50 Key Messages – Name it and Tame it

Three tips to help your child in times of stress

Things you can do to promote your child’s wellbeing in times of stress:

1. Your own emotions:

Be aware of your own emotional state and share your feelings with your child where appropriate:

“I am feeling sad now because it’s raining and we can’t go for a walk”.

How we cope with stress as parents will have an impact on our child’s wellbeing. How they see us coping with problem solving will affect their ability to deal with both positive and negative life events themselves.

2. Be patient:

Have patience and give children time to share their feelings when they are ready. Sometimes children aren’t ready to ‘tell their story’ when you want them to.

3. Doing is Soothing:

Children are sometimes more likely to share something that is bothering them when they are doing something else like:

  • Playing and eating
  • When you are out for a walk together
  • When you are driving in the car together

Fifty Key Messages: Child safety – picking the right car seat for your child

Types of child car seats

(Taken from the RSA website https://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Road-Safety/Child-Safety-in-Cars/Types-of-child-car-seats/

A properly fitted child restraint system keeps the child in their seat, preventing them from being thrown about inside or being thrown from the vehicle. It also absorbs some of the impact force. This means that your child is much less likely to be killed or injured in a crash.

An appropriate child restraint is one which:

  • conforms to the UN standard, ECE Regulation 44-03, or a later version of the standard, 44.04, or new i-Size (Regulation 129). Look for the E mark;
  • is suitable for the child’s weight and height;
  • is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Child restraints are categorised according to the weight of the children they are suitable for. These weight categories correspond broadly to different age groups, but it is the weight of the child that is most important when deciding what type of child restraint to use.

These categories are often called ‘groups’ by manufacturers and retailers. There are four main child car seat groups – Groups 0, 1, 2 and 3. However, some child restraints systems are convertible and can be adapted as the child grows. This means that the restraint system could fit into more than one group. For example, the high back of a Group 2 booster seat might be designed to be removed so that the seat works just as a booster cushion when the child reaches 22kgs (48lbs). This seat, therefore, falls into both Group 2 and Group 3.

 

Look at the chart to help you find out what type of car seats are suitable for your child’s weight.

Here is the chart in a pdf format Child Safety in Cars – Weight Chart – Feb 2016

For more information about car and booster seats, the Child Safety in Cars leaflet is available in many different languages:

Child_Safety_in_Cars_English

Child_Safety_in_Cars_Irish

Child_Safety_in_Cars_French

Child_Safety_in_Cars_Polish

Child_Safety_in_Cars_Chinese

Child_Safety_in_Cars_Lithunian

See the Road Safety Authority website for more information.

For more Key Messages to support your parenting see  https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

 

 

Are you a positive parent?

Positive parenting makes a real difference to child development and children’s behaviour is strongly influenced by parenting styles and practices. Research suggests growing up in nurturing, secure family environments, for example, is important as it is associated with positive child wellbeing and the development of pro-social behaviours as well as minimising exposure to harmful problem activity. (Prosocial behaviour is behaviour that is good for us and good for the people or society around us, so examples would be sharing, helping, cooperating, being concerned for the feelings and wellbeing of others)

We all vary in how we parent. It is worth thinking about our own way of parenting. You can see in the diagram below there are two scales we can measure ourselves on.

  1. Loving and nurturing – do I provide high or low levels of love and nurturing to my children?
  2. Boundaries and supervision – do I put high importance or low importance on providing boundaries and supervision for my children?

 

Source:  Lifestart Spirals Programme

If we provide a lot of love and nurturing to our children but also put strong boundaries and supervision in place then we are likely to have an Authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parenting has been described as the most positive parenting style. It is described as a democratic approach to parenting, integrating warmth with firm behavioural control. For example, authoritative parents teach children to conform to standards they set through negotiation rather than by punishment. They expect children to achieve these standards in a supportive context that respects both the children’s and parents’ rights. The children of authoritative parents are more likely to be self-controlled, independent, resilient and socially responsible.

