Patchwork Parenting

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The benefits of sharing ideas and experiences with other parents can last a lifetime

Patchwork Parenting programmes provides opportunities for parents and carers to support each other and, with the help of a trained facilitator, build on their own strengths to understand and enjoy their life as a family.


What are Parenting Programmes?

Each programme is a series of meetings for parents or carers of children of all ages, which aim to help them

  • Enjoy parenthood
  • Understand respectful communication
  • Create a framework of encouragement and discipline
  • Reduce tension (e.g. squabbling, tantrums)

The Catholic Children’s Society runs three separate programmes

  • Parenting through the Early Years
  • Parenting through the Primary Years
  • Parenting through the Teenage Years

Details of each programme can be found below

How and where are they run?

The meetings are held each week for five to eight weeks during the school day or evenings, usually on school premises. They last about an hour and a half, and there are six to twelve people taking part.

What do participants do?

Everyone has a handbook to follow. Each session may involve a short video, discussion and a sharing of experience. The programme materials are produced by the Family Caring Trust, Hartley Brewer Parenting and Positive Parenting. There is no charge, although a voluntary donation will be gratefully received.

Seven weekly sessions offering effective parenting support to parents of toddlers, pre-schoolers or children in the first few years of primary school. It is simply written, jargon-free, with a common sense approach.

Where and when programmes are running

There are currently no Parenting through the Early Years courses taking place or planned.

Course details

  • Behaviour you don’t like – why small children misbehave and effective responses
  • Encouraging your child – giving positive attention to our children
  • Listening means paying attention – an attitude that shows respect and concern
  • Talking with your child – and not merely giving instructions
  • Discipline – helping children to learn to be disciplined
  • Quality time – making special time to be with our children

The programme uses some material from the Family Caring Trust and uses a handbok as well as dvd and video clips.

  • Oakwood Primary Academy, Plymouth: Eight Tuesday mornings 18 September – 20 November
  • Beechwood Primary Academy, Plymouth: Eight Wednesday mornings  19 September – 21 November

Course Details

A thought provoking programme for parents of children of all ages, although ideally it is aimed at parents with younger children. It is not designed for families facing very severe behavioural problems.

  • After an introductory session which considers the parent’s role and what they need to fulfil it, there are eight sessions:
  • What children need – How each child is different and how parents have different ways of handling them.
  • The Feel Good Factor – The emotional needs of children and the important role parents play in supporting them.
  • Are you listening? – Communication with children and the importance of listening to them.
  • Encouraging good behaviour – Helping children to behave by having a positive relationship with them.
  • Behaviour we don’t like – Respectful ways of handling any behaviour that is unacceptable.
  • Safety and Independence – Keeping children safe and helping them to be more independent.

This programme uses material produced by Positive Parenting and thenPyramid Trust, and uses a handbook, video, games and activities to explore some of the issues parents face.

Making sense of the teenage years

Where and when courses are running

  •  St Joseph’s Newton Abbot: Eight Tues afternoons  18 September  – 6  November
  • Pennycross Primary, Plymouth: Eight Wed afternoons – 19 September – 7 November
  • Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School , Barnstaple: Eight Thurs afternoons   20 September – 8 November

Seven sessions dealing with some of the challenges often met in the teenage years. The course is suitable for those whose children are approaching the teenage years as well as those with teenaged children already.

Course details

  • It’s tough being a teenager – looking at teenage behaviour, and ways to boost self esteem.
  • What’s your parenting style? – different ways of being a parent and the need for responsibility, choice and boundaries.
  • Better communication – helping teenagers feel understood by actively listening to them.
  • Managing conflict – negotiation skills to handle difficult situations.
  • Talking about sex – handling our concerns about our youngsters and sex.
  • Finding some solutions – how all the skills and insights fit together.

This programme uses some materials developed by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence and Positive Parenting and includes a video and a parents workbook.