We’re excited to host The Parenting Journey workshop series, which helps parents to become more confident by building on their strengths, resulting in a more nurturing family relationship. Many parents are often best served by first stepping back and reflecting on their own childhood experiences, before they begin to develop concrete goals for improving their relationship with their own children. Facilitated by our own case managers, Marisol and Meaghan, this 12-week workshop series focuses on promoting attitudes that enhance good parenting behaviors as well as providing the tools for parents to effectively model these behaviors at home. Marisol and Meaghan are in a unique position because they participated in a 5-day experience of The Parenting Journey training.
During the first three days of the facilitator training, Marisol, Meaghan, and the other participants went through the actual experience of being in a Parenting Journey group. Meaghan recalls, “During the group, I was able to really take a look at my childhood and relate it to my relationships with others. The Parenting Journey is a challenging experience where you develop bonds with others also participating in this group.” Marisol reiterates Meaghan’s sentiment, stating, “The parenting journey was the most excellent training I have ever attended. It made me realize how I was parented and now how I parent my own child and have relationships with others.”
Meaghan notes that the Parenting Journey is different from most parenting groups because it does teach a “right” or “wrong” way to parent, rather it provides a deeper understanding of oneself, finding ways to do “self-care” in order to become a more effective parent. According to the Parenting Journey website, “The program model focuses on adult development and the emotional understanding of what it means to be a parent thus filling a void created by traditional parenting classes that often focus solely on child development and disciplinary techniques.”
This program’s mission aligns with our own approach to case management; three terms frequently heard around either the office or congregates are “unconditional positive regard,” “trauma informed care,” and “strengths-based communication.” In essence, the ability to offer respect, acknowledgement, dignity, and warmth to a person no matter what emotions or behaviors he/she offers in return, which involves a feeling of acceptance for a person’s negative, fearful, painful, defensive and abnormal feelings as much as it does a person’s positive, mature and socially normal feelings. As the service provider, we deeply value the humanity of our client, which is not merely the head of household, but each member of the family. The Parenting Journey series will not only serve those attending the program and their families but will ripple into other areas of their lives.
The first Parenting Journey series is being held at Devon House, one of our congregate living programs in Dorchester, beginning on Thursday, April 7th at 5:00 PM. When asked what they hope to bring to the parents who attend, Marisol says, “to show the parents that they are not alone when it comes to parenting or being parented – [it’s a] great way to show clients that you do not need to have children to understand this training.” Meaghan echoes, “helping [the families] realize that they are not alone in this journey as a parent. I also hope to help them realize their self-worth.”
The workshop will be held at Devon House from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Thursdays, April 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, May 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, and June 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Dinner and child care will be provided each week. *Workshop is limited to Devon families.
614 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139