This type of Authoritative parent:
  • Enables a child to make his/her own choices
  • Makes clear rules and enforces them
  • Rewards children’s positive behaviour
  • Is involved in their child’s daily life where possible

Much research over recent decades concludes that an authoritative parenting style is related to positive outcomes for children and teenagers including:

  • A secure identity – Children who grow up in homes with parents who are tender and show warmth and where they can express their feelings easily and openly are more likely to have a strong, secure sense of identity, to have the capacity to problem solve and to have empathy for others.
  • Higher self-esteem – Children whose input into family decisions is valued are more likely to have higher self-esteem
  • Greater independence – Parenting studies have consistently linked authoritative parenting with greater autonomy/independence among young people
  • Greater levels of pro-social behaviour – Children who have experienced authoritative parenting are more likely to show pro-social behaviours – sharing, cooperating,taking account of the feelings of others – and to be more socially responsible
  • Greater educational competencies – Authoritative parents are more likely to be actively involved in their children’s education leading to greater school engagement and educational achievement.
  • Resistance to peer pressure – Positive parent-child relationships reduce the potential for engaging in antisocial behaviour with peers or endorsed by peers. Authoritative parenting can improve the relationships in teenage social networks and with other adults such as teachers.

If you want to build your positive parenting skills why not sign up for a Parents Plus parenting programme with Parent Hub Donegal? Just click the link https://forms.gle/RghfGcZ3QmD2R7raA and complete the form and we will be in touch. The Parents Plus programmes for different ages are all about the positive!

Being authoritative is very different from being bossy or authoritarian. If we place a lot of importance on boundaries and supervision but do not provide much love or nurturing for our children we are likely to be bossy or authoritarian in our parenting style. We are likely to be very controlling of the behaviour and attitudes of our children and unlikely to negotiate with them. Authoritarian parents demand respect for authority are likely to be critical of their children and engage in harsh disciplinarian styles of parenting. Their children are more likely to be defiant, socially incompetent and dependent.

This type of authoritarian or bossy parent:
  • Has expectations for a child that are too high
  • Does not enable a child to make his/her own choices
  • Often insults and belittles a child
  • Often ignores good behaviour and excessively punishes a child

If we don’t think boundaries and supervision are of any importance and we don’t show our children much love and nurturing we are likely to be neglectful or distant in our parenting style. Neglectful parents are emotionally uninvolved and not supportive of their children. They do not set boundaries and / or standards and may be unpredictable. The children of neglectful parents are likely to develop emotional problems as they grow, tend to perform poorly in school and have difficulties in educational attainment.

This type of distant or neglectful parent:
  • Does not have a close relationship with a child
  • Allows a child to do what they want
  • Shows little interest in a child’s behaviour or aspirations
  • Does not supervise a child/or arrange adequate supervision when needed

If we show our children a lot of love and nurturing but don’t exercise much influence when it comes to boundaries and supervision we are likely to have a Permissive style of parenting. Permissive parents are typically loving parents, however they tend to be very swayed by their children’s impulses, desires and actions. They impose few standards of behaviour and exert little control over the conduct of their children. Consequently their children are more likely to be irresponsible, aimless and less confident.

This type of easy going or permissive parent:
  • Lets a child do what he/she wants
  • Does not establish any rules for a child
  • Will give in to a child having tantrums
  • Provides no structure for a child

Children whose parents have a permissive or authoritarian style of parenting are less likely to do well and achieve at school. Children whose parents have an authoritarian or neglectful style of parenting are more likely to rely on their peers for support and guidance and consequently are more likely to get involved in anti-social and dangerous behaviours.

Our thanks to the Tusla websites – links below – for this valuable information on positive parenting.

If you want to find out more about the research into different parenting styles you can find information at https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/PSC_Resource_Pack.pdf from page 121-122

You can also find out more about key messages to support your parenting at https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Buy Well, Be Well, Eat Well – How can I encourage healthy eating?

How can I encourage healthy eating?

Q. I know what my children should be eating, but my question is how do you actually get them to eat healthy foods? I have two boys aged two and five and though they are not the worst in what they eat, there is still a lot to be desired. For example, my five year old almost never eats the dinners we have as adults and his diet is restricted to mainly eating pasta and bread. He hates food that has ‘bits’ in it and will spit out anything he does not like. He does have the occasional apple (and this is the only fruit or vegetable he eats) and luckily he eats porridge in the morning with me. But apart from that he won’t eat any new foods I give him and it often ends up in a row. I would love him to eat more vegetables and to have dinners with us. What can we do?

A. Fostering healthy eating choices in children is a long-term project that can be marked by setbacks and frustrations. Frequently, young children can have a very limited range of preferred foods compared with adults. Like your own son, many children resist eating family dinners and instead want to eat only the foods they are familiar with – this is understandably frustrating for you as a parent. The good news is that there is a lot you can do as a parent to gradually expand a child’s food repertoire, though it does take patience and persistence.

