What Parenting Skills Classes Did To My Family
My life used to be a hot mess. My two year old ruled the roost and didn’t listen to a word I said. He and my five year old squabbled incessantly. I felt like I was losing my mind.
My husband and I disagreed over discipline and ended up having huge arguments in front of the kids. I remember him leaving on a business trip and saying he couldn’t wait to get out of there. I sat on the floor and bawled my eyes out.
This wasn’t the happy family life I’d envisioned. No one told me it would be so hard. In fact everyone else was making it look easy. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a mother? I didn’t seem to be made from the right stuff.
I’m ashamed to admit that I took my frustrations out on my kids. I overreacted, shouted, punished, and I was heavy handed with them more than once. I even feared a new version of ‘Mommy Dearest’ being written about me one day.
My kids deserved better, but I had no idea how to change things. I read some books on discipline and parenting, but didn’t manage to implement anything that made a difference
One day I happened to spot an ad for a parenting skills workshop run by The Parent Practice near my home in London. I went along for a free taster class, unsure if I’d actually commit to the money or time of the full 10 week course.
I found myself surrounded by mothers who were also finding parenting tough. I realised I was not alone and that there were many ways to make things better.
I walked away with some valuable tips and was able to put them into practice with immediate results. But I still dithered about whether to sign up as it seemed expensive… and I’d be missing my beloved spinning class at the gym for ten Fridays in a row….
Somehow I ended up going for it and The Parent Practice gave me homework each week with fill-in-the-blank sheets so I could identify our hot spot areas and put focus where it was needed.
Ultimately it changed our family life and I shudder to think of how things would have continued if I hadn’t done that course.
I used to think that everything was my kids’ fault, but soon I figured out that changing my own behaviour improved theirs too. Within a few weeks of concentrating on my parenting skills, my boys were happily playing with each other, following through on instructions and our home took on a whole different, happier vibe. I learned how to problem solve and I discovered the importance of setting some time aside each week to concentrate on how I could make things better and easier.
If you’d told me back then that I’d one day go on to work with the Parent Practice, helping other stressed-out mothers get a handle on their family struggles, I’d have honestly laughed in your face.
Me helping anyone else with their kids?! But within a few short months that’s exactly what I found myself doing.
My boys are now teenagers and incredibly respectful and lovely to be around. I’m often complimented on their politeness and great personalities. They’re wonderful friends and have a lot of fun together.
Once I got past all of the behavioural difficulties, I was able to forge a deep, meaningful relationship with them and encourage their sense of values, ethics and communication.
When my older son was 14 he won a national award and money for university in recognition for modelling the character traits of persistence, a willingness to take risks, acceptance of other cultures and points of view, and a genuine interest in a sustained commitment to the welfare of others. At age 17 he became an elected member of UK Youth Parliament. If I were still screaming at him every day, I don’t know if he’d have been able to shine in this way.
The investment I made in money, time and energy have paid off for all of us. It freed up a lot more headspace to devote to other areas of my life. I did a Life Coaching for Mothers course, started my own business and my husband and I went back to being best friends. (My ten week spinning class wouldn’t have brought me such long lasting results.)
For years I’ve been wholeheartedly recommending The Parent Practice to everyone I know in London, but it’s only now that I can shout it from the rooftops to anyone in the world who wants to improve their parenting skills and get a handle on their family life.
They’ve finally turned their live programme into an on-line course that you can do from the comfort of your home with guided videos, worksheets, course notes and audio recordings. Yay!
You’ll learn all of the same juicy stuff that has helped me and thousands of other parents over the years, such as:
- how to stay calm and stop shouting
- how to stop nagging, repeating and reminding, cajoling, threatening and bribing!
- how to communicate so your kids listen
- how to ensure your kids follow instructions first time
- how to motivate them
- how to build a strong sense of self-worth in your children
- how to pass on your values to your kids
- how to build resilience and character
- how to build strong connections with your children so that they will share problems with you and feel understood
- how to understand your child’s temperament and stage of development
- how to deal with misbehaviour in a positive and effective way
You can continue to wing it, or you can give yourself the chance to enjoy your children – bringing them up with your family values, instead of always just putting out fires.
Don’t give yourself (or your kids) a hard time. Get all the support you can. Fortunately, parenting skills can be learned and mindsets can be changed. (I’m living proof of that!)
I genuinely recommend The Parent Practice and I’m happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below – or you can email me: Kelly(at)myprojectme(dot)com.
Also leave a comment if you’ve ever attended any parenting skills classes or workshops or tell me what you’re struggling with right now in the Family area of your life.
Here’s to a happier home life.
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