Is your child not listening to you? Are you upset by her defiant attitude? If you're tired of frequent power struggles between you and your child, then it's time to attend a ParentCircle workshop!
By Team ParentCircle
From time to time, most children defy the instructions and requests of their parents. This is a normal part of growing up. It is one way for children to learn about and discover their own selves, express themselves and achieve a sense of independence.
Sometimes, however, this results in power struggles between parents and their children. It becomes a more than occasional disturbance and worse, sets a pattern for future interactions — often leaving the parents utterly frustrated and dejected.
In order to help parents deal with this frustration and handle uncooperative behaviour in the right manner, we at ParentCircle conducted two workshops this month — in Chennai on 2 February and at Bengaluru on 16 February. These parenting workshops were facilitated by Ms Arundhati Swamy, Counsellor, Head of Parent Engagement Programmes at ParentCircle and Dr Meghna Singhal, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Parenting Consultant at ParentCircle.
Our workshops are designed to address the needs of parents (with children in the two-to-10 age group), across the country. This is on the basis of an online survey where we asked parents to rate their most pressing concern with regard to raising their children.
The workshops aim to help parents understand why children disobey them. The goal is to shed light on the possible reasons why children don't listen but rather, ignore or 'zone' out when parents tell them something. What's more, the workshops are based on solid science — that is, what happens in a child's brain and in turn, leads to such behaviour.
The workshops are also meant to explore the different ways in which parents can establish an environment of connection and mutual respect at home. And also, how they can work towards strengthening their relationship with their children. Through role-plays, reflection exercises, videos, demos and group discussions — these workshops aim to help parents learn strategies for getting their children to cooperate.
Well, the workshops were received with much enthusiasm by parents. Participants included working parents and stay-at-home mothers, teachers, counsellors, as well as, corporate employees.
Each participant received a kit with some handouts, questionnaires, tip sheets and also, copies of ParentCircle magazine. The just-concluded workshops saw active participation from the parents — there were lively group discussions and energetic role plays (with parents taking on the role of both parent and child!). What's more, participants shared their parenting difficulties and listened to one another’s viewpoints respectfully. Throughout the workshops, the parents were keen to find solutions for the everyday difficulties they face with their children.
'Do I give in to my child’s tantrum or stay firm?'
'Do I draw strict rules for my child or negotiate?'
'Is my child’s personality shaped by her genes or by my parenting?'
Each question saw both participants and facilitators involved in interesting and in-depth discussions.
Each participant received pre- and post-workshop questionnaires in order to understand what they learnt after attending the workshop. The questionnaires included common parent-child scenarios with multiple choice responses. Parents had to one pick what would be the most effective solution. This step also helped determine the extent to which the participants assimilated the parenting strategies taught in the workshops.
So, did parents who attended the Bengaluru and Chennai workshops, benefit in any way? The anonymous feedback received from participants is testimony to the effectiveness of the workshops. In fact, 95% participants rated the workshop as ‘very helpful’. They found the Parenting with P.E.A.C.E.© strategies and role plays the most useful elements of the workshops. For many, this was their first experience of a parenting workshop. They reported that the ParentCircle workshop helped them discover workable solutions that they can apply within their lives, every day.
The just-concluded workshops were not conducted as one-time events. The aim here is to maintain and stay in contact with the parents. Hence, the facilitators also showed participants how to use the ParentCircle app and offered parents a four-week online engagement programme.
This online engagment includes the following: One in-depth article related to the workshop topic every Monday, a parenting tip every Wednesday, and a fun activity for both parents and child, every Friday. This will go on for four weeks. Additionally, parents can opt for telephonic consultations (parents need to pre-book their slots) with the respective facilitators: Ms Arundhati Swamy for Chennai and Dr Meghna Singhal for Bengaluru.
ParentCircle parenting workshops offer parents a unique platform to share their concerns and feel empowered to change their focus — from expecting compliance to expecting cooperation. The workshops are meant to help parents evaluate their own unique family situations and figure out what they need to change in their current strategies. The workshops are also meant to teach parents not to personalise their children's misbehaviour. Equally important, these events are aimed at helping parents reduce their own feelings of guilt and frustration.
So, be a part of a fulfilling parenting journey. Be a part of ParentCircle parenting workshops!
Also read: Bake Your Cake: Parent-Child Workshop
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