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Parenting support courses

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.

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.

Action for Children parenting programmes

Challenging Behaviour Workshops

These workshops:

  • are open to all parents in Dorset
  • give an introduction to some of the reasons behind a child's challenging behaviour
  • introduce you to positive parenting strategies
  • take place at locations across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset

Find out when and where you can attend Challenging Behaviour Workshops from Action for Children

Parenting programmes

Action for Children provide parenting programmes:

  • at locations across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset
  • for parents of children registered with a GP in Dorset

Find out more about Action for Children's parenting programmes.

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