Programm It Starts With Me
Approach and content of the training for parents
This IT STARTS WITH ME programme has been developed to specifically support parents in their knowledge and understanding when raising children up to the age of 18. The purpose of the training is:
- to learn how to provide a safe and pleasant environment for yourself, your children and your family, in which there is room for everyone to develop;
- to learn how to contribute to an active and positive society.
The core of the message for IT STARTS WITH ME is:
A responsible me -> family -> community -> nation
The IT STARTS WITH ME programme consists of six meetings that lasts 3 hours each. In the first meeting we get to know each other while also getting an overview of the programme. In the following meetings we continue to unpack and implement the building blocks of the IT STARTS WITH ME programme:
- Building block 1: Your role and responsibility as a parent
- Building block 2: Self-esteem and affirmation at home
- Building block 3: Effective communication at home
- Building block 4: Values and [self] discipline at home
In the last meeting we wrap-up the training in a celebratory way with a certification and sharing moments of the training and implementation. We take action for the future, personally and as a group, by creating our own support group for continuous transformation.
Building block 1: My role and responsibility as a parent / co-educator
- How do I keep my (energy) tank full?
- Who are my children going to get ‘love’ from if I don’t give them attention?
- Emphasis on positive patterns and own strength: change, it starts with me!
- Emotional development stages of a child
- Parenting styles: how was I raised and what kind of parent/co-parent do I want to be?
- What do we all do for our family (roles in the family)
Building block 2: Self-value and affirmation
- Where does my self-image come from?
- How does my self-value affect (my) child(ren)?
- How do children create their own self-confidence and self-value? (influence of parents and environment)
- How can I increase my self-confidence?
Building block 3: Effective communication
- Importance of effective communication: at home and in my environment
- How do you come across, if you only half listen?
- Different love languages: how do people express love? And do I recognize the love language of others?
- Gatekeeper function of parents: what is my influence and how far does it reach?
Building block 4: Positive values and discipline
- What do I stand for?
- How do you express your norms and values to your social environment?
- How do I, and how do others get their norms and values?
- Discipline; what is that anyway? Why is it so difficult to be consistent?
Finally: Continuity through the support group
- What is a support group?
- How do we keep in touch with each other in the future?
- What agreements do we make with each other?
- Choosing a support group leader
- The approach during meetings
Think, ink, share and action
In the training we work with a fixed order, THINK, INK, SHARE and ACTION, for learning new patterns or new behaviour:
It starts with steps 1 and 2: ‘think’ and ‘ink’. By thinking and writing down you discover unconscious reasons for the way you react and raise your child. You gain insight into what moves you and what is important to you. You also become aware of your behaviour and its consequences.
What you think becomes ‘reality’ when you talk about it with others, for example at home and during training. This is step 3: ‘share’. Sharing your thoughts with others increases the likelihood that changes will happen. Others understand you better and can help you if necessary.
Finally, step 4: ‘action’ follows. This is a very important step, because you can’t change anything by just thinking about it, writing about it and talking about it. If you want to let go of old patterns, it’s important that you actually ACTION other things. You can, if you wish, replenish your role as a parent, educator, partner, colleague, friend, etc.
Impact of the training
“Because of the practical exercises, the used video clips and the way the information is packaged, in imagery, recurring rhymes or mottoes and with humor, the training is very accessible for all target groups: from different social environments and with different cultural backgrounds. In addition, it really stimulates action. Through the group process and joint exercises that the participants do during the meetings and through the homework assignments, they not only develop insight into, for example, different parenting styles, but they also experience during the training what effect their own behavioral change has on their family or environment. The participants are challenged to change old, negative patterns into positive behavior. This includes making the people in their own family and social network part of these changes, which ensures support and sustainability of the changes. And thanks to our volunteers, who as support group leaders ensure that after the five training meetings the group continues to meet, the positive change process continues.”