Course for parents, by parents

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Katelyn Isberg and her children Briella, 11 and Jaxson, 4.
Camera IconKatelyn Isberg and her children Briella, 11 and Jaxson, 4.

Parents are sharing their skills and strategies in a community based program designed “for parents, by parents”.

Empowering Parents Empowering Communities is a program run by Kwinana Early Years Services, which trains parents to run parenting groups and courses.

Led by parent facilitators a Being a Parent course has launched to teach parents about the importance of looking after themselves, the value of child-led play, dealing with children’s “big feelings”, discipline strategies, communication skills and stress management.

Mother of two Katelyn Isberg, who moved to Kwinana from Canada at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the course helped her find her feet and gave her skills she needed to improve her relationship with her children.

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“I was struggling with my daughter, just the communication together with her hitting pre-teens,” she said.

“So what’s beautiful about this course is that it’s parents helping parents. I’m not saying KEYS has the answers, but what’s great about them is you get to pick and chose what works for you as a parent.”

Program co-ordinators Carolyn Mitchell and Michelle Hope said parents who participated in the course had reported improved behaviour in their children and more harmonious home environments.

“The idea is having a parent group facilitated by parents in their community,” she said.

“The way we train our facilitators is not become the expert in the room, they’re still there to learn as much as the other parents, but they’re there to lead the group.“The program gives parents tool box of strategies they can pull from. Some will work better than others.”

After completing the eight week program Ms Isberg completed training to became a parent facilitator to pass on her knowledge to others.

“Since I’ve started mine and my daughters relationship has been so much better and I’m more understanding of where she’s coming from,” she said.

“I really want people to sign up for this program because you might not think its for you, but the hardest step is getting to the first day.

“I’m trying things and not everything is going to work and not everyday is going to be easy, but definitely to have some tools in your toolbox to use is really incredible.”

Parents who participate in facilitator training also reported increased confidence and improved employment and training pathways, as well as improvements in family functioning and increased satisfaction in parenting.

The course

is on Wednesday mornings during Term 4, beginning from October 14 at 10am. Parents and carers are invited to attend. Registrations are essential.

For more information or to register, call 9439 1831 or email carolyn.mitchell@keyswa.org.

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