Since it foundation in 1876, Mothers’ Union has been passionate about the importance of good parenting and the nurture of children. As part of their support for parents, members have run parenting groups for many years, and in 2000, a training course was developed in facilitation skills, to give greater confidence and recognition to those leading groups. Nearly 700 people have attended the course, now called Passionate about Parenting, in that time. Not all of them are actively engaged with groups but all will have benefited from the training and will be using those facilitation skills and the knowledge they have gained in some aspect of their lives. Facilitators in Coventry Diocese have been running parenting groups since 2001 and have reached hundreds of parents in that time. There are currently 7 active facilitators in the Diocese, including Ba Marsh, Karen Morris, Felicity Hawke and Catherine Bartlem who are shown in the photo.
Groups use a variety of resources, mainly from Care For the Family which offers ideas and tips to parents of children from babies to teenagers. Two facilitators have undergone specific training to deliver Triple P. One has undergone specific training to deliver, Positive Parenting, Time Out for Parents: Children with Special Needs. In 2016, Coventry Diocese took ownership of a programme developed by Coventry University Health Services Research Centre, called "What Should We Tell the Children about Relationships and Sex".
Our groups are for all parents, carers and anyone else looking after children. They are aimed at helping parents explore and share their experiences, with facilitators there to introduce the material and guide the conversation. There is an opportunity each week to reflect on what is already working and on areas that could be improved. Parents explore ways to boost children’s self esteem and emotional development, to understand what a child is trying to communicate through their behaviour, think about setting “loving limits” and discover tips and new skills. Groups typically have 5-8 participants, up to a maximum of 12 and meet in Church Halls, Community Buildings, Schools and Children’s Centres, as well as cafes and private homes. Most programmes run from four to six weeks, and there is usually a small charge to cover books and refreshments.
More information about What Should We Tell the Children about Relationships and Sex can be found here
To find out about hosting or attending a parenting group, or training to deliver parenting groups, click here
Some comments from parents:
“I feel more confident and able to express myself and stick to what I say. Not feeling mean and nasty for saying no to children as I used to. It has to be done”
“It has been good to share experiences, get new ideas from others and to realise when things don’t always go well you are not alone!”
“Very enjoyable course. I feel that I have learnt a lot and also had my positive actions confirmed. Enjoyed sharing experiences and methods that work.”
“You can’t rely on school to teach your children about relationships and sex because by its nature what they learn will be educational and practical. As a parent you need to be encouraging the child to see sex and relationships not just on a physical level but emotional too.”
Could You Be a "Parents In Mind" Mentor?
Parents in Mind is a new NCT project providing peer support for women who are experiencing poor mental health during pregnancy and/or within the first year after birth. They are looking for women in the Coventry area who have experienced poor mental health during or after pregnancy, who might like to train as mentors. This could be a great way for MU members to offer really valuable support to new mums in their local area.