To date, 88 Kids Matter groups have been run in 50 economically deprived communities; reaching 1347 children from a range of ethnic backgrounds – of all faiths, and none.
Watch Laura talk about how Kids Matter helped her and her partner Chris be more confident parents, and the impact this has had on their family.
Before starting, I was worried that I’d be the only one having problems with my children’s behaviour and that everyone else would be happy and enjoying their children. That was my worry: that it was just me. I learnt that everyone else feels exactly the same as I do (tearing their hair out!), which made me feel better. The struggle is real for everybody.
My boys are close in age and I was struggling with my older son who was being really testing. I didn’t know what to do. In the first session I tried to filter my parenting struggles and then after the second session I just let it out: “My boys are so naughty, someone help me!”
One minute you’re pregnant, the next minute you have a baby in your arms. There’s no guide or warm-up; you just get thrown into being a parent. Since doing the programme, I’m much calmer and better at recognising certain situations and honing in on key things that are happening with my children.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself through this parenting programme and have become a lot more confident in managing my son’s disability. I’ve learnt not to be so negative about myself. Before, I felt like a failure as a mum – like I just couldn’t do it; now I know that I can do it. Being a parent is hard but I can do it.
I was surprised at how much the programme helped me and how fun it was. I enjoyed hearing about other people’s experiences as parents – where they’re struggling, what they’re doing well and then sharing ideas and learning coping mechanisms that others have mastered. The cake was also good!
Before I started the programme my little girl called her sister “Mum” – not me, which made me feel down and depressed but I didn’t know how to correct her. I didn’t know how to communicate with my daughter; to ask her how her day was and whether she enjoyed school or even say “good night” and give her a kiss. I felt bad about this.