I really do feel this course has enabled our home to be a lot calmer and much nicer to be a part of. I am so much more aware of what’s really going on for my youngest child, (emotionally not as developed as our eldest, struggling to be heard, trying desperately to keep up etc etc) and it’s predominantly descriptive praise, but also the other skills we’ve covered that has bought closeness and calm to my relationship with him.
Rebecca after her 10 week course
I can honestly and wholeheartedly recommend The Parent Practice - it has provided us with great stimulation and focus on what we are doing well as parents and has supplemented great intentions with better skills and consistency.
I see a positive impact on each member of my family and the discourse between us as a couple has been so much better informed as a result.
A surprising by-product is the great impact on the friendships that surround us - its provided our group of friends with a structured and positive environment in which to share challenges and support each other through this very unique and amazing journey of raising children! - The most levelling and humbling job ever!
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain from my perspective - and the time invested is not even a % of the time that I have invested on L&D for previous career/roles!
Sarah, on completion of a ten week course arrange by her for a group of friends
It's exciting actually to see how my behaviour is the key to his behaviour!
Melanie, mother of one boy
I had the benefit of attending last Fridays session in Wimbledon with Victoria, I went in with high expectations but honestly I was utterly amazed, I want life membership
Claire, mum of 2 after a taster class in Wimbledon
Practical skills, quick to implement with immediate results. A sensitively delivered, well thought out, common sense approach, to help manage emotions and get the best out of our kids. One of the best investments of time and money we have made this year. Whole-heartedly recommended.
Liz, after attending our one day course.
I just wanted to let you know that I have seen some AMAZING results from using descriptive praise over the weekend, especially in my older son (5). He has been like a different child. Not as withdrawn and grumpy. We have seen a lovely kind side to him. He has been talking more, telling us all about school and even said hello to a stranger and said sorry after breaking a pot in the garden. These might seem like small things but to us a huge deal. I am really excited to learn more on the course and long may these positive changes continue!
Lara, mother of 2
Thanks so much for all the classes so far - I have really felt so much more in control of myself and really able to make a calmer and more effective response ! You really do make a huge difference to families with your classes!
Sophie, mum of two
I have told everyone I know about the principles of positive parenting. I shared my success with a complete stranger on a flight back to the UK from SA and he was so excited to try them at home!
Laura, Mother of three children
Both of my older girls (as well as my baby, I'm sure!) have improved self-esteem as a result of the course. Descriptive Praise is like a magic bullet for both of them, and I can see their self-belief and pride in their behaviour increase. Emotion Coaching has also been invaluable and really connecting with the kids' hearts and where they are emotionally in a situation has helped so much.
Ali, mother of 3 following a 10 week course
The course made me feel I could be a better parent without making me feel like a bad parent.
Harriet, mother of 2 children
It was such a pleasure to have you as our teacher in this life changing parenting course: your hands-on knowledge and effective delivery has driven the core messages home for me! This course has helped me to become a more mindful parent who strives for connection with my child, and to make our home a calmer and happier place.
Su, mother of one daughter
I wanted to thank you for inspiring me. The world can be a judgmental place but you still gave us the full truth of how difficult it can be to be a parent at times and this opened me up to tell you my story and not to feel ashamed that sometimes I act like a crazy scary person rather than a loving mum I truly am in my heart. Your course has given me knowledge and skills but above all hope that I can change and adapt to a new way of parenting. I wanted to be the authority but also the fun mum. I wanted both but didn’t think this was possible until I did your positive parenting course.
Anita, mother of two children 3 & 6
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the past 10 weeks. It’s been a real pleasure going to your lovely family home, meeting you, and other parents AND learning something about how to improve my own family home-life.
You [Victoria] are an excellent facilitator. The balance between letting us rant and share our very personal experiences as well as making each subject interesting and informative can be difficult to achieve, but I feel you got that balance right.
Jane, Attendee at our Wimbledon Class
Jessica, did you know Mummy and Daddy have their Parent Practice course tonight? It's fantastic. They're learning how to speak calmly to us, because if you get cross, your children get cross too and that doesn't help anyone. But I could have told them that a long time ago. Jemima aged 6 talking to her sister
It's like a light switch going on. Instead of wondering which tack to take when it comes to parenting, because we're often so overwhelmed with advice, Sam and I both now know the kind of parents we are going to be, and we know that it's going to give our children the best start in life. That's a good feeling, and takes a lot of pressure off parenting. What more could you ask than that. Charlotte, Mother
Sam & Charlotte, parents to Jessica and Jemima
I can’t believe you do this free taster, it’s brilliant, I don’t know anyone else who does this and it makes such a difference to deciding to do the course.
Emma, Mother of 2 after coming to a taster session on our 10 week course.
I wanted to let you know that I had my parent/teacher review yesterday. The teacher commented that our son has improved in every area from his last review. In particular his listening had improved, his concentration and his ability to share with others. She said that all his other teachers had commented on this and that, although he has always been a happy boy, he seemed more relaxed and happy than last term.
I explained about the course and the teacher beamed. She said she knows about The Parent Practice and is such a fan and that she now understands the cause of the transformation. She said parents who do your course make her life much easier!!
Thank you so much Sue for being an excellent teacher, you are incredibly patient, non-judgemental and always seemed to have an answer to everything.
The skills you taught me have really have transformed my relationship with my son. The The Parent Practice course is hugely important, I am encouraging ALL my friends and family to do it.
Alison, mother of 2 children
The Parent Practice Course I have just completed has been the most radical, helpful thing I think I have done and I also enjoyed the classes hugely. They are helping all of our family in baby steps with tumbles. I used to be a barrister in Family work, particularly care work where one sees it all going horribly wrong with other people’s children. So fascinating to turn it round and think about how it can be done not just well enough but better and better and with my own children.
Samantha, mother of two children
I’d like to say how much Darren and I really enjoyed the Parenting in a Nutshell (one day) course you ran last Thursday in Clapham. You provided such a relaxing and stimulating environment and I found it so useful. I came away fired up, with lots of practical ideas – and a better understanding of our 6-year-old. I just wanted to give her a big hug when she got home!
Katy and Darren parents of a daughter, 6, following the 1 day course
Thank you for Jenny you are a born facilitator! Your enthusiasm and genuine belief in what you are teaching
has given me the confidence to believe that the methods are worth persevering with and that they do or will
work over time if not in the immediate situation. I particularly thought you were able to answer everyones
questions and worries in an informed and non-judgemental way. Thanks again I will be doing more of the
Parent Practice courses in the future to refresh my memory and learn more about my children as they grow up
Miranda, mother of three children
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know how useful and interesting I am finding the course. Every week, I pick up something new and as a result, my relationship with Sam in particular, has vastly improved. By emotional coaching my “orchid” I am seeing a completely different side to him and he is opening up to me so much. So thank you. I didn’t want to make a big deal in class but I did want to let you know.
