Graduates of the Positive Parenting Program training workshop in the Diocese of
This year we aim to roll out training in 2 dioceses and make the program manual more “Solomon Islands friendly”.
ABM supports the Positive Parenting Program through its partner, the Anglican Church of Melanesia Mothers’ Union. This year we will be focussing on providing this exciting training to two dioceses, as well as updating the program manual to ensure it is more directly tailored to the Solomon Islands context. This particularly includes broadening the concept of “family” to include extended families and even tribes.
The program is aimed at equipping fathers, mothers and other carers with enhanced skills for raising healthy, happy children. In the process, it also helps participants to understand their own parenting style, and family relationships more broadly.
Local facilitators are trained in the program, and they, in turn, train groups in their communities. The word “Positive” is meant to be taken literally. Any negative child-raising practices, such as corporal punishment, a climate of criticism of the child, or replicating with the next generation negative experiences one may have had in one’s own upbringing, are brought into discussions in a supportive, trusting, non-judgmental environment. Men have found the course particularly helpful and many have begun to see fatherhood as something much broader and richer than simply meting out punishments. And the course has had a positive impact on helping some people to understand and address their own violent behaviour. For others it is a matter of gaining knowledge and skills about managing their frustrations, disappointments and anger, making them better and happier parents.
Mary’s story is typical of those who undertake the Positive Parenting training: “I’m from Gela, and I have a husband and five children. With my first child I didn’t know how to look after her or breastfeed her or take care of her properly. I didn’t know about development of the child. The same with my second child, although I had developed a few more skills. Same with my other children.
“This workshop has been the first time I have really learnt about what it is to be a parent and about development of children. This workshop has taught me it is important to raise your children in the right way. I used to be a bad mother, I got angry easily and beat my children with my hand or sticks. I know realise that this was not just discipline but was hurting them mentally AND physically. It also harms them spiritually. They are not developing properly and would always react to me in a negative way.
“After the training, I changed my approach straight away because I felt guilty. I realised my failures as a parent. No more sticks, no more beating. I have already started applying this since Monday and the children are beginning to say ‘you’re being so nice’, ‘you’ve changed this week.’”
Fred trained as a facilitator in the Diocese of Central Solomons: He has a wife and six daughters, mostly now grown up, and learned about the training through the Mothers Union President. He notes that, “there are a lot of problems in this area because parents are illiterate in regards to parenting. The introduction of parenting workshop helps us to try and help families to bring up families in an acceptable way and in the spiritual norms and beliefs of the church.” Fred intends to first apply the training to himself and his own family, and “When I succeed with my family, I will help other families. I need to be a role model first before I can assist others.”
Your support of this project will help the local Mothers Union to train more facilitators like Fred, so that they will be able to make a real difference to children and families in the Solomon Islands.
SB012YC needs $17,101 in 2019 (tax-deductible)
Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.
Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.
A video about the Positive Parenting Program in Vanuatu.
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