Parenting programs are coming to Central Saanich this month, courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria.
With programs running in places like the West Shore, Esquimalt and Oak Bay for years, the Boys and Girls Club is bringing them back to the Saanich Peninsula after a long hiatus. Three programs for parents of pre-teens and teens will be offered starting Jan. 24 at the Central Saanich Seniors Citizens Association facility.
Parenting Program Facilitator Miriam Miller says their work has been going on for a long time in this area of expertise, adding they have found that parent satisfaction with their existing program is very high.
“The first program originated (for the Boys and Girls Club) in B.C. in 1988, Parents Together,” Miller said. “They’ve been around for a long time.”
Around 15 years ago, she continued, the organization developed their pre-teen program and from that, a teen offering came about. They are each designed to help parents prepare their children — and themselves — for these stages of their life.
Focussing on issues of brain development, communication, self-care and empathy (to name only a few areas of emphasis), the programs are professionally-led and accessible to any parent, regardless of financial situation. Miller said people typically get involved in the programs through self-referral — that is, they are looking for strategies and peer support as they enter what can be unchartered territory. Yet, continued Miller, not everyone who signs up is a new parent.
“Some have come to us through adoptions,” she explained, “or others are on their second kids. They just feel they need to learn new ways of dealing, ways of talking to their teens and how they can gradually turn over more and more responsibilities to their children.
“It is a really scary position for parents to be in.”
While the program generally steers away from offering people specific advice on parenting, Miller said it’s common for participants to share personal stories and experiences. A mentor parent subset out of the programming has seen success as well, she continued, allowing parents a sort of peer support as they face some common issues as their children grow up.
Miller said the Club is bringing the programs to Central Saanich to help reach the demographic of younger families there.
They begin on Jan. 24 , starting at 9:30 a.m. and running to 11:30 a.m. at the Central Saanich Senior Citizens Association, 1225 Clarke Road.
For program details and to register, call 250-384-9133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.