Kate, mother of 2
Thank you again for delivering a great first session yesterday. It not an easy task to deliver a course at the end of a long day to a varied and tired audience! I was really impressed that you not only held my attention for the duration of the presentation - you actually managed to engross me completely. The points you covered really struck a chord, the material was spot on. Your delivery was very effective; professional yet approachable, confident yet kind.
I am really excited to be doing this course and to improving my communication and relationship with my family.
Mother of two toddlers hosting an evening course
Working clinically as a psychologist with adults, I was very aware of the importance of a secure childhood, and like a lot of mums I had a number of 'how-to-parent-your-toddler' books on my bookshelf once I had my own child. There is lots of support and advice for parents leading up to the birth (eg NCT etc), and the early weeks/months, but I was surprised how the task of nurturing a child into a healthy adulthood wasn't seen to need much input.
When I attended a taster session run by The Parenting Practice at my then 2 -year old's nursery, I was really impressed with the content and delivery and decided to do the whole course. I'm very glad I did, it was exactly what I needed with a toddler who, (naturally),was beginning to push the boundaries and express her will through mutiny and tantrums!
The 10-week Parenting Practice course I did was really first class - so informative and practically useful, and delivered in a very clear, non-judgemental and thoroughly engaging way. I also really liked the structure of weekly sessions, which meant you had a week to try out the ideas from the sessions, and it was nice to be able to share struggles and triumphs with other mums in the same position. We got a big binder packed with information too and loads of references, suggestions for reading, websites,relevant quotes and stories throughout the course.
Several mums at my daughter's nursery did this course and have talked about how it has revolutionised the way they parent and improved their relationship with their child(ren) and we too feel the benefits with our child. This is an excellent course, I totally recommend it to anyone interested in moving away from automatic response patterns and exploring more deeply the journey of parenting.
Ani Zavody, Mother and Chartered Counselling Psychologist
Hi Elaine,I've had input from various professionals, namely health visitors and children's centre staff and family support workers but that input hasn't always been consistent and at times it's been conflicting advice! I have found your classes beneficial both as a refresher course and add on to build upon existing skills and ideas. Your personalised approach and anecdotal evidence and in particular your personal experience, empathy and insight together with your professional expertise have made this course truly valuable and you are an inspirational facilitator. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you said that I was struggling with the perils of perfectionism and meeting yourself and the rest of the group has been helpful in more ways than one.
Nadia, mother of 2 boys
Hi Elaine, Just a quick but massive thank you - since I started the course and followed/put in practice all your/Victoria [Markou]'s (who by the way is great) advices my relationship my oldest son has improved noticeably and the whole family life has turned a sharp corner. I now look at our son like an "orchid child" and I can really see all his beauty; I will never, really, thank you enough and I am highly recommending your course to all my friends. Thank you!
Laura, Mum to 2 boys
Dear parent practice,
This letter is way overdue. I would like to thank you for many things. Thank you for saving my sanity, thank you for making me a better parent, thank you for saving my marriage, thank you for your insights and wisdom and thank you for your non judgemental approach to helping struggling patents. My 3rd child had all the benefits of a parent practice educated parent from birth and I can honestly say that it has been a wonderful six years. I have felt empowered and supported all the way. We do of course have our moments, who doesn't, but at least I can now steer us all back on course.
Keep up the good work.
Niki, mother to three children
“Thank you Jenny. The classes are such a great guidance to raising your child. It is intelligent and so positive in its approach. I already feel much better equipped and calmer when dealing with challenging situations at home. Thank you!”
Barbara, mother of one child
“I wanted to give you a quick update on how I am getting on. The techniques are working !! I am on the moon on the achievements we are making. The most successful is the PASTA JAR!!! Oh my gosh the rewards that both S- and N- have written are unbelievably funny - sleeping in a tent in the patio, staying AWAKE all night, extra special 10 minutes of cuddles with mummy, be the BOSS for a day at home and wear the I’M THE BOSS badge, having ONLY ice cream for dinner! They have already earned their first reward which was sleeping in my bed one night over the week end. I did not get ANY sleep but they were sooo happy.
I am so much more confident that I can do a lot more….and I can see instantly the results….I am sure I will have a very very pleasant summer with the children. Very much looking forward to spending the summer with them.”
Simona, Mother of two children
“Victoria, we've had quite an amazing weekend. Grace and I went shopping for Golden Books after school on Friday. The girls decided to call them “Cool Books” and we decorated the books with stickers and immediately started writing things down. Whilst I was writing one thing down, Grace finished her yoghurt, got up from the table, put the pot in the bin and the spoon in the dishwasher (she notoriously pushes back against helping around the house) and said “'you can write that down mum”. Edie has responded astoundingly well to a weekend of descriptive praise, she's been noticeably politer (one of her issues) and has proactively helped (she even brought me breakfast in bed on Sunday unprompted - not something I've been aiming for, but a very welcome surprise). Edie has spontaneously hugged me quite a few times this weekend too (normally 'less-shouty' Daddy is the favoured parent) and it's been empowering and given me the drive to continue.
So if this is what happens after just one lesson, then yes, you have me hooked and I am committed to completing the course.”
Tiffany, mother of two girls
“Juliet, I thought you might be interested to know that I had such a homework breakthrough this afternoon. I decided to give him choices. Firstly, when we got home I offered him the choice of going to the park and doing homework after tea, or homework first and tv after tea. He chose park (which I was kind of hoping he would as it was a lovely afternoon, but also slightly dreading as the tireder he is, the more problematic the homework usually is). Then when it came to homework time, I asked him if he was happy to do it at the kitchen table (the usual place) or if he would prefer somewhere else. He said he would like to kneel at the coffee table in the drawing room.
I was pretty dubious but I could see he was so delighted with his choice as he immediately, without prompting, rushed off to go and get his homework folder and came back carrying the folder and pencils and rubber etc (usually really a struggle to get all the equipment assembled). Masses of descriptive praise for that and he knelt at the table and did all his homework in one sitting (about 40 mins) and was hardly jiggling around or chatting about other things at all. I just sat next to him with a running commentary on how well he was sitting still/concentrating/holding his pencil/reading the question etc. I don't think it was the change of position per se that made the difference but the fact that he had been allowed to make choices as he said a couple of times how happy he was that he had been allowed to choose where and when to do it and the fact that I was constantly praising him instead of nagging him. Anyway, I am still rather surprised at how such straightforward changes on my part made such a huge difference to him and wanted to share.“
Lucy, mother of one boy
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the parenting skills you taught me at the end of last year. The classes were excellent and I learnt so much. Although I can't yet claim to always be the happy calm mum I aspire to be I am definitely that person so much more than I used to be. I no longer shout/threaten/moan as much as I did and family life is so much happier and calmer than it was. Friends have even commented on how calm I am with my children and I attribute this all to my classes with you and The Parent Practice. So thank you!
Cathy, mother of three
"I learned how to bring out the best in my boys and how to be an effective parent. It truly transformed our family life in a way I could have never imagined. My 9 year old has just read this over my shoulder and said, "You don't shout at us anymore like you used to, but I suppose we're not being naughty like we used to be either! Exactly. Thank you Parent Practice!"
