About Me

My Photo
A few years ago I decided to start a new career as a performer. I used to be a biology teacher but couldn't face walking around in a white coat all day teaching children who didn't want to learn. Actually it wasn't so much the children as the system cause I think all children want to learn - they just don't all want to learn in schools. Anyway I now work as a Life and Executive coach. Work is perhaps not the right word because it never feels like work. I just love to see people grow and change. I love it when they peel of the layers of limiting beliefs and find their true self. And I make some great frends in the process. I've re-discovered my writing and have published two poetry books and now working on 2 CDs, a novel, a book of short stories and talking to someone about a collaoration on a film script. That should keep me busy for a whild. Oh and I do bellydance.
View my complete profile
Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Can you fix my child?

30 participant turned up for my workshop on parenting on Sunday, lured in part by the possibility that their child can be 'fixed'. It was the biggest workshop attendance of the festival with parents from all walks of life, including some of the teachers I'd presented to on Wednesday. I began by asking them to break into groups and to write a job description and person specification for parents, including renumeration, benefits and retirement age. The exercise worked as an ice breaker and the energy in the room reflected the level of engagement.

I then took them on a whistle stop tour of the stages of child development, discipline styles and parenting styles, before asking them to consider alternatives to physical discipline. It was a very interactive session with passions running high at times. Even the camera man who had been silent in all the other workshops felt moved to make a contribution. I was allowed to let the session run on beyond it allotted 90 minutes because of the interest generated. It was heartened to observe the level of involvement by the men in the workshop, and to see that they were seriously reevaluating their own style of parenting, looking at it through new eyes.
The feedback from some of the participants who accosted me later included:
1. Realizing how big the job of parenting is and how ill prepared they were for it.
2. Using the stages of child development as part of the disciplining process, rather than relying just on the age of the child.

3. Validating what they were already doing well as parents and grandparents.

4. Never considered before the link between physical discipline (hitting children) and domestic and other types of violence.

5. Should have been longer.

6. Helpful to think of parenting from a point of love, not fear.

The public health promotion officer asked if I'd be prepared to conduct an interview on Radio Montserrat so that the messages of the workshop could be made available to a wider audience. Happy to.