Tune into your child’s eating habits and preferences

The first step is to observe closely and make an inventory of the amounts and types of foods your son eats. Frequently, although it might be restricted to certain foods, some children can have a relatively balanced and healthy diet that covers most of the food groups. As you describe, your son does currently eat a lot of healthy foods (such as apples, pasta and porridge). Secondly, it is important to try to understand the source of your child’s resistance to eating certain foods. Some children are averse to certain flavours or tastes but frequently children can be very sensitive to other aspects of food such as the texture, size, consistency and temperature. This may be the case with your son as he does not like the “bits” in some food. In addition, if a child has had a bad experience with a certain food, when they gagged or spat it out, this gives them negative associations that make it hard to try the food again.

Introduce new foods gradually to your son

The key to making progress is to start with food that your son likes and then to gradually expand these out to include new foods. Be extremely patient and positive when you introduce new foods and make sure to go at your son’s pace. You might expect him to tolerate only a small portion on his plate, before he smells it or tastes it (without putting it fully in his mouth), and so on. Though it is really hard, try to always be encouraging, positive and upbeat. The temptation is to criticise, cajole or even to force a child to eat but these are counter-productive strategies that can set you back (and can even invoke a “gag” response in your child). Instead, always focus on what your son is doing right, “you had a taste of that – well done” or to gently encourage him “well done, only one spoon to go”. Sometimes it is best not to mention the food at all and chat about other things as you eat. As he is five years old, it can be helpful to use rewards with him. For example, if he tries a new food (even one pea) he gets a star on a chart – the key thing is to get his co-operation rather than be fighting with him. Appreciate his efforts when he tries new foods and encourage him all the way.

Try to agree with your son about trying new foods

One advantage of him being five rather than a toddler is that you can reason with him and get his agreement and co-operation around healthy eating. Sit down with him at a good time and explain how important it is for him to eat nutritiously and how you only encourage him because you love him – you wouldn’t be a good parent if you didn’t. Listen carefully to his objections and preferences. Make a list of all the foods he knows and categorise them into “those he loves”, “those he thinks are okay” and “those he doesn’t like at the moment”. It can help to adopt an educational approach and even to fit in with what he is learning in school. For example, when his school is discussing the food pyramid, get him to select a couple of foods he likes from each level of the pyramid. Or when he is learning the importance of eating a “rainbow” of fruit and vegetables for better health, set him the challenge of eating a food from all the colours of the rainbow in one week.

Take the long-term view

When dealing with fussy eating, it is important to put things into perspective. The vast majority of children with restricted diets tend to grow up healthily and well. In the long term, fussy eating tends to fade and children change their eating habits at different developmental points (often influenced by peer groups when they start school or become adolescents). The key is to continue to gently encourage healthy eating choices while remaining patient and keeping things in perspective.

John Sharry, Irish Times Newspaper, November 19th 2013.

Source: Solution Talk

If you want to find out more about the key messages for you and your child just click https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Buy Well, Be Well, Eat Well.

Tips for a healthy diet for you and your child

(from the Tusla parenting24seven website – link below)

Children form their eating habits from a young age, therefore, it is important to guide them in the right direction and give them an understanding of a balanced nutritional diet mixed with an active lifestyle.

There are many different websites and publications that can help you choose the best types of food for your child. But, there are a few things to remember:

  • A healthy balanced diet is important to ensure your child grows and develops to their full potential;
  • Healthy diets balanced with fun activities help strengthen their bones and muscles. It also helps brain development;
  • Make meals a family occasion where you all sit down and have a chat;
  • Try a variety of different food types, you would be surprised what your child likes;
  • Encourage your child to become involved in food preparation, this will support an interest in food as well as providing an opportunity to spend some time with your child;
  • Try and have a mix of vegetables, dairy, fruit and carbohydrates (like potatoes, pasta, etc.);
  • Avoid fast food and food high in sugar and fats;
  • Children should do at least 60 minutes of exercise a day and it doesn’t have to be done all at once;
  • Make exercise fun and join in where you can… it will help you too.
  • Do not force a particular food on a child, this will result in them never eating it and will probably make them ‘go off’ eating other food;
  • Children do not need the same amount of food as adults;
  • Try and limit the amount of treats given, treats should NOT be offered as a reward;
  • Offer water instead of fizzy drinks.

