Frequently Asked Questions

Parenting classes, including our own, have a common aim: to help you have a more constructive family life where you feel more in control, more confident and less stressed. However, many parenting models focus on ‘problems’ as though there is a prescribed way to parent and children are something that needs to be fixed.

Whilst we do offer techniques which can be applied, our approach emphasises the uniqueness of each parent-child relationship and each family constellation. We encourage parents to consider what matters most to them by drawing on their own family values with the aim of building happier, more resilient and successful children.

Drawing on the skills we learnt at The Parent Practice, a well established and respected parenting organisation, our parenting program offers simple, accessible, tried and tested techniques based in common sense and an in-depth knowledge of parent/child dynamics. Whilst our classes deliver practical skills we do not advocate a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but encourage you to make them your own, adapting the skills to your personal style, family culture and to the varied personalities of your children.

Even when things are running smoothly, parenting is a full-time occupation that can be relentless, leaving us with little time to reflect on how to respond to its challenges. We are often working from the template laid out for us by our own parents/carers, which may feel helpful, or may feel like something we want to completely reverse, but in either case may not actually fit the children we have been given.

Although bringing up our children is the most important job we ever do, we can feel unprepared for its challenges, doing our best to muddle through and learning from our mistakes or successes along the way. We can put pressure on ourselves to have all the answers or feel that we could have handled a situation differently but be unsure how.

We aim to take some of that pressure off. We don’t feel it is necessary to have all the answers, or never to feel we could handle something differently, but we do aim is to help you to parent in a way that you have chosen, not just a repetition or a reaction to your own childhood experience, but a conscious choice about what works for you, and what kind of parent you want to be.

We limit the number of people per group to a maximum of 8 ensuring a more nurturing and personal environment. Our parenting groups offer the opportunity to learn specific parenting skills, but also to draw upon the experiences of other parents in a constructive environment. We offer a combination of learning techniques: auditory, visual and kinetic, all reinforced with discussion, exercises and feedback. Issues that are frequently brought to the groups include: sibling rivalry, anxiety, different parenting styles, friendship problems, bullying, limiting screen time, setting boundaries, among many others.

Participants are asked to abide by a code of confidentiality which ensures that theirs and other’s personal information is not discussed outside of the group. No one is under pressure to disclose anything they are uncomfortable with and there is always the possibility of a one-to-one session should an issue need to be discussed in more depth, however we have found that hearing the experiences of other parents (within the safety of a small group setting) can be inspiring and encouraging. Addressing issues as part of a group helps broaden everyone’s perspective providing inspiration and reassurance.

Not all families are constructed around a heteronormative parental couple and we welcome parents from a variety of family constellations which all help to contribute to the diversity of perspectives and experiences which so enrich our groups. We also welcome parents where the children they parent are part of an extended, step or fostered family, with the additional complexities this can bring to the relationship.

Where child-rearing responsibilities are shared with a co-parent it can undoubtedly make the parenting techniques more effective if both parents are on the same page with a shared understanding of what successful outcomes look like. As a couple this is an enormous and life-long project you have embarked upon, where each of you will bring your own experiences and approaches, but which you are ultimately engaged in together. Recognising this we do offer a reduced rate for parenting couples who attend together.

However, it is also the fact of life that childcare responsibilities and work commitments can be prohibitive on parents being able to attend together. Because of this it is equally the case that individual parents attend. We are also happy to accommodate groups of friends who would like to undertake the course together and, if there is sufficient demand, a father’s group.

Many parents come for our intensive one-day training and decide they would like to spend more time assimilating the ideas. The weekly classes, run over a six week period, offer the opportunity to test out strategies, get and give feedback and consolidate the skills tailoring them to the needs of your own family.