013

There came a time in ‘parenting’ my kids when I realised there had to be a better way to do things. Here’s how I got on with The Parent Practice and its Positive Parenting course …

Happy kids on Mummy Rates ItA couple of weeks ago at The Parent Practice our facilitator asked us if we told people we were attending the Positive Parenting course. She was asking because some people might see admitting you’re going to a ‘parenting class’ as a failure or that you’ve ‘let things slip’. Well, I can tell you I’ve told just about anyone who’ll listen and now it’s your turn!

How did I get on the Positive Parenting path? Well, I decided to ‘seek’ some advice after a particularly ‘bad’ evening with the kids. Looking back on it the they hadn’t done anything particularly bad and I was probably overly tired but at that moment it felt like the last straw. I was so fed up with repeating myself, getting nowhere and always having to resort to shouting that something had to change.

On top of all these feelings I began to despair about going on our travels and being stuck on a boat still shouting and without the room to escape (unless it was the splashy sort). We were about to embark on a trip of lifetime and I wanted us all to enjoy it as much as possible.

I attended a trial class at The Parenting Practice and at the end of that first week I walked out feeling motivated and determined to put what I had learnt into play. That particular week we learnt how to listen to kids and deal with their emotions rather than the ‘misbehaviour’. An entirely different way to how I had been parenting but simple enough to put into action straight away. Pretty much everything said and discussed in the class made sense and was relevant to parents with children of all ages. It was also very reassuring to hear how other parents were struggling with issues just like the ones in our own house.

The Positive Parenting course runs over 10 weeks  and is divided into two-hour classes which are:

Descriptive Praise
Reflective Listening
Setting up for Success
Rules
Negative Behaviours
Fostering independence and encouraging good behaviour
Being in Charge
Fostering good relationships between siblings and other children
Keeping Calm
What to do when your children push your buttons

The course runs on a loop so you can join at any time. I found that as you go through the course you tend to apply things you’ve learnt from other classes into different areas and slowly it all begins to make more sense. Descriptive Praise and Reflective Listening (or Emotion Coaching) for example, crop up all the time.

This Wednesday was my last class of the 10 classes. I’ll admit that it hasn’t turned me into the perfect parent and that I’m not positive all the time. However, there has been a noticeable improvement in behaviour and the general mood of the house. Even last night when I was putting Noah to bed I found myself emotion coaching/reflective listening. Instead of bombarding him with my advice I listened, nodded and tried to understand how he felt. Amazingly what had started out as a complete freak out about where he was going to put the money the tooth fairy left him turned into a funny little chat about shiny, mountains of money followed by a yawn and a sleepy ‘night night’.

These are our top five achievement since doing the class:

1. Leaving for school on time
2. Implementing rules for screens etc… Introducing ‘No Screen Tuesday’
3. Doing a little bit of homework every day
4. I now walk away if I’m getting cross rather than stand and battle it out
5. We praise. A lot. It works.

I really do reckon every parent could do with a bit of a Positive Parenting poke. Even if you know it all it’s easy to forget and resort to ranting…

DISCLAIMER: I was neither paid nor incentivized in any way to write about The Parent Practice or the Positive Parenting Course.

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. I think parenting classes are a great idea. I love hearing about different methods to try and getting advice on how to deal with certain situations. I think a lot of it is down to personality and instinct but always good to get advice of making the best of what you\’ve got.

    • For me it was just feeling a bit more ‘in control’ and having different options to try or as TPP call it a ‘toolbox’ of different approaches. Yes a lot of it is down to personality and instinct and in my case is greatly effected by (my) energy levels and mood. Hence, looking after yourself as well as you do your kids is a really good point! x

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