For more information, please click on the links below:

https://www.safefood.eu/Start/Welcome.aspx
https://www.safefood.eu/Healthy-Eating/Food,-Diet-and-Health/Life-Stages.aspx
https://www.healthpromotion.ie/health/healthy_eating

If you want to find out more about key messages for you and your child click https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

The Parent/Child relationship is key – learning at home

 

Right from when they are born your children are learning. You can do a lot to help them learn and here are some great ideas from the Tusla Parenting24Seven website

And here they are as PDFs

Helping_your_young_child_with_maths

Tipsheet_for_parents_literacy

If you want to find out more about the key messages for you and your child click https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Employability Project for 16 – 18 year olds not currently in full time education

You Turn

is an Employability Project for 16-18 year olds not currently in full time education / work. Including young people enrolled in school, but not attending school on a full time basis.

– Starting mid-September,

– Finishing Beginning of December,

– Approx 12 weeks,

– Meeting 1 day a week for 2 x hours. Refreshments provided at each session,

– 6 weeks of small group workshops with their key youth worker – Social Personal Development, Confidence Building, Interview Skills & CV Prep etc. In a non-school environment and approach.

– 3 weeks guest facilitator from various industries,

– 3 Trips away (including a visit to Dublin to visit Facebook Irish Head Quarters)

– 1-2-1 support

If you know any young people or parents that might be interested in finding out more, just ask them to contact Siobhán O’Connor at

The LOFT

Donegal Youth Service

16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Tel.: 074 912 96 40

Website: http://donegalyouthservice.ie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yicletterkenny

Are you a positive parent?

Positive parenting makes a real difference to child development and children’s behaviour is strongly influenced by parenting styles and practices. Research suggests growing up in nurturing, secure family environments, for example, is important as it is associated with positive child wellbeing and the development of pro-social behaviours as well as minimising exposure to harmful problem activity. (Prosocial behaviour is behaviour that is good for us and good for the people or society around us, so examples would be sharing, helping, cooperating, being concerned for the feelings and wellbeing of others)

We all vary in how we parent. It is worth thinking about our own way of parenting. You can see in the diagram below there are two scales we can measure ourselves on.

  1. Loving and nurturing – do I provide high or low levels of love and nurturing to my children?
  2. Boundaries and supervision – do I put high importance or low importance on providing boundaries and supervision for my children?

 

Source:  Lifestart Spirals Programme

If we provide a lot of love and nurturing to our children but also put strong boundaries and supervision in place then we are likely to have an Authoritative parenting style. Authoritative parenting has been described as the most positive parenting style. It is described as a democratic approach to parenting, integrating warmth with firm behavioural control. For example, authoritative parents teach children to conform to standards they set through negotiation rather than by punishment. They expect children to achieve these standards in a supportive context that respects both the children’s and parents’ rights. The children of authoritative parents are more likely to be self-controlled, independent, resilient and socially responsible.

This type of Authoritative parent:
  • Enables a child to make his/her own choices
  • Makes clear rules and enforces them
  • Rewards children’s positive behaviour
  • Is involved in their child’s daily life where possible

Much research over recent decades concludes that an authoritative parenting style is related to positve outcomes for children and teenagers including:

  • A secure identity – Children who grow up in homes with parents who are tender and show warmth and where they can express their feelings easily and openly are more likely to have a strong, secure sense of identity, to have the capacity to problem solve and to have empathy for others.
  • Higher self-esteem – Children whose input into family decisions is valued are more likely to have higher self-esteem
  • Greater independence – Parenting studies have consistently linked authoritative parenting with greater autonomy/independence among young people
  • Greater levels of pro-social behaviour – Children who have experienced authoritative parenting are more likely to show pro-social behaviours – sharing, cooperating,taking account of the feelings of others – and to be more socially responsible
  • Greater educational competencies – Authoritative parents are more likely to be actively involved in their children’s education leading to greater school engagement and educational achievement.
  • Resistance to peer pressure – Positive parent-child relationships reduce the potential for engaging in antisocial behaviour with peers or endorsed by peers. Authoritative parenting can improve the relationships in teenage social networks and with other adults such as teachers.

If you want to build your positive parenting skills why not sign up for a Parents Plus parenting programme with Parent Hub Donegal? Just click the link https://forms.gle/RghfGcZ3QmD2R7raA and complete the form and we will be in touch. The Parents Plus programmes for different ages are all about the positive!

