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Parenting support courses

Programmes to support you with parenting strategies to improve parent-child relationships.

We run a range of parenting courses for parents of children aged 0 to 16 years old.

We have courses about:

  • young children
  • teenagers
  • children with challenging behaviour
  • teenagers with aggressive or abusive behaviour

Incredible Babies

For parents with babies from birth to crawling.

The Parents and Babies Program is delivered over 8 weeks in one-hour sessions with trained facilitators. The facilitators help you and your baby with topics that will support attachment and bonding. 

Parents learn how to:

  • help their babies feel loved, safe and secure
  • encourage their babies' physical and language development
  • practise skills with their babies.

Contact your Family Partnership Zone for information about dates and venues.

Incredible Years

The Incredible Years Parenting Programme focuses on strengthening parenting. This free programme is aimed at parents of children aged between 3 and 12 years old.

By encouraging parent involvement in children's experiences it can help:

  • promote children's academic, social and emotional skills
  • reduce conduct problems
  • parents identify social learning principles for managing behaviour
  • increase the use of positive strategies
  • improve home and setting relationships

This is a 14 week programme (it can sometimes be run for longer periods depending on the needs of the group) and takes place in different locations in Dorset.

Contact your Family Partnership Zone for information about dates and venues.

Incredible Years: ADHD/Challenging Behaviour

The Incredible Years Challenging Behaviour programme is an 18 week course for parents of children aged 5 to 11 years.

This programme looks at strategies for parents whose children are at risk of developing conduct disorders or are in the process of being diagnosed with ASD or ADHD. It's also suitable for children who present with aggressive or anxiety-driven behaviours.

Contact Action for Children for information about dates and venues. 

Strengthening Families

This free programme is aimed at families with children aged between 10 and 14 years. It runs for one two-hour session a week for 7 weeks.

Each session is split into 2 parts:

  • for the first hour the parents/carers and young people work in separate skill-building groups
  • in the second hour they come together for supervised family activities

Families have fun taking part in the activities, discussing what makes a family strong and solving problems together.

Sessions for the young people include:

  • goal setting
  • dealing with stress and strong emotions
  • communication skills
  • increasing responsible behaviour
  • improving skills to deal with peer pressure

Sessions for the parents and carers include:

  • making house rules
  • encouraging good behaviour
  • using consequences
  • building bridges
  • protecting against alcohol and substance misuse

Once the 7 week course has finished, there are 4 booster sessions you can use to reinforce the skills you gained in the original sessions.

Contact Dorset Youth Association for information about dates and venues.

Living with Parents

The Living with Parents Day is a one day event suitable for one parent with one child aged between 8 and 15.

The event is designed to:

  • enable parents and their child to spend some one-to-one time together
  • work on problem solving
  • build trust and improve communication
  • encourage respect, listening and trust
  • highlight the differences between the role of the parent and the child

During the day the parent and child take part in activities together. These include games and discussions.

Contact your Family Partnership Zone for information about dates and venues.

Living with Teenagers

Living with teenagers is a 7 week evidence-based programme. This programme is designed to help parents and carers of teenagers aged 11 to 16 years who are experiencing behaviour and communication difficulties.

The programme covers:

  • understanding how behaviour is learnt
  • increase understanding of 'normal' behaviour and typical developmental stages
  • increasing wanted behaviour and decreasing unwanted behaviour
  • types of sanctions
  • looking after yourself
  • empowering parents
  • boosting self-confidence
  • sharing difficulties with other parents to work together to solve problems

Contact your Family Partnership Zone for information about dates and venues.

Triple P

Triple P stands for Positive Parenting Programme. It offers proven practical parenting strategies. There are studies that show taking part in a Triple P course benefits both parents and children. It began in Australia and because it was a success, has spread to other countries worldwide.

This course is for every parent, whether they want support with a particular problem, or some new tips.

There isn't a right way to be a parent and most parents struggle with the same issues, for example not getting enough sleep or finding parenting stressful.

Triple P is like a toolbox of ideas, where you can choose the strategies you need. It can help you:

  • raise happy, confident children
  • manage misbehaviour
  • set rules and routines
  • encourage good behaviour
  • take care of yourself as a parent
  • feel confident you're doing the right thing

Contact Action for Children for information about dates and venues. 

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