More parents in Tobago will be exposed to the “Common Sense Parenting” (CSP) programme run by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) from early next year.
The announcement came at the November 15 graduation ceremony for 18 volunteer CSP trainers at the Catholic Centre, Chaguanas. A first group, numbering 50 trainers, graduated in November 2011.
AFLC executive co-ordinator Tricia Syms said the six-week-long CSP programme was recently completed at two Tobago schools and would be “picking up in Tobago” through collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport.
Syms thanked the graduates for their service and for volunteering their talent. She noted that each trainer needed to train a minimum of 50 persons to graduate and the majority went beyond that figure. “Thank you for what you do,” she said.
CSP facilitator Sr Julie Marie Peters SSM also praised the graduates for their “willingness to sacrifice” and for “your integrity and honesty”.
Sr Julie highlighted the need for parents to remember that they influenced their children not only by “the values they live, but the values they speak”. She described CSP as essentially giving parents the tools “to recognise the values that humanise us” like love and compassion, which should be taught to children.
In congratulating the graduates, she lamented that while 190 volunteers had been trained, fewer than 100 were functioning according to agreed contracts. The Commission was examining its options to deal with the situation, she said.
Sr Julie ended with more good news, that Republic Bank Grenada has accepted a proposal to fund the introduction of CSP on that island.
Four graduates shared about their experiences. Corinne Jackman, of St Dominic’s Children’s Home, said she practised CSP with residents and used the methods to improve her interactions with parents and co-workers. She was also able to train parents at a Chaguanas-based martial arts dojo.
Former St Anthony’s College teacher Jason Scott Teixeira praised the programme for its simplicity and thanked AFLC staff for their support during his training. Imitiaz Mohammed, a counsellor with the Couva-based National Islamic Counselling Services (NICS), said CSP helped him as an individual by improving his communication skills, while secondary school guidance officer Marcellin Melville said she would continue using and promoting CSP because of its impact on parenting.
NICS president Hafeez Khan was present to witness the graduation of several of his counsellors, including NICS manager Waheeda Rajab. Khan said the NICS approved of CSP and was looking forward to continuing a relationship with the AFLC since they were “like-minded” on other important areas of family life.
CSP was developed by the US-based Boys Town organisation, which describes it as “a practical, skill-based parenting programme that can be applied to every family”. With permission from Boys Town, the AFLC introduced CSP in 2010, and has received funding to conduct and promote CSP through Republic Bank’s “Power to Make a Difference” Programme.
Story appeared in Catholic News November 23, 2014 issue