According to what I had decided last time, this time I have limited the themes that we would cover in these sessions.

I based the program of these workshops on the How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk book, from Faber&Mazlish, but I planned to fly focus on the first 3 chapters along these 4 sessions.

We thus discussed Positive Parenting, and receiving feelings. Then we talked about methods to encourage cooperation.
Finally, we discussed consequences rather than punishment, and, following my reading of Positive Discipline from Jane Nelsen, we insisted on problem solving and looking for solutions with the child, which  is much more empowering than implementing consequences.

This morning, after the last session, I had a hard time splitting with the 7 mums who participated in these workshops. In a few weeks, we have created a connexion, that I would love to see continue…

Who knows? Maybe it is only up to me to create other opportunities ?

 

After my first workshops, some mums expressed the need to keep on meeting.

In the earning of this new education mode, we are learning a new langage, and it is good to feel secured, supported, and helped on that way!!

We this began a book club, around Liberated Parents, Liberated Children, and those who can come discuss each week the current chapter, and talk about their difficulties.

It is always a good exchange time, and I congratulate and thank the ones who make the effort to take the time to come!!

During my workshops, one question came along: how to bring the husbands on the same page?
Since I do these workshops in the mornings, and the world being what it is, only mums are there. Some share what they learn with their partners, others not so much.

An idea was born: to have an evening session with the dads, just to give them the basics.

Last Monday, I organized that evening. They were 8 present (plus my husband!). It was a bit intimidating at first, but I made a condensed presentation (Only an hour) of what positive parenting means, the change in the parent-children relationship, how to validate feelings, why avoid punishments.

The evening went very well, they did not seem in a hurry to leave, and, if they talk much less than their wives (the photo illustrating this post was sent to me before by one of the mum, so I could mentally prepare…), I still felt we had a good exchange. It is not always easy to know though: one of the dad hardly said a word. Afterwards, Nicolas and I even wondered what he thought about all that.. But I received a text from his wife the next day saying that he loved the presentation, and would love to follow other workshops himself!

In any case, no doubt about it: I’ll do that again!

Seeing how much interest was expressed for the first Faber & Mazlish workshops, I decide not to wait before launching a second cycle. But I change the format : too many interested parents can’t be engaged for 7 sessions, as planned in the first format. Therefore I decide that this second set will consist in 4 sessions, 2 hours each, instead of 1:30, with the idea of densifying the info.

Once again, 7 persons, only mums.
They welcome what I teach, and seem happy about what they learn, but I find these sessions are too dense. It is hard to receive so much info at once!

Workshops are a time to exchange, to discuss, to share. Each mum brings her contribution, and it is gratifying to see the mums develop one session after another.

I however learn from this experience. The future sessions won’t cover the whole book. I will choose the first themes (receiving feelings, encourage cooperation, alternatives to punishments), and will take time to discuss each one enough so people can really get into them.

I also feel I haven’t spent the time needed for a good conclusion. I organize an extra session with the ones who can to discuss on what they take out of the sessions. (The picture who see was taken then)

I quickly take note of what Gina tells me in that last session: “I feel the most important thing I get out of these workshops is a new respect towards my children. My husband and I could discuss about the fact that the way we’ve been raised is not an absolute model, and we had the right to do things differently. And that does not mean going through very complicated techniques, but following principles that just respond to natural ways.”

When I tell you we are fighting for a better world!

Next step: an evening with the husbands (since only mums could take the time during the day)!

My new project, along with this blog, was to begin leading parents workshops !

I thus decided to talk to the head of school at our younger ones’ school, a Montessori school here in Puerto Rico, and presented here several ideas. She immediately showed enthusiasm!

It was finally the idea of doing workshops based on
How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk
from Faber & Mazlish that was chosen. 7 sessions : 1 for each of the 6 themes, and 1 wrap-up session.

I began in September, with 7 parents, including a couple who gave up midway (too busy at work apparently…) – this first workshop was free…

It was a great experience for me, and I got out of this baptism by fire stronger than before !

At the end of the last session, Julieta thanks me.
I know Julieta very well, and have seen her a lot with her kids. She is not the one who most needs parenting classes… (even though we all always have things to learn, and by the way these workshops did me good as well!)
Despite that, she is the one who first comments. She explains that in these few weeks, she feels the atmosphere at home has changed. She faces less explosive situations because she has learned tools to avoid getting there, and she feels calmer. She says her calm reflects on her children who are also more tranquille.

To sum up : more harmony in her home.
Harmony… Exactly what we are looking for, isn’t it?
The rest of the group approves!
Such a pleasure for me to hear that…

Today I still keep a special bond with this group, who still helps me and encourages me, especially with their comments and ideas!
We even planned another meeting next week…

Thank you, my “club exclusivo” !