Parents with Courage is a seven session program that aims to provide parents with greater self-understanding as well as enhanced skills for parenting. This program is for families with older primary and high school aged children and seeks to equip parents as well as provide support for those who are currently facing challenges. The sessions are highly practical with insight and strategies for intact, blended and single parent families.
One of the goals of Parents with Courage is to provide parents with a flexible approach to parenting. This will enable parents to apply strategies in a way that will best fit their family environment and the particular needs of their child.
The principles are drawn from research and best practice in the fields of psychology, sociology, education and theology.
The Dynamics of Family
The aim of this session is to encourage and motivate parents and to introduce them to the notion that understanding their own early life experiences will enhance their parenting. The teaching paints a broad canvas of the principles that make for a healthy family dynamic in which the individuals are nurtured and developed and relationships are fulfilling. The elements that produce dysfunction and increased challenges in a family are also described.
The Family Circle
This session provides an opportunity for participants to do a brief overview of their family of origin using the Family Adaptability and Family Cohesion Questionnaires. This is useful for assessing the level and type of attachment in their family of origin, which is important as this has a direct influence on intimacy in relationships. It is also helpful for a couple to see how their own experiences of family dynamics may be similar to and different from each other. Identifying some of the differences can lead to greater unity in their approach to parenting.
Knowing Your Child
Family birth order is explored in this session, giving important insight and greater understanding of how to adjust parenting accordingly. Characteristics of a child according to their birth order, and tips for nurturing each child according to their birth order are looked at in detail. The teaching of love languages is covered as a useful tool for parents who will greatly benefit in knowing which “love languages” best communicates with their child.
The aim of this session is to introduce the usefulness and practicality of family meetings as a communication tool for defusing conflict, resolving issues and setting goals and plans. This session aims to model, teach and give instructions for conducting a family meeting. Parents will learn how to take principles and apply them to their individual circumstance giving consideration for the age and developmental stages of their children and the level of conflict in the home.
This session aims to give parents practical ways of identifying and establishing boundaries with their children. It examines the issue of overcoming resistance and non co-operation, dealing with noncompliance and the common reasons for non-cooperation of a teenager.
Sexuality and the Search for Intimacy
This session addresses some of the core aspects related to the challenge of parenting our children in an environment that often competes with our values in relation to sexual relationships. Parents need guidance to help their kids negotiate pre-puberty, puberty and their emerging sexuality in a healthy and life affirming way. This session provides an introduction.
Your Family: Living Room or Court Room?
This session looks at the origin of the human struggle for love, acceptance and belonging. Parents need insight into the nature of this struggle as it will help them identify their own needs and give them greater understanding of the needs of their children. The teaching deals particularly with the tendency we all have for using performance and people pleasing as ways of feeling accepted, loved and valued. When we parent out of our brokenness it can damage our children and our family. We need to understand the dynamic of this and examine whether we are using our family to meet this need. Awareness of this can assist parents to let go of unrealistic expectations and parent in a more relaxed and healthy style.