Kelly, mother of two
Just a quick note – Elaine - this week Tommy was star of the week at school. The head mistress gave him a certificate and badge. He was awarded it for being "kind and considerate", and for "making a good effort". We were so touched and so happy that he's beginning to embody the values we really cherish - being kind to others. It felt like a real turn around and special moment for us. Thanks again for the course and the changes we can see and feel.
Jenny, mother of one boy
"I knew very quickly this was going to be right for me".
Kathy, Mother of 3 children half-way into a taster class for the 10 week course
"I just wanted to say thank you for the few classes that I have had with you and for allowing my husband to attend the siblings session. It had been quite a battle trying to relay information I have been exposed to each week and getting him to buy into it and his attendance at that session has really made a difference. He is now quite committed to trying out some new ways of doing things and somehow seems to ‘get’ more what I'm trying to do differently. Thank you."
Miki, mother of two boys
"If I'd thought about it all before having children I would have said that all you need to do to be a good parent was to love your kids... and I could do that. Well I could, but I needed so much more than that. What I learnt was how to have rules without being over controlling, how to encourage so much more effectively, how to recognise the causes of poor behaviour and respond to it so much more constructively. I did love my kids but there had been moments when I have to admit I didn't really like one or other of them. This course gave me the ability to show my love more profoundly."
Annie, mother of three children
"My husband and I highly recommend the 10 week parenting course. The information and skills learnt were both practical and useful and the changes we made to our own behaviour remain with us to this day. Money and time well spent - 20 hours is a small price to pay for a lifetime of positive parenting, bringing out the best in your children."
Christine and Steve, parents of two childen
Your parenting tips still steer our family ship. I don't always remember to respond the way I'd like on reflection but it's like finding a £10 note at the bottom of your handbag...sometimes finding just the right words to smooth through family life. When my children were quite small I had a Parent Practice top 10 tips printed out on the inside of our pantry cupboard. I could then whip out some skills with the cereal and be sure of a good day. I was always amazed by the results! Happy calm children. Bliss!"
Pippa, mother of two childen
"I just wanted to thank you for these first two sessions which are transforming our lives already. It’s powerful stuff and so positive and empathetic. I love it! And we are getting results."
Katy and Mick, parents of one boy
I have loved the course and hope to take so much information from the parent practice in various forms during the next term/ year and such. I really wish I could tell all of my friends all that you teach as I think so many people would benefit."
Helen, mother of one girl
"I can't believe how fast the course has gone! I've really enjoyed it and feel like the strategies are helping our family and the children enormously. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about a parenting class but it's been great!
Shelley, Mother of two children
I really wanted to say how grateful I am for your help. I can’t believe that Emma is the same person after just one week. The change has been phenomenal.
Sabrina, after her first Private Consultation
Thank you such a productive and wonderful session. Game changer! And super helpful and empowering to have follow up notes.
Anna, mother of a little boy
Thanks so much for everything! I am going to miss you - we have got so much out of each and every session. Home life is happy and I feel so much more confident at being a parent. The best thing is how happy Katie is. She is being braver in all areas of her life and I am so so glad we found you when we did. Thanks again for a life changing experience. Best thing we could have done for our family.
Julia and Andrew, parents of two daughters, on completion of their series of one to one consultations
Elaine, I can't thank you enough for all your support. In hindsight, the ADHD diagnosis should have been obvious to all. Sadly, I think there are a lot of parents, like us, that just keep coping as best they can at such a high cost to their families. We parents, blame ourselves so much. It's so easy to get trapped in a dysfunctional cycle of self blame and the horror of seeing your offspring not develop into the perfect being that we all imagined they would be. I've become so proud of who we are as people. My son can't sit down to eat his dinner for more than 3 bites at a time, he's annoying, frustrating, destructive, creative. It's like having a troupe of circus monkeys in my house most of the time. But we DO sit down for meals, we do go out to restaurants and we enjoy it for what it is. Lovely family time. Messy, chaotic but lovely with lots of wonderful surprises along the way. As a parent, I know I still have heaps to learn. The Parent Practice has changed our lives though. So a big Thankyou for being part of our lives
Jessica, mother of 2 children
Today I worked really hard on the descriptive praise and no, it doesn't come easily and I had to really think about my words before letting them out of my mouth, but it was so worth it to arrive at the end of the day with a happy and cooperative daughter. I feel a bit stupid for not having acted sooner [in learning some parenting skills]. You have motivated and inspired us and we both feel positive and more knowledgeable about our continuing adventures in the land of parenthood!
Hilary and David – parents to 2 girls
Thank you so much! Your work with both of us makes an incredible difference to our family and it has helped me so much.
Am really grateful.
Sarah and Alistair, parents of 2 girls
I certainly found the courses I attended as a single Mum of 3 boys (including a set of twins) plus individual sessions with Melissa Hood of huge value to me.
Jenny, mother of 3 boys who attended our courses and also private sessions
We were referred to Elaine in late 2014, having gone through two extremely turbulent years with our son. His behaviour changed when we moved out of London when he was six. His anxiety levels went through the roof with the change of house, area and school and this anxiety manifested itself in extreme behaviour that we were simply unequipped to cope with.
Prior to meeting Elaine, we had consulted numerous experts including two Harley Street psychiatrists and various counsellors and family therapists.
It slowly dawned on my husband and I that for the most important role of lives (e.g. - being parents) we’d never had any training whatsoever. We’d stumbled along doing our best, and getting lots of it wrong - and then we hit a big bump in the road and we were simply not equipped to deal with it.
We’re both professionals, and had both been coached through exams, undergone various specialist training programmes in the workplace and were used to seeking specialist advice whenever we needed it - but we’d never thought of having any coaching in parenting skills - mistakenly believing it was just instinctive. How wrong we were!
In an nutshell, Elaine has changed our world. We used to live in a war zone and we can now enjoy our family life again and make much-needed time for our marriage. We not only have the skills to cope with challenging behaviour if it arises, but we have so much less of it to deal with due to the tools she has given us to build our son’s self esteem and deal with potential hot spots before a molehill becomes a mountain.
Elaine is incredibly experienced, professional and very intuitive. She grasped our situation from the word go and therefore her bespoke advice has always been absolutely spot on.
Even though we are through this particular two year storm - we will continue to consult Elaine as our children grow and go through the various stages of their development. There is no doubt that with the right coaching, parenting is a much more rewarding experience for both us and our children.
We are incredible grateful to both Elaine and the friend that put us in contact with her.
Mother of one boy
I have now completed the course and would like to thank you and penny for all the invaluable tools you have taught me in my quest to becoming an 'excellent dad!'.
