We have come along way since the days when the kindergarten nativity was acted out to an empty room as no parent ever attended it. Since starting Parents School, a monthly meeting of parents with children in our projects, there has been a huge movement in attitude and sense of responsibility. Importantly parents now engage with their children, value their education and health, and aim to be better parents in the future.
PARENTS SCHOOL MAY – JULY 2017
Parents with teenagers
Even if only a part of the families enrolled in the project have teenagers, we wished to invite them all to talk about this topic. To talk about how to prepare the children for adolescence in order to put a solid foundation and to avoid an unstable state for the future teenager.
A few ideas that were presented at this meeting were:
– Adolescence is a phase in the life of a person between child and adult. Transaformations take place: physical, behavioral and at personality level.
– Adolescence is the age of questions, of looking for the meaning of life. Laking stability in the family lead to large instability in life during this period.
– In adolescence, the external appearance is very important (therefore the necesity to selfcare and physical care in family).
– The teenager begins to criticise his parents and doesn’t accept anymore the parents authority (a suggestion: Personal journal – it fullfills the need to reveal and reflect over what he thinks and wishes).
– His group of friends have a terrible influence over mind, heart and soul of the teenager. The main tendency of the teenager is to conform with the group. Solution: friends with high moral standards and positive values – in order for the teenager to evolve.
– We teach the children to recognize good friends (that respect them, do not constrain them to do inapropriate things, are honest with themself and others).
– Mental states alternation – now he is pessimistic, then sad, sometimes optimistic, courageous, creative, with ideals. This alternation of pessimism and optimism is under the positive or negative influence of the family, school, community. These persons and places can have a steady effect on his mental state. In order for him to listen to you, you must put yourself in his place, this is the only way you can speak to his heart.
– The sexual problems appear – growing, maturization of genital organs can lead to apparition of sexual impulse. From this age on until he/she will find the right person in order to start a family is a long period. How can the parents help:
– to redirect the thoughts in order to achieve a clear, well-defined target and take all the necessary effort to achieve it.
– physical exercises, work, gymnastic, sports – can diminish the thirst for sexual contact. Waking early and going to bed early, airy room when sleeping, small jobs for the teenagers or to do volunteering, extra-school activities, community activities, church activities. All of those will help him stay away from vices.
– Having random sexual contacts can lead to:
- Emotional suffering, mental instability.
- Unexpected pregnancies, abortion, depression, a marked life
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Teenagers with children. Children that are abandoned and/or improperly raised.
– Adolescence is the age of professional choice, of future plans.
– The parent must guide the teenager without constraining him about what professional path to choose. At this moment the child could take tests that will help him choose his profession that will help him see his qualities.
– If you as parent can’t help him, at least don’t discourage him with hard or harsh words like: “you will not make it, it’s too hard, you’re no good, you are useless”.
– The parent should offer to children presents that will wake up hidden talents and passions – tools, musical instruments, books about successful people or about professions and trades.
– Particular discussions with the teenager in order to discover what he likes to do in life, what are his passions.
– Finding a mentor/role model for the teenager.
– Restoring the climate of tenderness and understanding in family.
At the meeting were present 21 parents that took part in discussions, giving examples from their own family.
After about a week from the meeting, a mother told us that the Parents meeting made her think about the purpose of life, at the age of 30, and she believes that in life isn’t only to have a family and children, to raise them and give them food, she feels that the purpose of life transcend this world.
ADDICTION – ESCAPE OR TRAP – JUNE 2017
In order to prevent addictions among the children we’ve had a Parents meeting with the main topic ADDICTION – ESCAPE OR TRAP. The main target of the meeting was to raise the awareness of the dangers of maladaptive relationship with their children.
Maladaptive relationships within the family, unhappiness, suffering, sexual or physical abuse, depression can lead persons in the trap of drugs (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pornography, TV etc.). The drug is used in order for the user to forget about the real world and the psychological troubles. It is also used in order to enter a happy state, forgetting about his/her own life and reality. The problem is that the addiction doesn’t resolve the problems and the troubles of the real world, but it only makes us unconscious about them for a few moments, only to wake up later in the addiction dizziness and it’s effects, to realize that we are in a worst condition that before. At this moment the only reaction of the addict is to look for a higher dose of the drug/alcohol or others… As long as the children won’t be helped to emotionally develop, in order to be capable to fight and solve the troubles of the real life that they will face and be strong and to achieve beautiful things, they will look for surrogate of power and pleasure/joy.
At the meeting we’ve talked about the use and abuse of alcohol, drugs and pornography showing the Causes, Effects and Solutions or The Answer that the addict can get. I’ve used power-point presentation with info and images (thanks to the sponsors we have a video projector). The parents watched a short movie about Alcoholics Anonymous and another video about drug addiction.
Due to the fact that treating and mantaining abstinence is a long and hard process and the effects of addiciton are tragic sometimes, we whished for the families enrolled in our projects to be aware of the addiction and prevent it in their families.
In conclusion we’ve decided:
- Nothing should control me as a person, the troubles of life must be faced and resolved and I don’t need drugs, because they will not solve anything anyway, it will only make me go deeper in unsolved problems.
- Recognizing the internal problems and solving them is the way in life. The denial of the problems will make their solving impossible.
- Adequate behavior in front of the children is important: we shouldn’t be indifferent, neither too harsh, but directing them with love and wisdom.
- We’ve directed families toward rehabs and specialized persons, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Be aware at the child’s friends, be aware of what they watch.
- Fullfiling the emotional and spiritual needs of family members by seeding faith in The True God, the Only One that can fullfill the human being.
We’ve also discused with the parents about lice and fleas and the fact that they don’t take care of this aspect. As a result other children get lice and fleas and the fact that some parents got upset when their child comes home with fleas and the entire family gets them.
At this meeting were present 24 parents.
PREPARING THE CHILDREN FOR SCHOOL – July 2017
Tuesday, 25th July 2017, we’ve organized the Parents Meeting with the main topic: „Preparing the children for School”. The main reason for this topic was that in September 2017, a part of the children from our kindergarden will start school and we wish they will have a successful begining.
We’ve talked with the parents about how important punctuality is, in order not to disturb the class and the teacher; the importance of clean and well-kept clothes, even if they aren’t fancy; about the fact and the need to change clothes once the child arrives home, in order to keep the school uniforms clean, due to the fact that they don’t have many good clothes and in this way they will avoid missing from school without reason; the importance of quality sleep in order to be able to focus at school; about spending time with the child, asking him about what he learned at school, how he feels at school, what problems does he face, but also about the importance of always encouringing him to face the challenges that comes toward him, this is the only way to have strong children.
We’ve talked about child’s anxiety at the begining of school and ways to help him adapt to the new enviorment and the new schedule.
In the second part of the meeting, the parents watched a slideshow (using our video projector) with their own children at the kindergarden’s activities. The parents were deligheted and happy to see their wonderful children and asked us to print the photos in order for them to have pictures with the children.
Because we need feedback from the parents (in order to improve Parents School), we’ve asked them to write on a piece of paper what they’ve liked in this school or what they like in our projects (kindergarden and afterschool club), what they remember from the meetings, what they dislike and other suggestions. A few of the answers:
„We are very happy with the entire team of the kindergarden” G.E.
„…thankful for all the efforts that are done for my little children, for all the care and energy that is spent with them… I have nothing to complain about.” S.P.
„We thank you and we love you from all our heart that you take care of our children and their education.” B.M.P.
In closing we’ve gave the 24 parents a participation diploma and packages with hygiene products (soap, shampoo, gel shower, toothpaste and toothbrushes, band-aids, nails kits and clothes for kids).