Focus conducting a parent education group on Positive Discipline (www.positivediscipline.com) with moms in the Parent Mentoring Program. These strong, intelligent, and kind women shared stories of pain and frustration. Over the course of four weeks, they were able to learn and test new ways of interacting with their children. Perhaps without realizing it, many of the women had already been using Positive Discipline techniques.
We co-led the discussions each week, focusing on a variety of topics such as encouragement versus praise, consequences versus punishment, and how to talk to children with both firmness and kindness. They encouraged each other with stories of their successes and found relief in seeing what they could change and how. Some women spoke predominantly Spanish; the mothers helped each other understand the concepts and translate between English and Spanish. We also gained valuable insights about family values and parenting styles in Latino/a
It was amazing how quickly the group formed a close and cohesive unit, and in the last session the women
expressed their gratitude for having a safe place to discuss these issues. They appreciated being able to get to know the other women better and developing a new support system.
It was an honor and privilege to hear their stories and share in their journeys. We heard one woman talk about how she tries to put herself in her adolescent son’s shoes when she wants to react, another share how she learned to
respond to her 2-year old and 14-year old fighting with love and patience versus frustration, and several women talk about wanting to parent differently than they were parented. What a gift to be able to offer that space for these women pause and reflect on their roles as mothers and parents in a new way.
We hope and believe that the discussions we had during those four weeks will stay with these wonderful women, and that they their relationships with their children will continue to grow and blossom.
~Carla & Briana
TLOTH Clinical Interns
2014 MAT Candidates