Do you sometimes wonder and worry about your child’s behaviour? Concerned about your relationship with your child? Feel like you just don’t know what to do? Past methods have focused on controlling the behaviour. Many parents and caregivers have struggled with this as it does not produce the results they hoped for.
The Connect Parent Group is a series of workshops in Williams Lake that takes a different approach than most other parenting groups.
Rather than focusing on behavioural management techniques, the Connect Parent Group focuses on enhancing the building blocks of attachment, improving the parents’ ability to reflect before acting, and adjust their feelings so they respond more constructively to conflict. The series of free 10 one hour sessions is delivered over 10 weeks.
Parents watch role-plays presented by two facilitators that open new choices for responding to their adolescent’s difficult behaviour. Parents learn, for example, that conflict is part of attachment and is particularly acute during times, such as the transition through adolescence. Parents learn to ‘step back’ in emotionally charged situations, recognize and modify their own feelings, while considering the possible meanings behind their adolescent’s behaviour.
Throughout the sessions parents are also encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences — when they were adolescents as well as their present circumstances. The groups are lead by trained and supervised mental health professionals who work hard to understand the challenges that parents and caregivers face.
Helping parents feel more knowledgeable in these areas helps them understand their adolescent’s behaviours and needs. This allows parents to keep their emotions in check when dealing with difficult situations and use parenting strategies that clearly sets limits and expectations but does it in a way that maintains relationships.
Connect has promising outcomes, both short and long term. Parents report feeling less stressed and more effective in parenting; they see fewer behaviour problems and better social functioning in their teen. Parents who have participated in the group have provided positive feedback and indicated they feel respected and supported in the group.
The next session start date is Oct. 11 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. Pre-registration is required. Food and refreshments are provided.
To register or for more information on this program contact Sheila Cohen, family counsellor for family solutions at the Canadian Mental Health Association—Cariboo Chilcotin Branch, at 250-305-4487.