Giving Parents the Keys to Success
Being a parent is a tough job. We all want what’s best for our children, but sometimes we don’t have the time, resources, or experience to be great parents. That’s why, since 2014, Martha’s Table has implemented a parent education curriculum from the Parenting Journey, a program that guides parents through their own childhoods, empowering them to learn from their experiences and become the caregivers they want to be.
Rashida, a recent Parenting Journey graduate and mother of two young Martha’s Table students, was surprised to
see herself often repeating the behavior of her own mother. “I started catching myself doing the same stuff my mom would: go to work, go home, go cook, and get [my children] ready for the next day, rather than going outside and hanging out with them,” she says. She explains that one of the most valuable lessons from the curriculum was learning how to budget her time. “I’ve built a schedule now. I actually get to hang out with my kids more than I used to,” says Rashida. Shelovestakingherdaughterstotheplayground,watchingthemplaywithotherchildrenwhilelearning independence and the kinds of life skills a child can only pick up on the jungle gym.
The Parenting Journey is now recognized as an essential component of the Healthy Start program, with all parents expected to participate. Martha’s Table’s Family Engagement and Education Coordinator Patrease Hawkins explains, “Weknowfromresearchthatstrongparent-childrelationshipsresultinbetteroutcomesforchildren. Notonlydoes the Parenting Journey provide a judgement-free outlet for parents to improve their own skills, but it also allows them to reinforce at home the lessons their children learn in our classrooms.” With all fifty incoming parents—the largest class ever at Martha’s Table—participating in the Parenting Journey during the 2016-2017 school year, your support is crucial to the program’s success.