Penny was exceptional to say the least. I was made to feel comfortable at all times and this allowed me to express my weaknesses as well as the great progress i was making under her guidance. It has been an exceptional experience and a wonderful eye opener and i am proud to say that the material studied will equip me for all of life's challenges whatever i may be doing, whether it be work, home life or general socializing. I feel extremely confident as i had begun to put what i was taught into practice from day dot and it came to fruition sooner than expected!. My children responded almost immediately to the calm principals i was slowly putting into place which gave me the opportunity to introduce the emotional coaching and learning aspect of the parenting material.
Penny sent me very useful emails on a weekly basis summing up what was discussed in the lessons which i found very encouraging. Her ability to listen, guide and show true compassion was second to none. She was extremely sympathetic to my current situation for as you are aware my children are in foster care. I really felt that penny was brilliant in teaching me how to best use my parenting skills during my time at contact with the children and when they return home (hopefully).
I have a clear perspective of where i'm at and the road ahead seems clear and positive. IT WAS JUST THE TONIC I NEEDED!
I will be looking to further my learning with penny in the coming weeks and will be in touch soon to let you know when that will be exactly.
A big thank you again to The Parent Practice! You should all feel very proud of what you are doing there....
Father of 2 children who did a series of private consultations
"Thank you so much for meeting with us. It was incredibly helpful and instructive - even Edward (who was not convinced before our meeting), came away extremely positive”
Two City Lawyers, parents of 2 children, 9 and 4
"Thank you so much for the other night. I can’t tell you what a difference you are making to our family life!
Thanks to your suggestion Sam is now happily doing his Kumon every morning at home - and loving his 10 mins on my iPhone on the school run as an immediate reward.
Your advice re Pocket Money makes so much sense and we ‘set him up for success’ last night giving him plenty of warning that I was going out and leaving him with Dad. A major step forward. Thank you Elaine!!!
Parents of a 8yr old boy and 6 yr old girl
Has been my absolute pleasure to meet you Elaine. I have been astounded by your accurate assessment of my wonderful teenage son, despite not actually having met him. Your ability to spend 4 and a half hours with me and not voice any judgement of my character, let alone my parenting, is a total mystery to me. Astounding but under the circumstances, thank you very much. I appreciate the time to discuss something that is so very important to me, without coming away feeling judged and full of self hatred. For that alone, I think you are amazing and unusual and very smart.
Lucinda, mother to three children
I personally recommend The Parent Practice. Their approach is firstly to help parents recognize and understand the temperament of their child – this sounds obvious but my husband and I had overlooked our teen son’s intensity and sensitivity, believing him to be similar to our easy-going daughter. Once established, they provide parents with a no-nonsense set of tools that will be effective for that particular temperament. The focus is not therefore on the child’s difficulties and awkwardness, but rather on the parents knowing how to handle them. The child is not left thinking that they are the problem, which can become the case with therapy. The Parent Practice has taught us the correct language with which to communicate, respond, reset the boundaries, re -establish the consequences, praise him correctly and acknowledge his emotions, successes and failures in a positive way.”
Parents of a 14 year old boy
I have found working with Holli Rubin (a counsellor/psychotherapist recommended by The Parent Practice) and The Parent Practice simultaneously to be immeasurably helpful. The difficulties we were having with our son in particular were front-of-mind and immediate, which was why we approached Parent Practice in the first place. However they could see that one of the consequences of those difficulties was the excoriating guilt which we, in particular I, felt for not being able to cope and the damage it was doing to my confidence and self-esteem. Holli has helped me to examine those feelings, unpack them, see where they are coming from, and diffuse them, or at least limit their effect by simply being more self-aware. This has put me in a much stronger position to be able to apply the brilliantly practical strategies and tactics which the Parent Practice are teaching us. They aren't a magic wand; the children have not turned into angels overnight, but the improvements have been enormous - most particularly in my own ability to cope when tricky behaviour pops up, which, let's face it, it always will
Stephanie, mother of 2
“I cannot tell you how much the rest of our day has differed from others of late. I employed your techniques all day (almost comically over the top perhaps) but the result has been magic. James and I have had a super and truly happy time. His confidence and self esteem have soared - he was chatting away in our kitchen to a visiting workman (and total stranger to him) as if they were old friends this afternoon. He has been full of joy and playfulness and has shown so much demonstrable love and tolerance towards William. He let me wash his hair with almost no fuss. At supper he insisted I had the last bite of a piece of chocolate he had "because it is so yummy” and at bedtime he suddenly said out of nowhere "Mummy, you need a sticker for being so happy today”. I am quite bowled over.
I am clearer than ever now that his and William's happiness is in my hands. I am going to seriously look at childcare on Wednesday mornings so i can enrol on the course.
Alex, Mum of two boys
"Thank you so much for our first parenting session last night. Based on the examples we shared you provided a very clear and accurate account of Kate's character. This has really helped us to frame the way we interact with her. We were also very impressed with the range of practical tools you described to us and the materials you shared - these will give us methods, as well as increased confidence, with which to go forward. In fact last night through using a calmer more positive focused approach we enjoyed a slightly calmer bedtime routine and Kate really enjoyed practising her reading and showed more confidence in her ability. Both children slept better than usual last night and neither came up to our room through the night which has been unheard of of late!
So we have made a start and we will try our best to stick to the guidelines you have set for now - lots of DP combined with the Golden Book and pasta jar, an overall attitude that looks for what's good before seeing what's wrong, no more 'ifs' and a watching out for the manhole".
Caroline and John, parents of 2 children
Elaine, we would like to return the huge thank you for sharing with us your knowledge and experience. We feel truly blessed to have "found you" and only wish that we had done so years ago!
Andy and Nicola Maynard, Parents to 2 girls
" A big thank you for your wonderful guidance this year with our boys. Your insights and advice have been a complete revelation to us and family life. We are highly grateful for your time and patience with us (I am sure it must have seemed liked couples counselling at times!!)."
Melissa and Edward, parents of two young boys
"Elaine, thank you so much for coming all the way to Chelsea to see Mark and I today. I am ecstatic that it was such a huge success. Mark really enjoyed it as did I and I certainly learned a huge amount. Look forward to our next session and am going to book mum and myself on weekly Chelsea course as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You handled us both quite brilliantly!"
Katie and Mark, parents of three children under 6
“Melissa, we both came out of that session feeling that you had helped us make progress on a path that we have been stumbling on for some time. You created a safe harbour for us to just sit down, slow down and talk. What we both realise is that formally sitting down and talking using Parent Practice language and therefore pp mindset is exactly what we need. The ideas are there but you have to give them a forum to develop. We need to refresh our thinking and our ideas constantly and what was nice is that it all feels within the realms of the possible! Thanks for your listening and for these very concrete ideas… and especially thanks on behalf of [our 3 girls]! This morning was a fairy tale morning - they all got dressed, ate and prepared for school like angels”.
Una, mother of four children
“Elaine, I can't tell you how much those two sessions have helped me. If nothing else to boost my confidence a bit and make things clear and see not only where we are heading but how to go forwards in a positive way. When one is caught up in the situation it is not always possible to see things clearly, let alone find solutions.”
