TFFT’s Psychosocial & Health Program introduced parent trainings to emphasize the importance of guardians’ involvement in their child’s life both at home and in school. So far, the workshops have progressed well; we have already trained four groups of parents and guardians of our scholars. This training helps to explore areas that can be easily overlooked.
A basic tool that guided us through these trainings is the “wheel of life” model from the wellness wheel (pictured below) that expresses the basic needs of a child. Through it, we were able to note needs that have been neglected while caring for a child, and those that have been over-prioritized due to misconceptions that in reality do not yield as much when worked on alone.
From the training, we realized that most parents place a smaller emphasis on the emotional needs of a child. These needs are either completely ignored or seen as taboo because when talked about, it is culturally believed that this can portray a sense of weakness. The concept illustrated by elements of need on the wellness wheel provokes consideration of meaningful interaction with children in issues affecting them, listening and responding to children’s problems, allowing children to express their feelings and needs, and encouraging them to set goals and reach their potential.
Apart from the wellness wheel, we shared with parents the importance of regular discussions with their children on a one-on-one basis. To be friendly enough for the children to open up, but also firm enough to gain the respect they deserve from their children. This will give parents an opportunity to actively be involved in every step of their children’s growth in academics and also in their social lives.
Another interesting part of the training was goal setting and monitoring for positive behavior change. To change a behavior is a process that does not come easily. Therefore, using a couple of examples of behaviors parents wanted to change in their children, we went through four steps for effective change and finally rounded up with the short and long term rewards for achieving a targeted behavior. We look forward to continuing these parent workshops and hearing about the results that the parents see!