As a parent educator, I facilitate quite a few parenting workshops throughout the year. Some I have written, some are off-the-shelf.
Workshops about positive parenting. Workshops about the importance of play, and getting ready for school, and keeping children safe.
Every now and again, I get a group that just gels. On average, once a year, I get a group like this. A group of people that feels comfortable and safe about participating and asking lots of questions and challenging me.
People that don’t mind telling me that they think I’m crazy when I suggest a particular technique but have enough confidence or courage to go home and try it, and report back to the group how it worked for them.
A group of people that comprises individuals who are really struggling with certain aspects of their parenting whether it is difficult partners or having their child removed or yelling too much or feeling like they can’t do much more of the same lest they go insane. And they share how they are feeling and reach out for help and support.
The past six weeks, I have had such a group. People who squeezed out every ounce of experience and knowledge that I have and asked for more.
This challenges me and I love it. It makes me a better practitioner. I feel like I have been like a parent to the group, attempting to be the bigger, stronger, wiser, and kinder parent (Circle of Security) to the group so they may be the same for their children.
I admire that they are willing to work so hard on building their skills as parents so they may enjoy this important work more. Brave people who tell their mothers and partners and friends that it’s ok to do a parenting workshop, that it’s not an admission of guilt or a sign of weakness.
It’s also been a tricky time for me as my step-father died six weeks ago, and I have been trying to support my mother who is 1000 kilometers away. Parents may worry about their children when they are young, but I think it’s true to say that the children worry about their parents as they get older.
I’m running my final workshop for the year this week, and then it’s the downhill run to all of the end-of-year community events, and my own children’s end-of-year activities.
I hope you are managing to stay well and fulfilled as we head towards the end of the year.