Being authoritative is very different from being bossy or authoritarian. If we place a lot of importance on boundaries and supervision but do not provide much love or nurturing for our children we are likely to be bossy or authoritarian in our parenting style. We are likely to be very controlling of the behaviour and attitudes of our children and unlikely to negotiate with them. Authoritarian parents demand respect for authority are likely to be critical of their children and engage in harsh disciplinarian styles of parenting. Their children are more likely to be defiant, socially incompetent and dependent.

This type of authoritarian or bossy parent:
  • Has expectations for a child that are too high
  • Does not enable a child to make his/her own choices
  • Often insults and belittles a child
  • Often ignores good behaviour and excessively punishes a child

If we don’t think boundaries and supervision are of any importance and we don’t show our children much love and nurturing we are likely to be neglectful or distant in our parenting style. Neglectful parents are emotionally uninvolved and not supportive of their children. They do not set boundaries and / or standards and may be unpredictable. The children of neglectful parents are likely to develop emotional problems as they grow, tend to perform poorly in school and have difficulties in educational attainment.

This type of distant or neglectful parent:
  • Does not have a close relationship with a child
  • Allows a child to do what they want
  • Shows little interest in a child’s behaviour or aspirations
  • Does not supervise a child/or arrange adequate supervision when needed

If we show our children a lot of love and nurturing but don’t exercise much influence when it comes to boundaries and supervision we are likely to have a Permissive style of parenting. Permissive parents are typically loving parents, however they tend to be very swayed by their children’s impulses, desires and actions. They impose few standards of behaviour and exert little control over the conduct of their children. Consequently their children are more likely to be irresponsible, aimless and less confident.

This type of easy going or permissive parent:
  • Lets a child do what he/she wants
  • Does not establish any rules for a child
  • Will give in to a child having tantrums
  • Provides no structure for a child

Children whose parents have a permissive or authoritarian style of parenting are less likely to do well and achieve at school. Children whose parents have an authoritarian or neglectful style of parenting are more likely to rely on their peers for support and guidance and consequently are more likely to get involved in anti-social and dangerous behaviours.

Our thanks to the Tusla websites – links below – for this valuable information on positive parenting.

If you want to find out more about the research into different parenting styles you can find information at https://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/PSC_Resource_Pack.pdf from page 121-122

You can also find out more about key messages to support your parenting at https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

The Parent/Child relationship is key – activities for you and your child

Activities for you and your child

3 to 5 years:

Learn about colours – at about three years of age, children will start to be able to recognise and name colours. At every opportunity ask questions about colours and name colours as you go – e.g. in the supermarket, “look at the yellow bananas”. Don’t worry if your child gets the colour wrong, this can take time, but continue to point out and name things with different colours.

Play number games – at about three years of age, children will start to be able to recognise and name numbers. At every opportunity ask questions about numbers and name numbers as you go. Don’t worry if your child gets the numbers wrong, this can take time, but continue to point out and count numbers – eg. when setting the table, together count the number of people coming and then get your child to count the knives, forks, plates etc. needed.

Go to the supermarket together – while bringing your child to the supermarket can be a difficult time, there are plenty of opportunities for your child to learn and explore. Make going to the supermarket fun, give them items to pick out for you, – you could play ‘find the item’.

HUG OF THE DAY

Children of all ages love to get their ‘hug of the day’. Mind you, some older children don’t appreciate getting their ‘hug of the day’ in front of their friends!

Download these tipsheets to learn how you can support your child’s play: 

  Tip-sheet_on_play_Parents_of_young_children

  Leid-leathanch_do_thuismitheoir°_leana°_¢ga

  children_ROMANIAN

  yng-children_RUSSIAN

  yng-children_FRENCH

  yng-children_POLISH

  yng-children_PORTUGUESE

  yng-children_CHINESE-pdf

To find out more about the key messages for you and your child click https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Celebrate World Mental Health Day – Host a Connect Café

World Mental Health Day takes place on the October 10th 2019, and the theme this year is Suicide Prevention.

Research shows there are simple things you can do as part of your daily life to protect and improve your mental health. Connecting is one of the ways you can do this.

This World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Ireland is encouraging you to Connect as one way to nurture and enhance your own mental health. We’re calling on you to connect with others across the country by hosting your own Connect Café.

·        When: October 10th, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

·        Where: You choose your own location

·        How: Download your own Host your own Connect Cafe pack

 

The goal of the Connect Café is to open up conversations and strengthen the connection with yourself, with others and with your community.