Isabelle, mother of two based in Switzerland
"Thanks Elaine. Monday was great. Chris and I attempted to give lots of descriptive praise to the children yesterday. Chris said the change in Mark's behaviour was incredible and at least 20 pasta pieces went in the jar. I found it a bit harder to change the way I am with them; but I am determined to do this. I read through the notes last night and I 100% believe in this. Today is a new day!"
Helen, mother of two boys
"Your advice to us has been enormously helpful. Daniel's gap year has gone better than we could ever have dreamed possible (he is currently in Miami) and he has matured beyond recognition. The best bits of advice were: descriptive praise; and learn to play Magic: The Gathering (Pokemon for grown-ups) together."
Anne, mother of a teenager
"Thank you for the session. It gave us a lot of food for thought. We have been travelling with the kids since Wednesday afternoon and had both plenty of opportunities to try our new skills. Our son was brilliant in the 1,200 miles we travelled. It has made a big difference already, although I think that we are still struggling a little when we are all tired and our son goes into overdrive with excitement. However, I find trying to see the good in the bad the skill that is most effective yet challenging for me to apply. Nevertheless, things are much more smooth in our family already".
Derek and Sabine, parents of 2 children
"Thanks for the private session yesterday, it's what we needed. Today we had a very tiring day with both kids sick at home but the perfect opportunity to start as we mean to go on. Jamie and I both woke up and immediately tried out descriptive praise, it's quite unnatural just now, sometimes we got it so wrong we made each other giggle, I think we got better as the day progressed. I say this as, despite the illness, both children behaved amazingly well (as we always knew they are capable of). It's incredible what impact we have on our children, almost scary! With the kids now in bed, I am totally worn out, more mentally than physically, but I feel so much happier. I was calm and in control allday, I feel proud of this, it's been a while I felt I behaved with my children in a way I could feel proud of. The immediacy of the change in us and them is unbelievable, I had the most lovely of days with Roman.
Jamie and I each had so much to write about each of our children that was positive, we could have written for hours, it's so beautiful to see them for how wonderful their truly are again- I was lost and frightened about not being able to easily think of positives - about Roman especially. We received so much love expressed verbally and physically with hugs and kisses from both of our kids today throughout the day. It is incredibly humbling. Tonight ended with the Golden Books reading after story time and after listening for a while Roman said 'I am glad that you are my mummy and that you are my daddy' - no money can pay for this feedback after 24hrs of trying to get to grips with the 'Parent Practice ways'! And Alessi said '...and when I do something and I make you happy then I want to do it again the same way' - just unbelievable!
Thank you so much Elaine, words cannot explain how I am feeling but I know you know."
Carla and Jamie, parents of a four year old girl and a two year old boy
“I wanted to thank you for the call, it really did inspire me and gave me the boost I needed as I was pretty much running on empty by the time we spoke and I needed reinvigorating, to say the least! Things are generally much improved, the praise and rules seem to be going well and my daughter's anger has passed which is a major relief. Things feel more peaceful and less anxious as it has opened my eyes to understanding her personality more than I had ever taken the time to do beforehand, which I think will stand me in good stead to help her in the future."
Sally, mother of two children
"We had the most amazingly positive interactions with Alexander both last night and this morning. We've got a long way to go but feeling optimistic which is great. We both feel so much lighter and more hopeful. I can't thank you enough."
Sarah and James, parents of a boy of fourteen and a girl of 12
"A heartfelt thanks for your calm and effective advice you gave me on the phone the other week when I was struggling with an unhappy Darcey and the changes in her new life! Thank you - we have a golden book in place and I'm making more time for her - it's working! Reconnecting with the (course manual is my new golden rule for myself!"
Catherine, mother of one daughter
“I moved abroad almost 2 years ago. The experience of moving is unsettling for a family - new language, new culture, new climate and a very different daily routine to my London existence. So initially I was not too worried about my elder son's testing behaviour. It was a lot of all of us to adapt to. But a year on, his behaviour had deteriorated further and at some point I became deeply frustrated and even ashamed of him. Aged 3.5 I seemed to be constantly doing battle - hardly a day went by when we didn't have at least one 'showdown'. My reaction was to become more and more aggressive - I think I was trying to intimidate him into submission. Good behaviour was an impossibility, just trying to stamp out the aggression, the tantrums was all I could focus on. After a long period of wondering what was wrong with my child, it finally dawned on me - it wasn't him, it was me. I was basically bullying him, and he was coping the only way he could.
The next challenge was what I could do - I read a few books, but none were targeted enough at me and my child. And then I remembered The Parent Practice. I enquired about whether they could somehow help me, and we set up a series of Skype sessions. I was overwhelmed after my first session, so ashamed of what I had done, so worried that I wouldn't be patient or persistent or strong enough to persevere. It was my son whoshowed me that I needed to keep going. His behaviour changed almost overnight. I felt I understood him better and more importantly, I was back in control, and I had 'tools' and support, and a whole new way of coping. It was the most wonderful feeling. Over time and with ongoing coaching and encouragement from Elaine, I have totally changed my way of parenting, and my son has blossomed into the most wonderful little boy. He is sensitive, kind, thoughtful and spirited - and I am so so proud to be his mummy! Family life is fun now, and I know that I am helping him to become a confident, happy, caring little boy who believes in himself, and trusts in his world."
Sarah, a UK parent living abroad, mother of one son and one daughter
I am about to start module 3 of the online course.....I cannot tell you how inspired I am by the first two modules. I absolutely love the concepts of Descriptive Praise and Emotion Coaching and have been actively putting both into practice with great results. My two girls (aged 6 and 7) are generally very well balanced, positive and happy; the techniques you recommend are helping to me to ensure that I stay on the right track and lay the best foundations I can, together with my husband, for the future tween and teen years.
Helen, Qatar, mother of 2 girls
The first module on Descriptive Praise is very informative and helpful indeed. ….it is also amazing how quickly children respond and change.
Two little success stories from using the ideas of Descriptive Praise this past week (with the help of your list of Examples):
Stanley (nearly 5) is usually not very keen on getting dressed by himself and needs a few reminders that it is time to stop playing and to get dressed. This week after he finally dressed himself, I said : “Stanley, thank you for getting dressed so promptly today while I was helping your younger brother. I know the buttons can be quite tricky but you did them all by yourself and that was a great example for Robert.” He looked at me and said: “Now watch how quickly I can do my shoes”. The next day the whole process took less time and no extra reminders were needed.
Robert is 3 and every day after nursery his little snack box ends up on the floor of the car with bread crumbs and pieces of apple everywhere and then he leaves it on the seat when we go home so I have to reach for it and take it. On Tuesday, when we got home I told him “I am pleased to see that you managed to keep some of the sandwich and apple crumbs inside the lunch box, it is so much nicer to be in a clean car. I really enjoyed our drive home today, now I will take my bag and you take your lunch box and lets go home”. And, without saying a word, he took his lunch box and we went inside. And the next day he told me when we got home “Mum, look, most crumbs are in the box”.
