Supporting positive parenting
A proven programme based on mutual respect, designed for local community initiatives
By Wendy Goddard

To see sections of this book in a PDF, please click here.

Tried and tested with hundreds of families, in a variety of contexts and often with those facing life's most difficult circumstances... At a time when many parents have lost a sense of confidence under pressures coming from politicians, schools, media... and often find themselves estranged from the support of their extended family, trusted friends and neighbours...

This course's easy-to-follow sessions let facilitators take parents - of children of any age - carers, grandparents, fosters carers and parents-to-be - through a variety of exercises to:
  • develop strategies, effective communication and confidence that will help them to raise responsible and respectful children
  • discuss mutual concerns, befriend others who are in a similar situation, and explore together how to utilise 'positive parenting' methods, and share tips about what works
  • help them understand various influences on behaviour
  • recognise that every child and parent is unique, but that the overall principles of positive discipline – which are at the heart of this course - work because they are based upon respect, cooperation and consistency.

  • The course emphasises not only a nurturing relationship between parent and child, but also a respectful relationship between facilitator and parent, and between parents themselves.

    In common with other successful parenting programmes, this course: has been developed through regular monitoring, evaluations, and review, with quality ensured through training and supervision; uses evidence-based content for the sessions with a comprehensive manual of guidance; has been effective with parents from many different backgrounds and has sustained their attendance for at least 8-10 sessions.

    In addition, unlike many other courses and manuals, this course:
  • is easy to follow for both parents and facilitators
  • eliminates the need for expensive training
  • may be adapted to suit specific needs of trainers and parent groups, and in response to parents' own ideas and evaluations
  • is accessible for use by smaller voluntary agencies, with restricted time and budgets, as easily as by larger organisations
  • provides user friendly handouts for parents
  • can be used entirely on its own; or be linked to other training delivered by the author and her colleagues. Search on ‘Wendy Goddard’ at for updates about further manuals.
  • encourages further learning about the underpinning ideas of Individual Psychology; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; Emotional Intelligence; a Person-Centred Approach.

  • Supporting Positive Parenting offers guidance and materials that enable practitioners (counsellors, nurses, teachers, youth workers, social workers, family and children's centre staff) to offer a complete course of 6-10 sessions, including 12-20 hours contact time with parents, in groups of up to 15, or individuals. The session plans, facilitator's notes, photocopiable handouts and extension exercises can be adapted to suit needs. No audio-visual or IT equipment is necessary. The course's manageable length and bite-sized chunks reduce drop-out rates and tempt parents on to further learning. Purchasers of the manual can subsequently obtain - free from the publisher - the course's photocopiable material in electronic format, together with a follow-up email service from the author.

    A4 wiro. 160 pages. 978-1-905541-29-4. Published 2008. £44.95


    Practitioners working with parents, carers, grandparents, foster carers and parents-to-be. Such practitioners include counsellors, nurses, teachers, youth workers, social workers, family and children’s centre staff and indeed parents themselves who have appropriate confidence and skills to work with other parents, learning and sharing what is in these manuals.


    About this manual
    Who is this manual for?
    Who has produced this manual?
    About the author
    Other training developed by the author
    Photocopying permission for use of the handouts
    Electronic supply of the handouts
    Dear Facilitator... a quick note on using this manual
    How the manual is organised
    Timing and timetable
    Group Members' Needs
    Organising the course
    The first session of a course
    The closing session of a course
    The other sessions
    Getting started
    Using the materials
    Closing a session
    A brief guide to the principles underlying this work with parents
    Approaching this course on Supporting Positive Parenting
    Further reading
    Good luck!
    Part One: Guidelines for Facilitators
    Facilitating groups
    Stages of group development
    The Facilitator
    Some useful interventions
    Coping with individual behaviour
    'C' groups
    Giving effective feedback
    Guidelines for sculpturing
    Guidelines for role-play
    Guidelines for Relaxation
    Supervision for reflective practice
    Part Two: The Sessions
    Scheme of work
    Standards for work with parents
    Session 1: Becoming a responsible parent
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents.
    Session 2: Stages of development and parenting styles
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents.
    Session 3: Goals of behaviour
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents.
    Session 4: Discipline v punishment
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents.
    Session 5: Healthy communications
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents
    Session 6: Taking care of 'you'
    Session plan. Facilitator's notes. Handouts for parents.
    Licence for using the electronically-supplied handouts


    Wendy Goddard was a secondary school teacher for 20 years and retired as a Deputy Head. Before that she was a psychiatric nurse. On retirement 15 years ago, she founded a small local charity, The Listening Ear, that provides counselling and training to young people and their families. Until recently she ran the project but was very grateful when the team of counsellors, who in effect 'are' the charity, took over this role themselves. She has remained very involved, developing materials for their training, supervising the counsellors, and providing training for parents and professionals working with young people.


    "I believe that facilitating Supporting Positive Parenting courses can achieve the government's efforts to ensure that all children are healthy, stay safe, enjoy life and achieve, make a positive contribution, and enjoy economic well being. I feel privileged to be able to make some small contribution to this aim and realise that it is a very worth while ongoing challenge." Volunteer Bereavement Worker.

    "The manuals are great and every Parent Support Worker should have copies. They provide some really good material you can use on a one-to-one basis as well as with groups." Parent Support Co-ordinator.

    "I find the programmes so easy to use" Counsellor.

    "Evaluation does not have to be dull and lengthy it can be fun and these books show you how" Counsellor.

    "One of my fears from facilitating the first workshop was that people wouldn't join in and they'd be awkward silences. I need not have worried; there was lots of discussion, interaction and lively debate." Teacher.

    "I'm very glad with the way the sessions have gone. My confidence has grown and it is great to have plenty of exercises, examples and relevant resources available to pull out when and if needed." Parent Volunteer.

    "The school is very pleased that the courses are getting parents involved and that all it costs is the manual and my time!!" Teacher.

    "These courses are now an established part of our yearly programme and are well attended by parents." Children's Centre Manager.