Description of Course
The LifeLine/ChildLine Positive Parenting course was developed as a result of our counselling with children and their parents, and our community work. It became clear to us that parents want to do a good job and want the best for their children, and often have good instincts, but they need more information, a bigger repertoire of skills and encouragement to know they are not alone. So this curriculum starts with what parents already know, and teaches them some new skills and approaches. We have touched on the world of our children too, of the increased pressure and choices they have every day in a world growing in complexity.
The course comprises 13 sessions which are designed to be covered over time – evenings or Saturday mornings. Each session has “homework” or something to try at home.
The curriculum is rights based, and deals with the needs, as well as the rights and responsibilities of children, and the adults around them. Child Development is covered in some detail, and parents are introduced to the idea of interacting, and communicating differently with children, depending on their age.
Emphasis is placed on building a relationship with our children and using various communication skills to do this – listening skills, helping children identify feelings, resolving conflict in constructive ways, particularly with teenagers. There is an exploration of why children misbehave, setting boundaries which should be age appropriate, and offers alternatives to corporal punishment. Latest thinking in behaviour change is integrated into this curriculum as we explore what people think and feel about particular un-useful practices. Barriers to changing these are unpacked, and we help participants look closely for the reasons they hang onto potentially harmful ways of disciplining their children.
Themes that we consider so important at LifeLine/ChildLine that we include them in all our curricula, also appear here. Gender is one of these, and in this case we explore how parents can use gender differences to a child’s advantage, but at the same time avoid the debilitating messages that are given to children about their gender from so early. It also touches on the roles of mother and father, and the advantages to both genders of having both parents involved in their lives. Sexuality is also here, with emphasis on how important it is that we talk to our children about sex.
Central to the course is the development of an ongoing support group and all adults are called upon to be guardians and custodians of the safety of all children in the community.
- Unit 1: Introductions & Finding the Child Within
- Unit 2: Families
- Unit 3: Children’s Rights and Needs
- Unit 4: Understanding Children’s Development
- Unit 5: Building Relationships in our Families
- Unit 6: Communicating with our Children (1)
- Unit 7: Communicating with our Children (2)
- Unit 8: Communicating with our Children – Conflict (3)
- Unit 9: Communicating with our Children – Talking about Sex (4)
- Unit 10: Motherhood/Fatherhood
- Unit 11: Setting Boundaries and Disciplining our Children
- Unit 12: Setting Boundaries and Disciplining our Children – Corporal Punishment
- Unit 13: Wrapping Up
- Practical Assignment
- Course Evaluation Form