Parenting course helping to transform households across the borough
5 April 2018With six children, Sarah Gregory from Northwich could be described as an experienced parent.
However she has found it difficult in recent years since her 15-year-old autistic daughter Rosie began self-harming.
Sarah said: “Rosie is diagnosed with autism and had been struggling at school. She was self-harming and was having suicidal thoughts.”
Now Sarah and many other parents are being supported to help their children after attending the Council’s Triple P parenting course.
The six week long course helped parents from across the borough improve how they communicate with their children and cope with their challenging behaviour.
Sarah explained: “When you are an adult it is hard to understand what your teenage daughter is thinking. The course helped me understand how the teenage brain works and how to explain things to her.
“Her emotions were extreme. Life for a teenager seems a lot deeper than when I was a child – it’s important what your peers think and what will make you popular.
“I found that I didn’t talk to her enough. I am now sitting down and taking the time to talk. I take a half an hour each day to talk with Rosie, no judgements at all, just listening to her.
“I loved the course, it was an eye opener. It was good to hear the opinions of other people who are going through the same thing. It was brilliant to be there for each other, offloading on each other, it was like a counselling session.
“I have noticed a change in my daughter. She is coming to me more and telling me things. She is writing her feelings down. It is a massive relief to see her like this. I do feel more relaxed and I am going to miss going on the course. She will always be autistic but I have learned to listen and understand her, I have learned to pick my battles.
“People are very reluctant to get help but it is a non-judgemental and supportive course, you don’t feel like you are alone and its great knowing that there are people going through the same thing.”
Among them is Amanda Scott, of Northwich, who has three sons aged 16, 12 and 10. Her eldest son Tyler has ADHD and autism and Amanda says she began to feel like she was failing as a parent before the tips she learned on the course changed the atmosphere at home.
She said: “We learned different scenarios and took part in practical tasks and we then had homework and followed through with them by practicing them at home.
“We learned behavioural strategies and it has helped to build my confidence as a parent. Every child is different and behaves in different ways. It helped with the way that I phrase things at home.
“The Council’s course has given me a coping mechanism. It has helped me immensely with dealing with different scenarios. Instead of me going from nought to nasty I have learned to be calm and have sometimes given children a timeout. Sometimes I have put myself on a timeout.”
Helen Brackenbury, the Council’s Director of Early Help and Prevention, said: “Our Triple P course aims to make parenting easier.
“With the challenges of modern life, many parents are struggling with the pressures of parenting and everyday life. We aim to help them to improve their relationships with their child and to follow the Council’s aims to help our community to thrive.
“The course offers to make suggestions and ideas on positive parenting in order to help parents enjoy being a parent and to help the child develop well. The programme is evidence based, this means that the content has been thoroughly researched and puts effective parenting solutions into practice.”
Ellesmere Port mum of four Sam Butler shares this view. She says her household has been transformed following the course.
Sam said: “My nine year old son said recently that everything is different at home now. Before the course I would be arguing with my daughter and there would be lots of shouting. Now it is calm.”
Sam’s daughter 13 year old Demi was lashing out and behaving angrily at home and school as she struggled to adapt to secondary school in Year 8 after missing Year 7 due to a serious illness.
Sam explained: “It was awful, she was messing about and being aggressive in school and was temporarily excluded. The course was good. I was wary at first because I suffer from anxiety and did not know what to expect but I have made good friends from the course.
“You realise that it is not just me having problems, we learned from each other. We had plans to put in place each week and it has worked. I have stuck to everything I learned on the course.
“Before I would just argue with the children but now I am a lot calmer and I follow through with the punishments rather than backing down.”
Parents who are looking for advice and guidance should follow this link to CWAC Local Offer: http://www.westcheshirelocaloffer.co.uk.