Anoush, mum of two from Jersey
What made me sign up to the platinum programme?
I wanted advice for years on childcare/parenting techniques to use to reduce the stress in our household and make our family life more relaxed and fun. We had two kids that were fighting constantly and one child that was very argumentative with us and our nannies over the years. I had read parenting books and tried art therapy for one of my kids which didn't give us the help we needed.
I then heard about The Parent Practice through school and had a taster of the content by going to one session organised by the school. I found the taster evening very useful. I chose the online course because of time restrictions. I knew however that I needed someone to motivative me to complete the course and set tasks for me. This is why I have set up a skype call every two weeks where Elaine sets us tasks, answers our questions and we discuss scenarios that happened with the kids during those two weeks.
It is now about six weeks since I started the online course and I have only had two skype calls. So far I have just covered two of the five modules but we are actively practising the descriptive praise, using the gold book and the pasta jar. Our house is a much happier place to be in now. The kids so rarely tease or fight and my child that was previously very argumentative has lost his anger. We have seen some of the bad behaviour back for a short period of time on two or three occasions but this was when they were very tired. I am enjoying spending time with my kids so much more at present.
Thank you Elaine for your all your help so far.
Sarah, mother of two children, based in the UK
I really felt like I was seeing some new ideas as after having read so much to try and help us. Already putting descriptive praise into practice.
I was actually looking for this type of information, as I am now starting to find challenging to deal with my son's naughtyness (he is 22 month old). I absolutely loved the first module and I can't wait to do the rest! Well done to you both! Super great job! It is very easy to follow the video, and all the practical examples used made me feel I was in a room with you and other parents, sharing experiences!
I am in NY. Sitting at home. I downloaded the content and love it. The end value seems incredible and I really learnt a lot already. I will definitely spend more time on the site. Thank you.
I think the academy provides parents with an easy access to loads of material and professionals. Parents can access whenever they want and pause whenever it suits them. In the world of today these are valuable assets as a lot of us need to juggle many things at the same time. Having the video's is a more personal way then just the text, which is pleasant. Loads of work and preparation has been going in the site which can be seen through the amount of available material and all the different ways in which it is supported, by the notes and worksheets, etc.
Being a mum of small children of 6 and 3 I’m constantly looking for ways to smooth things over, make the morning routine easier and family life more fun without hassles. Knowing the best ways to discipline and get the best from my children for co-operation is really important to me as I run my own business and work full-time! Your courses looked fantastic and I can access your course online conveniently in my own time, at my own place. Perfect! The content, support and easy to use materials and videos at the Parent Practice are a great solution to building confidence as a parent. Also the experience, empathy and skills of Elaine and Melissa leave me feeling motivated and positive plus I have had great success with taking on board their tips and advice for bringing up my small children. I’d recommend this for parents everywhere.
Parenting in such a responsible yet underskilled role that I feel it’s critical to get some guidance on how to do it well. I really value learning new parenting skills and while I would love to be able to get out and attend classes face to face, realistically I rarely have the time. This is why access to materials and helpful links, not to mention a forum and opportunity for consultations over Skype is such a valuable resource. I think the Parent Practice online programme is very clearly structured, jam packed with credible and practical advice and keenly priced for the privilege. I very much look forward to using it as a essential parenting tool. Thank you Parent Practice!
Really enjoyed looking through The Parent Practice on-line course. So much interesting information, ideas and advice. With 4 small children I am always struggling to maintain a productive, calm and happy home and I'm sure the articles, presentations and clips on this website will give me lots of tips and help. Well done!
Lots of great practical advice on parenting covering all the most typical parenting challenges that we all face. I particularly loved the audio parenting solutions because I can listen to podcasts on my commute to work or even when I’m out running.
I enjoyed exploring the on-line course. There was so much interesting information out there. The fact that I managed to access the information and follow the instructions was a testament to you as I really am the most useless person with this type of thing. If I can use the site then anybody can!!!
I enjoyed the Parent Practice online Positive Parenting Academy as I could do the modules at my own pace. I enjoyed the extra help bits and pieces (eg, Parenting insights/ top tips/ video links/ skype sessions), and I especially liked the postcards which I can print off as reminders for the skills. The whole site is easy to follow and use.
Just wanted to drop you a line to say a huge thanks. I attended the workshop on managing boys' energy etc a few weeks ago. At the time I thought the course was helpful. However, what I completely underestimated is how life changing that some of the advice would be. I have been religiously practicing descriptive praise ever since and it has done wonders for my son. He is happier, more relaxed, and better behaved, and as a result so are the rest of us! I cannot thank you enough!
Laura, mother of two boys after attending one of our Raising Boys workshop
Your work is invaluable in that you are helping to free children and teenagers from the unnecessary and unhelpful suffering that is too often inflicted by well meaning parents. Resisting the temptation to impose our ideas with an awareness that supports your philosophy seems the most loving of approaches for our children and for future generations.
Joanna, mother at St Pauls' Boys school
My husband and I have been talking about the workshop all evening - even enthusiastically engaging in some role play using the strategies (love that word!). The boys won't know what's happened to us tomorrow morning ;-)
We both took an enormous amount from what was clearly a highly condensed session. We can only imagine the benefits of a full course.
Everyone I spoke with today found the session very interesting with great 'take-home' value and really enjoyed you as a speaker. Top marks from YPO!
Charlotte, after attending our workshop for the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO).
Elaine – I never fail to be touched and motivated by your real, lived examples and humility / willingness to go on learning.
Julia, mother of 3
Gosh what an amazing talk on "bringing the best out of boys"last Thursday! Already seen a difference at home with my three boys and husband too!
Josie, mother of three boys
I really enjoyed and deeply appreciated your workshop on Wednesday evening. Your very witty and powerful stories of working with your sons will stay with me for a very long time I suspect, and I have already been practicing descriptive praise as opposed to 'clever boy'.
What's interesting to me is that it feels better for me doing it - Less forced, more sincere and connected. So although in one way it takes more energy (payng real attention) in another way it uses LESS, because as you said I am not having to gush and over-do the applause.
I feel so heartened to have made contact with an organisation such as yours. My goodness, I need something!
Amy, mother of one boy
A MASSIVE thanks for a fantastic session yesterday with Carl [Honore]. I thought he was brilliant and how lucky were we to be able to hear him speak to such an intimate group. I was truly inspired by his talk and am already implementing 'slower' parenting.
Looking forward to the next couple of sessions I am attending.....about siblings and girls. Fabulous.
Tanya, mother of three daughters
I thoroughly enjoyed the ' Bringing up Children in the i-generation' workshop. It had a more profound impact on my own behaviour particularly around my smartphone. I am now trying to curb my smartphone use in front of my daughter. It has had an even bigger impact on my husband, who was not at the lecture but has now read Frances Booth’s book 'The Distraction Trap' which I had left on the kitchen table. He now regularly forgets to take his when we are out having family time. Thank you to Frances Booth and The Parent Practice team.
