Case Study: Parent Mentoring
Donna was a volunteer parent mentor to Mary.* The goal of the relationship was to give Mary an opportunity to talk about parenting issues, and develop an awareness of her needs and strengths as a parent. Yvonne had been trained by Le Chéile to facilitate the Parents Plus Parenting course, and could support Mary to complete all the modules in a safe and encouraging one-to-one environment.
“When we first met, Mary was struggling to cope with the many challenges life was throwing at her. We kept our weekly meetings simple – coffee and scones in the same place, in the same seats. She needed someone to talk to. I listened and supported, I admired her ability to get up and face each day despite the daily battles she faced on so many fronts.
Her intentions for her family were always good and honourable. Things started to improve and her determination to make a better life resulted in many positive developments including a new part-time job.
Her family had been supported for a long time by many external agencies, and her authority as a parent had previously been handed over to them at a time when she was unable to cope alone with the responsibility of being a mother. This left her apprehensive of the role. She was now faced with challenging behaviour from her teenage daughter and the situation highlighted her lack of confidence and perhaps understanding about her role as the parent.
Together we realised a different approach was needed. We moved to the local parish centre and worked together on an 8 week Parents Plus Adolescents Programme. Mary had never really considered the importance of Positive Parenting, that encouraging your teenager and getting to know them are all vital aspects of building and developing relationships with your children.
Our mentoring relationship ended, and I was sad to say goodbye to someone I admired and liked a lot, but I am proud of her for all she has achieved.”
*Names has been changed to protect identities