Participating in Parenting Programs

by Lorrie Brook / Uncategorised / 8 Mar 2019

This week we want to talk about Parenting Programs. I know that for some of you who have court orders you may have been ordered to participate in a parenting program of some description and there are lots of different types of parenting programs available.


So what we want to talk about today is

  1. Choosing the right program for you.
  2. Attending with an open mind
  3. Actively participating.


Those 3 points to me are the key measures to making sure you get the most out of participating in a parenting program and if you don’t then it is probably just a waste of time.


  1. Choosing the right program for you.

There are so many different types out there. You have parenting programs that give you skills and strategies as to how to parent your children. Teaching you new ways that you may not have considered or even heard about. There are programs designed to help you communicate with your children, how to communicate with your ex – how to develop a business like relationship with your ex. There are parenting programs available in terms of the discipline strategies for your children.


There are lots available – it is just a matter of you sitting down and asking yourself which one is right for you. Do you need to get back to basics and learn how to change nappies and give bottles or is it a program to help me move forward and work on our co parenting relationship?


Make sure you choose the program that is right for you.


  1. Attend with an open mind

If you have been ordered to participate in a program, it may be difficult. For most of you who have been ordered to go, your initial reaction will be this is not for me I don’t need to do this. So you start off with the closed mind.


Let me say this, if you attend with an open mind you will gain so much more than if you start off with the attitude that this is not right for me in the first instance. At the end of the day, no matter or what we can always learn something. Whether it is relevant to our situation or not is another thing but there is always information that can be learnt. There is no harm in learning a different point of view – so always attend with an open mind!


  1. Actively participate

When you get there actively participate! Actively participate in the program. Don’t turn up, sign in and then sit there and don’t say a word. Or likewise don’t sign up to one on the web and don’t participate in the forum or do the exercises. You want to be involved. This is your opportunity to ask people who are doing the same program as you questions. This is your opportunity to ask the facilitators questions; to gain some of their knowledge.   At the end of the day it might help you. It may give you a different view point in which to consider. It may also though reinforce something that you are already doing. You may have been questioning whether it is working, if they are telling me this works and I am already doing it; by continuing you may start to see a result. This is all about learning different strategies and different techniques.


Once you have participated in the program you will generally be given a certificate, you will then pass it on to your lawyer who will pass it on to the other party – all to say yes you have completed it and here is the certificate of attendance. If the matter goes before a judge and you are sitting in the witness box at a trial – the one question you don’t want to be faced with and not have an answer for it is “what did you learn?” You want to be able to say this is what I learnt and this is how I implemented it or I haven’t implemented it for: and set out your reasons.


At the end of the day, people asking you to participate in a parenting program can be really offensive; I appreciate that. At the same time though, there is no shame in doing one. I did one just a little while ago; an online parenting program. I signed up and completed it. I did learn some new strategies that I had never thought of for parenting my little one but at the same time there were some things that I thought wouldn’t really work for me and my family. You do not need to take everything that they say as gospel. At the end of the day you are a grown adult you have your own mind you can make your own decisions and you can think through the information that they are giving you and make your own assessment.


Please remember:

  1. Choose the right program
  2. Attend with an open mind
  3. Actively participate.