The Sharing Parenting Team are always busy supporting parents, carers and professionals through their individual journeys.
Here we celebrate and explain a little more about the process and support we can offer.
We would like to say thank you to all those who agreed to share their story to help others.
Sarah’s Story – Returning to Work
In the beginning
When Sarah joined the project, she was a single parent. There were undertones of control and domestic violence within her previous relationship and she was in the process of a difficult divorce.
Identifying needs and barriers
Sarah had not worked for over three years, as her priority had been on caring for her children through the divorce. She was low in confidence, had no CV and felt very little support from anyone around her.
Sarah told Hannah she ‘wanted herself back’ and a big part of that was returning to work.
Sarah had previously worked in the care sector in numerous roles but felt she had no formal qualifications. Confidence both professionally and personally was low.
Sarah had not attended an interview for many years, a lot of her previous work was through agencies and so she had little direct interview experience or knowledge of interview skills.
As a single parent, Sarah identified the need for very local work with hours that fitted around childcare, which also allowed her to provide the care her children needed whilst she went through the remainder of the divorce process, which was on-going and had no completion timescale in sight.
The primary focus was for Sarah to reframe her confidence levels. Hannah spent time with her focusing on the experience she did have through the work she had done before. Sarah was conscious of the length of time she had been out of work but, with support, she understood this wouldn’t be an issue and could be addressed both in her CV. Hannah worked with her to pre-empt and manage any interview questions around this ‘barrier’ through interview preparation.
Sarah and Hannah spent time looking at and following up her qualifications to assist an application to apply for a course in Care.
Together, Sarah and Hannah worked on creating a CV which reflected her passion, experience and expertise.
After this, Sarah and Hannah did a very brief session on interview skills.
What happened next…
Sarah was overwhelmed with how her CV came together – she couldn’t actually believe what she had to offer when put in this format – both in terms of years of experience and skills available to her to succeed in her chosen path. Completion of her CV gave her a huge confidence boost. So much so that she went in person to hand deliver her CV’s to local care homes and groups and speak to people in person!
Sarah was offered a job with a company (a bit far away) so persevered with her preferred option of working in a local care home and she was soon offered part time work – with the ability to continue professional training and qualifications to compliment her career progression.
How are things now?
Sarah is still employed in the care home setting and is continuing to study for formal care qualifications with the relevant support from her employer.
“Sarah was always so grateful for the opportunity to have one to one support, which made a huge difference to her confidence, motivation and attitude which enabled her to progress.
Having someone to ‘check-in’ with was instrumental to her achievements in the short time frame within which she progressed.
Sarah frequently commented that she couldn’t believe all this support was free!
She was truly was engaged and passionate from the start.
The structure of the one-to-one support really helped and supported her progress. The way this was delivered and the practical interventions undertaken combined to help her reach her goals efficiently whilst building confidence and self-esteem at the same time.
Definitely a success story to be celebrated.”
“The project is amazing, and I am so grateful I found you! My CV – wow, is that even me?! I had no idea I actually had so many years’ experience but when you add it altogether it makes sense. I am so proud of my CV thank you so so much”
(Please note Sarah’s name has been changed to protect anonymity)
I have two children, now aged 10 and 13 years old.
4 years ago when my children were 6 and 9 years old I was encouraged to attend the ‘Raising Children’ course by my child’s School Family Practitioner who knew about the parenting courses near me and recommended ‘Sharing Parenting’ .
I went on the course to get advice and learn new strategies to learn about my child’s behaviour and help my family deal with current challenges and be able to support my children and myself for the future.
Before I went on the course I wouldn’t say I was struggling with parenting as I would describe my parenting skills as good, but I was (and still am) always in need of additional parenting advice.
I had no previous support with parenting apart from my own parents who are very supportive of my brother and myself. They are definitely my main role models and I like their parenting styles!
When I walked in the parenting class for the first session I felt nervous but I was willing to commit and be part of the group – I felt I was doing it for my kids really.
I felt the course was very positive and some great parenting strategies were given alongside the knowledge that – if it doesn’t work, then change it! It was an easily accessible course for all and very active sessions – I felt very much part of the sessions and was made to feel that my input was important.
The course has allowed me to feel confident as a parent that my children can make their own decisions, but I can also guide them while still being a parent in control! We work as a family and listen more and I am constantly aware that I am their role model and this grounds me immensely. I feel now both my children feel listened to and that they are valued in our family. Without their input, we would not move forward with positive family life.
To other parents thinking of going on a ‘Sharing Parenting’ programme I would say “Do it! It is for parents who want to make positive changes, by changing themselves first.”
I am Dad to my 5 year old son. I first attended ‘Dads Matter’, at the Abundant Life Church in Lakenheath, in September 2017, when my son was 4 years old.