Jane, parent of one daughter
“Nick and I really enjoyed the talk and felt we got a lot out of it. It was his idea to book it in the first place and I felt afterwards that having him there was essential in terms of putting what we learnt into practice - if he hadn't come along and I had had to go through with him what I had learnt it would not have been nearly as effective. ...I will definitely recommend your courses - it was the highlight of my week!"
Lucy mother of three children. 9, 7 and 3Â
"Wow! What a session! I very much enjoyed it and everyone came out buzzing with ideas and questions. I found the material thought-provoking and the discussion interesting, balanced and helpful. I loved the way you facilitated the group today. I think that the different styles you’re using week-to-week are working beautifully as the group grows through its developmental stages as both a group (forming, storming etc.) and in terms of the group’s familiarity with the principals and values of positive parenting. This morning you drew out everyone and left no one stranded, no loose ends, and left us eager for the next instalment - where we are confident that we’ll address the questions that were left open – intentionally. Well done. Well done. Well done. Expertly managed."
Katy, mother of two, 10 and 2
Thank you so much for a fabulous evening on Tuesday (Bring out the Best in Boys workshop). I think we all came away with lots to think about and implement. My boys have definitely been enjoying the more descriptive praise and have behaved much better in the last two days. Thank you for your patience, advice and extremely useful material
Roz, mother of two boys
After The Parent Practice course I now understand why we have good and bad results from the same situation, why difficult situations go well and others don’t! It is so simple – it felt complicated, out of control and almost down to a flip of a coin before the course. After you have experienced the course and learnt the skills you still get things wrong but you know why and how to fix them!
Sam, father of 3 children
The [5 week] course has been amazing and given us so much more confidence as parents, and more importantly, has had a very positive impact on our son. Thank you so much
John, father of 2 children
When my wife suggested we sign up for The Parent Practice 10 week course, my first thought was “ Oh no I really don’t want to spend my evenings in a bohemian environment where everyone has a hug because everything is OK, kind of course”
However within the first hour of the first session, I realised that my concerns were completely unfounded. The course outline demonstrated that we would discuss and learn the skills required to positively parent and guide our children with rules and boundaries to ensure they are competent and confident to deal with life and become successful adults. What parent would say No to that!”
Sam, father of 3 girls
I genuinely think it was one of the best things I have ever done.
Gary, father of 2, on completing the 10 week course
I just wanted to let you know how great the course was and what a change we have seen at home. Our son feels like a different person already. And I don’t even feel like we are using 20% of the tools yet!
Tiger, father of 3 children
The course has triggered a whole range of changes I have initiated in my own, and subsequently my family’s life, all towards a healthier outcome. I’m now able to remain calmer in the moment and when required to action, I can do so from a more loving intention rather than anger and resentment. Acknowledging emotions and accepting them and allowing them to pass has been the big result (for me and my son) and it feels like the building pressure has been released.
Martin, father of a boy, 4
I really think I'm onto a winner with the classes I have attended
Mike, Seperated father, parent of a daughter
When we first signed-up for the course I was curious but also concerned about giving up what felt like so much of my time. In the event it wasn't a huge imposition on my time and it was really worthwhile. We had specific issues to tackle and within weeks we found that things were turning round. After the course I am pretty confident that I am a better parent and that my kids are happier too.
Leo, father of 2 daughters
“I wanted to thank you for the change in my relationship with my daughter following the descriptive praise & reflective listening session. We have always been close but the last few months she reacted very badly to me on many occasions and I haven't known what to do. I now do descriptive praise a lot and really try to listen to her. At tough times, I bring out the praise book and read to her some of the praise I have written previously. I usually finish with praise related to her having previously done well something she now doesn't want to do. It works a treat! Isabel's attitude and mood changes and she co-operates with whatever I am hoping for her to do".
Alex, father of one daughter
“Both Gail and I have got a great deal out of our sessions with you, and we feel that your core messages contain a great deal of wisdom, which has obviously been acquired from real life experience, rather than simply learnt from a book. From my perspective, it has certainly been thought provoking, and in particular I do feel that I have been guilty of labelling Tony as a “difficult” child when that is not the case – what he really is, is a sensitive, intense child who thrives on praise and attention, but struggles to control himself when he feels frustrated or threatened. Don’t we all!?
Andrew, father of one son
Yesterday was very good. I thought it was going to be something that I was going to hate but I found it very interesting. I also found it quite easy to chat in the group which normally I hate doing.
Joe, father of a boy, 4
I can’t highly recommend enough, the tools, skills and services, I was given and learned at the parent practice.
Although I had an open mind, I begrudgingly attended my first session, being advised by my lawyer it was essential for me to learn skills that I would have been lacking, not having very much contact with beautiful little daughter.
Wow, from the minute I was there I could not soak up enough of the information. It was a very relaxed but excellent learning environment, with great group discussion, and real world practical skills.
My daughter being my most prized possession, I'm sure most parents feeling the love I do for my own child, would agree if they did this course, it should be compulsory to any parents education.
I experienced several eureka moments, which have now forever changed me on how I view not only being a dad, but being a better human being.
I use all of the skills I learned as much as I can, whenever I see my little girl, and incidentally we have a fantastic relationship, thoroughly enjoying each other's Company for every second we have together.
Thank you The Parent Practice
Alexander, father of one daughter
“Melissa, I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have completed your core skills course and what a gift you are to those that you help. I have changed so much throughout the course and you have been a guiding light in a dark episode - your calming spirit and guidance have been a huge help. It has been a tremendous honour to be taught by someone who cares so much about changing lives and someone who does it exceptionally well. Those that you have blessed through your work will never forget you but always regret that the time they spent with you was so short."
John, father of three girls
I really think I'm onto a winner with the classes I've attended".
Mike, separated father of a daughter
Just wanted to say a massive thank you to you all for the classes (I am using all of the skills you have taught me) and for the letters and emails you have provided at various times. After attending court today, it is now 99% clear that my girls will be returning home at the end of July. The local authority are already putting together rehabilitation plans to this effect. I feel that this would not be happening had it not been for the classes and skills you have given me to use and will never be able to say thank you enough to any of you. I will be recommending your service to anyone who asks and will pass on details wherever and wherever I can.
Derek, father of two girls
Thank you for visiting us last week and giving your talk on Sibling Rivalry. The parents seemed to really enjoy the evening and it brought back many memories of my own children’s disputes (they are twins and are now 20) and the disputes that I used to have with my sister, many years ago! As always your talks were a great mix of information, humour and practical tips. A really helpful evening for our own parents as well as parents visiting from local schools.
