I am the mother of two children ages 6 and 4, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando. I have just completed a six-session workshop entitled Common Sense Parenting, an initiative of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission in partnership with Republic Bank Limited. The workshop and materials were produced by the US-based Boys Town National Resource and Training Centre. The six-session programme was facilitated by Joanne Alexander and Nicole Sinclair, members of the Family Life Ministry of the St Joseph Parish which serves the parish communities of Mon Repos & Ste Madeleine, and Ingrid Tenia.
I would recommend this innovative parenting programme to all parents, and it is indeed open to any parent, regardless of religious domination. The aim of the programme is to benefit our present and future societies by inculcating positive behaviours in both parents and children.
The programme equips parents with the tools and processes geared towards modifying their children’s negative behaviours, encouraging positive behaviours and improving the communication and interaction between parents and children. Additionally, the programme successfully highlights the steps to building social skills and long-term development through the application of positive and healthy family practices.
While the said tools benefit our children, we, the parents, also found social skills and processes beneficial to our own relationships and life scenarios. We learnt that parents should have a “staying calm plan” and be able to teach self-control to their children. The workshop served to highlight and reinforce successful interactive practices.
I am convinced that any parent or caregiver, regardless of family structure or personal difficulty, will be able to identify with and learn from the elements highlighted in this workshop, and become better able to navigate a delicate human area, in using “head and heart” to raise children and young adults. – Vanessa Friday-Ramesar, parishioner, Our Lady of Perpetual Help