Bring your very own Connect Café to your workplace, club, community or home, by downloading our step-by-step Guide here: Host your own Connect Cafe pack

 

For queries, please contact our Communications team: communications@mentalhealthireland.ie

 

Enjoy, and get connecting!

Bill Vaughan – Development Officer (Donegal)
Mental Health Ireland
Mob:0867723287
Mental Health Ireland HQ
1-4 Adelaide Road
Glasthule
Co Dublin
01 284 1166
 
Local website: www.alive2thrive.ie

For mental health support and advice please call the Samaritans on their free phone number 116 123

The Parent/Child relationship is key – activites for you and your toddler.

Activities for you and your toddler

Doing some of the following activities together daily will help you to develop a good relationship with your child:

12 Months to 3 years:

Reading – sit the child in your lap, hold the book in front of the child and read together, pointing to and naming pictures. Ask your child questions about the story and characters. Read the same book over and over, repetition is good. Read with your child at least once a day.

Build blocks together – set aside some time to play with your child everyday. Place a blanket on the floor and sit with your child. There are a variety of blocks available – use blocks that are big enough that young child will not swallow, but big enough that they can hold/play with. Blocks with pictures or numbers are better. Let your child explore the feel of the block. You can model building blocks, but allow your child to build their own version. Letting your child lead in play is crucial as it promotes independence and creativity.

Painting – try and paint together as often as possible, at least once a week. Use bigger paintbrushes and bigger pieces of paper for younger children (you can use ends of wallpaper, cereal boxes, etc.). You can also go outside together and wet a big paint brush with water and make marks on an outside wall.

Go for walks – bring your child for a walk as often as possible, and talk to them about what you see along your journey. Point to objects and name them as you go. When able to walk by them selves, you can hold their hand and talk as you go.

Download these tipsheets to learn how you can support your child’s play: 

  Tip-sheet_on_play_Parents_of_toddlers

  Leid-leathanach_do_thuismitheoir°_lapad†n

  sheet_toddlers_ROMANIAN

  sheet_toddlers_RUSSIAN

  toddlers_FRENCH

  toddlers_POLISH

  toddlers_PORTUGUESE

  toddlers_CHINESE-pdf

For more information on key messages for you and your toddler click  https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Shaping Ourselves and Our Children

An update from Lifestart on the SOOC project

Shaping Ourselves and Our Children (SOOC) – One Year On!

We have just completed our first year of ‘Shaping Ourselves and Our Children – SOOC.  And we want to share with you what parents, grandparents and people who have children in their lives think of SOOC. 650 people have completed SOOC and 99% would recommend this course to anyone who is a mum, dad, grandparent or simply anyone who wants to know how to support children.  SOOC is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and was developed by the Lifestart Foundation and its partners – Lifestart Services CGL, Sligo Family Support Centre, the Dunluce Family Centre, Barnardos Strabane and The Junction.

“Everything we say and do shapes our kids, doing this course has made me realise many things that I would never even thought of” was the feedback from one parent.  This is the main overriding message we get from those who have completed SOOC.   We help parents understand how a child’s self-esteem and confidence is shaped at home.  We look at how the language parents and grandparents use impacts on how a child sees himself and others in our communities.  Many parents believe that SOOC has been hugely beneficial to them.  As one parent remarked “This course was a big eye opener for me!”

Happy children make happy homes!  And happy homes make happy communities.  SOOC enables groups to talk about parenting issues that are important to them.  SOOC also provides tuition and amazing resources on key topics around communication, empathy, behaviour, play and diversity.  Run over 4 days where parents get support with babysitting costs and lunch or supper depending on the time of the course.  Most agree this is not just a wonderful course but it is a great opportunity to meet other mums, dads and grandparents!

SOOC will continue for another two years and we know that you won’t regret doing SOOC.  If you are a group, for example breast feeding, parent and toddlers, dads support groups, Men’s Shed etc., we would love to hear from you.  This course is FREE and available to anyone who has a child in their life.  Keep an eye out for our September SOOCs or contact Mary on 087 210 7496 or email mary.holmes@lifestartfoundation.org for more information.

Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Best Wishes from the Lifestart Foundation Head Office.
Kind Regards

Pauline McClenaghan

___________________________
Dr. Pauline McClenaghan
Lifestart Executive Director
Email: pauline@lifestartfoundation.org
Tel: +44 (0) 2871 365363
Fax:+44 (0) 2871 365334
www.lifestartfoundation.org
Lifestart – educating parents, developing children