Local trained volunteers take part in existing parenting classes alongside parents. Once the formal class is over - usually after 8-10 weeks - the trained volunteer leads parents in informal discussions. The group leader will use material specifically designed for the NPO by Family Links, the emotional health charity, and Gary Lewis, headmaster of Kings Langley School, Hertfordshire. Groups will meet regularly - for as long as parents feel the need for support.
Surrey County Council will pilot the NPO in September in all its districts and boroughs. 400 parents in 40 parenting groups will take part in the pilot project.
The NPO is led by Cristina Odone and Juliet Neill-Hall, Children and Families Strategic Lead for Surrey County Council.
Does the NPO run parenting classes?
No, our work starts once existing parenting classes are over. A local volunteer helps the parents form an NPO support group which meets regularly to discuss a variety of parenting issues.
Is the NPO for disadvantaged parents?
The NPO is founded on the principle that all parents, no matter what their situation, need support in this essential role.
Is the NPO only for mothers and fathers?
Parenting is about what you do not who you are; the NPO welcomes anyone who parents.
How often does the NPO support network meet?
Typically, once a fortnight -- but this can vary depending on location.
Do I pay to be part of the NPO support network?
The NPO is being piloted in Surrey in September 2017, free of charge to all parents. In future, however, the scheme will be on a 'pay what you can' basis.
How long will the NPO network support parents?
For as long as they need. Groups can continue to meet for months -- or years.
It helps to admit your failures as a parent.
We assume that child-rearing classes are only for troubled families but everyone could benefit.
The Unmumsy Mum Diary. The Bad Mother's Diary. Hurrah for Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents. The titles tell a story of parental guilt and self-doubt that is common enough to have turned these books into bestsellers..
We all know what we want for our children: to be happy, confident, loving. But getting them there? Who can say whether it is best to adopt a firm disciplinarian approach or a caring-sharing, huggy-kissy one? Should we use naughty corners, or "time out", or a "ban on screens"? Is a parent who demands all A-stars better than a parent who wants to be a BF?