“I like the Tougher Minds programme because it gives us practical concepts that we can use in the real world. It’s also helped my relationship with my daughter.” – Mother of Year 7 Pupil

In this blog, Head of Education Andrew Foster looks back at last week’s Bite Size Parent Training event in London and explains how other Tougher Minds programmes can also benefit families.

It was fantastic to take part in Tougher Minds Bite Size Parent Training on Thursday. Over a hundred parents and children came from all over London to the UCL Institute of Education to learn how to better meet the challenges that teenage life and school in particular pose for young people today.

It further confirmed my belief that parent training is vital to children succeeding and reaching their potential, not just in terms of academic performance but also health and happiness. The love and support of parents is crucial to success as it stands so if we can supercharge that support with the simple but effective Tougher Minds techniques that attendees learned on Thursday then that benefit will only increase.

An in-depth session for parents at Colfe's school.

An in-depth session for parents at Colfe’s school.

I appreciate how busy parents are, and know it is not easy to give up an evening and engage in our programme. There is much more to learn than can be communicated in sixty minutes but all journeys begin with a single step. On the way out of the session, it was great to hear so many of the families talking about their desire to learn more.

That is why we run our six session programme for small groups of parents. This has been attended by over 200 parents and some have opted to complete it twice. We have just concluded our most recent round of Tougher Minds training with thirty fantastic mums and dads from Colfe’s School. With children in every year from nursery to sixth form, they worked together to develop their understanding of how to help their children (and themselves!) to manage their motivation, concentration and confidence.

Learning only takes places when we repeat to remember. The car number plates we know are the ones we see every day. The tens of thousands of others we have seen are swiftly forgotten. By coming to the six sessions, these parents were able to study key concepts in depth, try out the techniques and discuss how they had worked in practice the following week.

It was very rewarding to hear how the techniques we suggested were having a genuine positive impact on these families’ lives, at home, school and work. I strongly recommend viewing our videos of parent testimony to hear more on this.

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