I hadn’t put much thought into attending a dads course before but after chatting to Richard, (who ran the Dad’s group), I decided to sign up to attend the ‘Sharing Parenting’ course. I wanted to learn parenting techniques to best serve my son, and also to network with like-minded Fathers.
Before the course I felt my parenting skills were more than adequate, my own parents offer lots of parenting support and advice and my extended family also but during the separation of my son’s mother, and myself it was very difficult. The support of my friends and family helped, but it was also helpful to get advice from other parents who were not necessarily emotionally involved.
When I walked into the room for the first parenting session of ‘Dads Matter’ I felt excitement at pro-actively seeking out ways to improve my parenting, but also a little anxious – not knowing what to expect. I needn’t have worried though – I have found the sessions excellent! Thought provoking! Helpful! and they always have a very friendly atmosphere.
I parent my son in a very similar way to how I was brought up, but in conjunction with parenting techniques learnt from the course, and from my dad-peers! It was great to learn some parenting techniques, of which, simply weren’t known/employed when I was a child!
I often take a step back from the ‘daily grind’ to assess how my parenting style is working with my son.
My son is Autistic as well, which requires me to step back, to assess more often! and also to translate some of the techniques taught so that they are a better fit with my son’s special needs.
It’s very difficult to say the impact, of me doing the parenting course has had on my son, but I would hope a more confident parenting style would result in my son being more settled, and confident himself.
I would say to other parents considering going on a ‘Sharing Parenting’ course – Just try it! What have you got to loose?! If you learn just one thing that can help you be a more rounded parent, then it’d be worth it!
Amba and Rich’s Story
We have 3 children, a daughter who is now 12 years old and 2 sons, 9 and 6 years old. They are all amazing and all very different from one another.
We found it hard when our daughter was born, we had a few settling down problems but after about 6 months we really began to enjoy her.
Our boys were both ‘easy’ babies and we thought we had parenting sussed! Once they started running around…we realised our mistake!
Going from 2 to 3 children wasn’t as hard as from 1 to 2 for us. Our youngest just fitted in with everybody else, although you do miss that extra pair of hands.
Before we went on the Sharing Parenting course I would say we were positive, encouraging and generally calm parents but (as most parents), prone to outbursts when we were stressed. My parents (Amba) were quite dictatorial and Rich’s were quite passive – I guess we were falling somewhere in between. We’d done a couple of other courses when our eldest was first born but we always found them a bit judgemental and discouraging.
We had heard good things about ‘Sharing Parenting’ and we had met Suzanne so we knew we already liked her style. Our first ‘Sharing Parenting’ course was ‘Raising Children’ in Newmarket, in February 2017. As soon as we walked in the room for the first session we found a nice friendly atmosphere and felt very welcomed.
The ‘Raising Children course’ was brilliant. The proven strategies suggested, (not enforced) were really helpful. I felt encouraged as a person and as a parent. It was really interesting to learn about the reasons behind behaviour too.
Going on the Sharing Parenting programmes have been a great opportunity for us to learn new things, build our confidence in what we do know and build a great community of friends who encourage us every day.
We are a busy family so we try to include lots of family time in our schedule as well as time for each individual. We are constantly learning, you never have parenting ‘sussed’!
We are now both much calmer and more confident. I think, because we have both have done the course we understand each other and can support one another in making decisions. This has had a big influence on our children’s lives too, as we think they are all more secure in their position in the family. We are all more understanding of one another.
If you are considering doing any of the ‘Sharing Parenting’ courses our advice to you would be – ‘Do it!’ The courses are brilliant. Interesting, accessible and so understandable. The support you get from other parents is so good; its great to know you are not alone.
Well, in the last 6 years we have lived in 2 continents, 3 countries, 6 towns and 14 houses. We needed to feel at home and help our children feel the same.
We have a son aged 11 years old and a daughter aged 9 years old. We felt we especially needed support with our son as we were struggling with parenting strategies. So, I had very high expectations about the course before I went on it – basically I was expecting a magic potion…
I’m learning so much. And even more important to me, how to put it into practice. Sometimes we know the theory but don’t know how to use it…
I think this course it’s very powerful! It’s much better then I thought! No magic potions but a huge instructions manual on how to deal with our treasures and even with everyone else around us.
Since the course we have really changed the way we parent… everything really ! The way we listen to our children and how to communicate. I think the communication is the most important!
I would definitely recommend this course to others!! It’s so amazing I think every adult that deals with children should do!
Can you imagine…. if every mother and father could receive this course, as soon as they apply for a reception place for their child, as part of the same package…. How many tears and suffering would be avoided on both sides ( kids and adults)?!