Self-esteem: a family affair - A proven programme based on mutual respect, designed for local community initiatives

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By Wendy Goddard

A4 wiro paperback, 168 pages

Published 2008

Tried and tested with hundreds of families, in a variety of contexts and often with those facing life's most difficult circumstances... when many parents lack confidence in their ability as parents, especially when others, complaining about the younger generation, are quick to point their finger at them... and when young parents themselves are often the least confident...

This course's easy-to-follow sessions let facilitators take parents - of children of any age - carers, grandparents, foster carers and parents-to-be through a variety of exercises to:

  • become self aware
  • understand what influences the development of self-esteem
  • develop the capacity to make changes
  • provide an encouraging and caring environment for their children's self-esteem to develop

The manual acknowledges that many parents, regardless of their religious and ethnic background, social class, and level of literacy ad language skills, lack confidence in themselves. It:

  • recognises there are many reasons why parents have difficulty in giving their children a loving, stable and encouraging home life
  • suggests ways of engaging with parents' strengths
  • helps facilitators work in partnership with parents to break the cycle of discouragement for themselves and their children

In common with other successful parenting programmes, this course has bee 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 6-10 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 hand-outs for parents
  • can be used entirely on its own; or be linked to other training delivered by the author and her colleagues.
  • encourages further learning about the underpinning ideas of individual Psychology, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Emotional Intelligence, a Person-Centred Approach

Self-Esteem: A Family Affair offers guidance and materials that enable practitioners (counsellors, nurses, teachers, youth workers, social workers, family and children centre staff) to offer a complete course of 6-10 sessions, including 12-20 hours contact time with parents, in groups of upto 15 or individuals. The session plans, facilitator's notes, photocopiable hand-outs and extension excercises 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 phococopiable material in electronic format, together with a follow-up emails service from the author.

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.

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.


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