Parental leadership isn't something that is commonly used in the UK but it is an interesting concept we were eager to explore. The essence of leadership is the ability to build trust and influencing others to adopt and follow your directions and ideas, therefore giving parents leadership skills makes perfect sense to us. As parents ourselves we aspire to have a relationship with our children that is built on trust and respect allowing us to help shape their lives and guide them into making the right decisions. Parental leadership explores the possibilities of parents being given classic business leadership skills enabling them to lead their children's behavior rather than trying to control it.
With all of this in mind we have just run a successful interactive parenting programme that adapted some classic leadership skills, such as active listening and giving and receiving feedback, combined with some life skills, to help improve self-belief and deal with inner voice, for a group of parents at Castle Green Children's Center to allow them to parent more effectively. The programme was designed to improve the family dynamics and strengthen relationships through effective communication and increased self-awareness. Through giving parents leadership skills they can begin to role model behavior to their children to help create future leaders in our community and it is never to early to start the process. Franklin D Roosevelt once said that 'We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build out youth for the future' and we aspire to achieve this through the work we do with parents, children and vulnerable young adults in the community.
Here is what the parents thought of the programme:
'When I first came, I felt as if I was in a cocoon. Now I feel like a butterfly, I've got wings'
'I didn't know why I needed to come, but I've learnt about myself'
'I've started to talk to my daughter and not shout at her, and I've realised how much love she has for me. She's like a different child'
'When I first cam, I thought I was a bad parent. Now I listen more and I talk to my children'
'I've learnt loads and I really admire the other parents in the group'
If you would like to find out more about parenting programmes or training for 14-18 year olds please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.