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Support for Parents

 

Central to young children’s learning is high quality adult interactions and a challenging and stimulating learning environment, both at home and in early years settings. The initial survey of need for ELI conducted by the Dartington Social Research Unit found that while local parents had high educational aspirations for their children, they were not confident that they had the skills to help their children achieve in school. Therefore, the main focus of ELI’s Programmes has been on helping parents to develop their children' social, language and thinking skills from an early age and thereby, ensure that their children enter school ready to learn, with the skills they need to be successful throughout their education.

 

All the evaluations of ELI’s work show that:

  • All of the ELI’s strategies for increasing parental involvement are well received by parents

  • Parents are more engaged in their children’s development and are developing the understanding, skills and knowledge required to support their children’s educational journeys

  • Learning is being perceived by children, young people and their extended families as enjoyable and something to be shared

 

As parents told us:

  • 'The way the home visitor interacted with my child. It was a great experience. Her speech came on. I have four older kids and I can notice a difference with my PCHP child. At the beginning, I thought that my child was too young but the home visitor was brilliant. As time went on, my child was great. At the beginning I was hesitant about a stranger calling to the house.'
  • 'I like how both child and mother get involved. I learned lots of things. I learned how to solve situations, especially when he misbehaves. I learned how to hold his attention. I got a lot of confidence.'
  • 'It helped me to understand simple things I can do at home with my child to help improve his numeracy skills.  It helped me realise the things I was not doing and wasn’t aware I should be doing with my child to work on those skills'

 

Objectives

  • To increase parental involvement in their children’s development and education

  • To increase parental skills, knowledge and engagement in all areas of their children's development, and learning, particularly in oral language, literacy and numeracy

  • To ensure continuity and progression in learning for children moving from home to early years settings to the local schools

  • To develop parents' educational capital such that they can successfully monitor and support their children's progression through the education system and on to employment, thereby helping their children to achieve their educational, career and life goals.

    Restorative Parenting

 “Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do.”

Being a parent is one of the most challenging roles in life, which is why it is important for parents to support themselves in that role.  The aim of the Restorative Parenting group is to support healthy parent-child relationships, develop good communication, and assist in building strong and happy families. Restorative Parenting compliments the existing Restorative Practice initiatives being run in the community which are funded by the Government’s Area-Based Childhood (ABC) Programme and North East Inner City (NEIC) Initiative.  The Restorative Parenting Groups take place in various community settings, which make them accessible for parents to attend. The group meet over an 8-week period and explore the following themes:

1.      The nurture & structure roles of the parent.

2.      Approaches to dealing with challenging behavior.

3.      Connecting feelings with needs.

4.      Helping children to identify and name feelings.

5.      Developing a supportive and encouraging relationship.

6.      Connecting with children through play.

7.      The importance of self-care in the parenting role.

 

Parents who have completed the course have commented:

 

“it has helped me to understand my children better, to listen to them...”

“to be patient with my children, listen more...it has helped me to less hard on myself, have more self-care.”

“It has helped me to think diffently to how I am with my children, to be more patient and to listen to what they need from me.”

“I felt I’m not alone, I can open myself without judgements, I learnt a lot about being a mother...I learnt things that I’m going to carry for my whole life.”

“The course helped me to understand my kids feelings and behave calmly in difficult situations.”

“The course gave me time to learn, think and reflect on my parenting, making me more aware and conscious of my habits and behaviour...”

“It has made me realise that I need to take time out for me...”

 

To find out more, please contact Sonya Goulding at sonya.goulding@ncirl.ie or phone. 086 0296919


 

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