Mums, dads taught magic of par­ent­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

MUMS and dads can learn how to man­age dif­fi­cult be­hav­iour in 2 to 12- year- olds at par­ent­ing work­shops be­ing held in Townsville this month.

Townsville psy­chol­o­gist Tracy Blan­chard, from Learn. Grow. Flour­ish, is run­ning the 1- 2- 3 Magic and Emo­tion Coach­ing pro­gram, with the first of three ses­sions be­gin­ning this week­end.

Ms Blan­chard said it was a pop­u­lar and ef­fec­tive par­ent­ing course de­signed to teach mums and dads to use “less talk and less emo­tion’’ when deal­ing with their chil­dren’s chal­leng­ing be­hav­iour.

“We look at what is feed­ing into that cy­cle of be­hav­iour and look at what par­ents might be do­ing to en­able the be­hav­iour to con­tinue,’’ she said.

“Strate­gies to ef­fec­tively en­cour­age chil­dren to start a be­hav­iour, such as pack­ing up their toys, are of­ten very dif­fer­ent to strate­gies that ef­fec­tively stop a be­hav­iour, such as ar­gu­ing with a par­ent.’’

“Of­ten we are us­ing the wrong strate­gies to get our de­sired re­sponse, lead­ing to great frus­tra­tion.’’

The pro­gram en­cour­ages a calm ap­proach to par­ent­ing, even in chal­leng­ing mo­ments, and shows how to im­prove the re­la­tion­ship be­tween par­ent and child.

Ms Blan­chard is a mother of one and said it was a great method to help teach chil­dren to man­age their emo­tions, to be more re­silient and make bet­ter choices.

“It’s very much about un­der­stand­ing what chil­dren are go­ing through and how to best sup­port them,’’ she said.

“It’s all about get­ting chil­dren to self- reg­u­late their be­hav­iour and to en­cour­age them to want to make the right de­ci­sions. It’s teach­ing chil­dren to learn about their emo­tions and then prac­tise cer­tain skills to self man­age those emo­tions.’’

The pro­gram is taught in three two- hour meet­ings and dads are en­cour­aged to at­tend via a spe­cial cou­ple price.

It aims to help par­ents of chil­dren in the pre- pri­mary and pri­mary school years, although Ms Blan­chard be­lieves the ear­lier par­ents learn the Emo­tion Coach­ing strate­gies the bet­ter the out­come for their chil­dren.

“I see it as a proac­tive par­ent­ing strat­egy,’’ she said.

“The younger your child is when you do the course the bet­ter be­cause as they get older they’ll know the sys­tem you’ve put in place to deal with be­hav­iour and know what to ex­pect.

“Although it’s time con- sum­ing to have to come along to three sep­a­rate ses­sions, it al­lows strate­gies to be im­ple­mented as a par­ent and to come back and have a dis­cus­sion and feed­back on how it went.’’

She said the goal was to make par­ent­ing more en­joy­able.

“I love the pro­gram and re­ally want to help par­ents de­velop the skills needed to put the fun back into par­ent­ing.’’

Ms Blan­chard also plans to run a work­shop for par­ents of ado­les­cents.

The 1- 2- 3 Magic and Emo­tion Coach­ing pro­gram starts this week­end with lim­ited spots avail­able. Con­tact Tracy at Learn. Grow. Flour­ish on 0417 251 707 to se­cure a spot. Cost for in­di­vid­ual par­tic­i­pants is $ 180 for all three ses­sions in­clud­ing a work­book and morn­ing tea. Cou­ples are $ 220.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

PAR­ENT­ING STRATE­GIES: Tracy Blan­chard, with baby An­gus, is run­ning work­shops in Au­gust.

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