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Princes Town parenting workshop

Holy Cross Parish, Princes Town recently completed its first Common Sense Parenting Workshop at the Princes Town RC School Library/Computer room.

The facilitators at this workshop were Angela Young Lai and Patrice David. The workshop which was held for six consecutive Wednesdays from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. ended on Wednesday, April 6, with certificates being distributed to participants by Fr Karuna Kumar, our resident parish priest.

Upon completion of the train the trainers programme in August of last year I was sold on the philosophy of the Common Sense Parenting programme which gave a creative alternative to the use of the whip to encourage children become self-disciplined, non-violent adults. My strategy was first of all to sell it to teachers of my school and then to the parents of the community. It was my belief that if teachers used the strategies in the classrooms that they would be able to transform our schools into places of peace and discipline.

Seven trained teachers and two young OJTs participated in this programme. The school’s principal, Carlene Voisin and a precious, lone male participant, Devon Charkoo, just 20 years of age, were both part of the programme. Though Angela and I encountered a few challenges, the experience was both encouraging and exciting. Karena Chang of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission came as their observer.

Here are some of the comments made by the participants involved:

I am grateful that the programme is not only offered to parents but also to parents to be. (Three of or participants were not yet parents)

It was an opportunity to learn how to deal with the multiple social problems in the classroom and it taught me ways of bonding with my son.

It was an eye-opening opportunity.

The programme forced me to take a look at myself and since I am a slow learner I shall like to go through the programme again.

I was glad for the opportunity and I recognised that Common Sense Parenting is not very common. I am glad that as teachers we were exposed to this programme. Even though I have three grown children I realised that I knew little about parenting. I enjoyed the social activities and role-playing.

I think that this programme is going to be a benefit to the school once we as teachers stick to practising the skills we have learnt.

Our parish priest Fr Kumar was very pleased by the comments he heard and he encouraged teachers to persist in practising the skills they learnt. As facilitators Angela and I are eager and committed to continue spreading the good news of Common Sense Parenting. The second workshop, which is open to parents of the parish, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Patrice David, Holy Cross Parish, Princes Town.

Article appeared in Catholic News May 8, 2011

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