Does parent training work?

In this week’s Blog, Tougher Minds’ Head of Education, Andrew Foster, discusses how parents can learn to support their children, both in their studies at school and in their lives in general.

Attention parents! What problems do your children face that currently leave you stumped?

Anxiety regarding exams? Putting off homework and revision? Seemingly surgical attachment to smartphones and iPads?!

Well you could be the solution if you pick up pen and paper and hit the classroom yourself.

I’ve seen parenting classes work. I’ve also heard people that anyone would describe as excellent parents explain at some length how they have been taught to be even better at parenting. Here are some examples:

“It helps me communicate with my child. It’s brought us together.”

“It’s helped me improve my own productivity at work, so I get home earlier and spend more time with my family.”

“I now understand behavior I previously found baffling and I have techniques to address them that really help.”

Parents hold many different forms of expertise and experience, which benefit their children greatly. However, as it stands the vast majority of the UK’s parents have little understanding of how to explicitly teach and support their children in managing their emotions.

And why would they? They haven’t been taught that themselves.

This can be addressed and we have been doing just that. Tougher Minds has run highly successful parent training at a number of their partner schools. This has not been limited to one-off, large scale events. Training has taken place over consecutive weeks, with parents making time in their busy lives to come and learn in the same classrooms their children.

No one is dictating how parents should bring up their children. Every parent who trains with us remains entirely free to disregard any suggested approach. But that has not been the consequence.

Instead, we have parents from a range of backgrounds talking of the hugely positive impact made by their increased understanding of the neuroscience and psychology behind their children’s behaviour. There is no coercion to employ these techniques; parents do so readily because they see that they work.

We are passionate about our work at Tougher Minds because we want to help people be healthier, happier and higher-performing. Parent training is a vital part of what we do. We believe it is also an incredibly promising and important avenue for UK education and social care in general.

The late Christopher Hitchens talked of parenthood as the sensation of watching “your own heart beating in someone else’s body”. Parents’ love for their children means they will always be an immense force for good. If this force can be channeled ever more effectively, the potential benefits for both children and parents are virtually limitless.

Watch this video to hear from parents who have benefitted from recent Tougher Minds training.

To learn more about Tougher Minds High-Performance parenting courses, click here.

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