Parenting support

The "Rolls-Royce" of parenting courses will be run from next Monday through Barnardos in Blenheim.

The highly successful course is aimed at parents of children between three and eight years old who are struggling with various parenting issues. The course, called The Incredible Years Parenting Programme is recognised internationally as an effective teaching tool that builds stronger, more functional families.

"We usually run two a year, but we are doing an extra one this year," said Barnardos service manager Mike Henderson. "The course is free and many of the parents are referrals from the Ministry of Education but anyone can contact us to refer parents."

A creche is even provided.

The course is run over 14 weeks, with the parents meeting once a week. This is followed up with a phone call to see how they are progressing.

Each session has a different theme based around strategies to help parents manage challenging behaviours. "It's very practical. We do role play with the parents so that they can learn through hands-on experience."

Mike explained that the 3 to 8-year-old age group is a critical age at which children develop a lot of behaviour traits. "Parents can drift into bad habits with unintended consequences without even realising it. We aim to educate them about positively reinforcing positive behaviour and how to deal with problems at home," added Mike.

The programme was developed in the United States and has had great success.

"Not every lesson each week is applicable to every parent - each person will take different things out of it, and some have returned for a second time and learned even more."

For information on The Incredible Years course contact Barnardos on 03 578 6491 or see

The Marlborough Express