Judy Rowe, Head of Prep School, St Albans High School for Girls
A big thank-you to Elaine for presenting her brilliant workshop ‘Never have to ask Twice’ to the parents at Moss Lane School. Her presentation about the 3-step approach and the power that descriptive praise can have was very insightful, giving parents many practical tips on dealing with every day but also challenging situations. Elaine used a range of techniques from her own anecdotal experiences, humorous video clips and role-play. This was also supported by theoretical educational research for example developing Growth Mindsets. We all know that being a parent is a difficult and at times challenging job. After leaving that evening I know parents went home feeling optimistic and armed with a range of strategies that they could use in how to talk to their children more effectively, and in turn creating a harmonious and happy home.
Many thanks Elaine. I have had so much positive feedback from parents I would welcome you back again anytime to share your pearls of wisdom.
Victoria Abbott, Headteacher, Moss Lane School
Thank you for coming back to St. Catherine's Prep School for another inspirational talk, this time on "Never have to ask Twice. Within your 3 stage approach, the power of Descriptive Praise cannot be under-estimated and the use of worked examples gives us all more strings to our bow when it comes to motivating our children. The feedback from our parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
Headteacher, St Catherine's Prep School, Guildford
A topical talk given by the Parent Practice is now an annual fixture in the Hornsby House calendar. Clearly and sensitively presented, the speakers always focus on the real and current concerns facing parents, offering practical tips and an opportunity to reflect on good, and bad (!), practice. The Parent Practice speakers who have visited our school certainly know their subject and have always delivered their presentations in a relaxed and informal style showing great empathy with the audience, which is absolutely essential.
Edward Rees, Headmaster, Hornsby House School
I just wanted to thank you for arranging the brilliant session this evening. The role plays and examples were so powerful, not just to see first-hand the theory of what Elaine was saying, but also to feel how our children feel when we slip into the normal pitfalls. I have returned home deep in thought digesting everything but determined to try harder to put more consideration into how we encourage the right behaviours in a more positive way.
I am really grateful to you and the school for giving us the opportunity to learn some practical and incredibly valuable new skills, and to have reinforced the realisation that as parents we have the greatest opportunity every day to help our children develop into the happy, self-assured adults we all want them to be! Aren't Elaine's son and daughter so lucky to have been brought up with all that wisdom, love and calm parenting confidence?
If there are any other opportunities to get Elaine back for more sessions then I for one would jump at the chance to keep learning.
Parent writing to the headteacher following out talk at St Albans High School
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and have to say you are an even better speaker to a large group than to smaller ones. I am very grateful to you and The Parent Practice as I have found it infinitely helpful to my family and my relationship with my daughter.
A mother after our talk at The Study school
I regard the evening as an unqualified success! We are in the early stages of running such events and we had a good showing and plenty of appreciative comments. It worked well financially too with the school funding half and the other half being raised by ticketing.
We will definitely run another one. Melissa was terrific and the whole event unfolded beautifully!
Vania Adams, Headteacher, The Roche School, Wandsworth
Gosh, we had a wonderful introductory Parent Practice session at our nursery this morning and discussed exactly this... Let's try and move away from labelling our children and let's work with their strengths! Thank you, The Parent Practice, for sharing this lovely story.
Wendelien Bellinger, Kingston Vale Nursery School
Thank you for an excellent presentation last week on “Coping with Life’s Knocks”. All feedback to me from parents has been hugely positive. We will certainly be asking you to run parenting workshops again in the future.
Jeremy Edwards (Headmaster, Eaton House the Manor Prep School)
"I wanted to thank you personally for a hugely well received talk and discussion for parents last night on girls and their emotions - a rich topic indeed. The attendance was at the highest level yet for these evenings - clearly your reputation has spread!"
Clarissa Farr, High Mistress, St Pauls Girls' School, London
“Thank you for a super evening. I think we have something that works very well. The fact that well over a quarter of the school community - nearly a third - is attending is testimony to the value of the course, so thank you."
Kate Mitchell, Head of Juniors, Wimbledon High School
Thank you so very much on behalf of Highgate Pre-Prep for delivering a hugely informative evening for helping to get the best out of one's children. As you know this was our first of this kind and the feedback we have had already has been very enthusiastic. Parents definitely want help/advice and you delivered this in such a professional, humorous and kindly way that the message went down very well. As you realized we follow these principals already so it was super to hear them from another source.
Janet Mills SENCO at Highgate Pre Prep school, North London
Thank you very much for the inspiring talk that you gave to our parents. It really was first class and has enabled our parents to consider the importance of an emotional education in conjunction with an academic one. The feedback from our parents has all been resoundingly positive with a general cry for more workshops, so I feel sure we shall be working with you and The Parent Practice again.
Kate Simon, Head of Garden House School, London
I wanted to thank you hugely for your presentation - it was exactly right for our school and our parents; your style was lively and encouraged the interaction which is evidenced in their evaluations and the conversations afterwards. I would be very happy for you to pass on my details for any of your future potential bookings should the school want a recommendation.
Cathy Dales, Assistant Head, Farnborough Hill School
I am so pleased that we invited you and that the response was so enthusiastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, and found that I was wanting more at the end. I could have listened to you for hours. All the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Melissa Jo, The Villa, Peckham
I believe The Parent Practice engages parents in a world of value and principle-led parenting that can lead to emotional literacy and healthy relationships for parents and their children. This is such a valuable thing in a world that has taught some in the past to be more concerned about results, which so often misses the essence of learning.
Adrian Floyd, Headmaster Finton House School, South West London
We were extremely grateful to you for coming. Being the first session that the School has done like this, we were not sure of the take-up by parents or the overall outcomes. What however was not unclear was the presentation itself. The encouragement to think about new ways of engagement, new vocabulary, new ‘tricks’ was very helpful indeed. It was particularly heartening to see parents thinking about this important issue, and sharing key scenarios that resonated with everyone present, without too much guilt! The School itself too has opportunities to look at what it does and put into practice even more strategies to help achieve the best outcomes for the pupils, to support them in their longer term development, both at Elstree and beyond. Who would not wish to see that for their pupils or child(ren)? Thank you for helping to make it such a fun, informative and efficient way to learn.
Mark Sayer, Headteacher, Elstree School, Berkshire
Just to say thank you again for coming all this way to share some of your invaluable knowledge and skills with me and some of the mothers from Queens College Prep. One mother said I left feeling I had identified areas of family life that I really need to pay more attention to and also that I had acquired some strategies for coping with situations I find difficult..Very, very, very useful and interesting,Thank you again for such an interesting and enjoyable morning.
Parent Prganiser, Queens College Prep
The workshop was really appreciated by all who attended. We had lots of positive feedback the next day and parents were coming in saying their morning’s had been much happier. One parent said she was utterly exhausted from being so nice! It was interesting how much the dads had taken on the descriptive praise advice and were much more involved in the organisation of the household as a result.The content of the workshop was relevant although I think we could have gone on all night with questions. People clearly relate it to their own experiences and it all become rather specific if you allow it to so I know you couldn’t answer everyone’s questions. I think those with older children were more cynical about whether it would work and whether it would wash with their children.I received the feedback forms today so I’ll take them home at the weekend and think about our next move.Again for your inspiring talk. I know it will really help some of our parents.
Headteacher, Bute House, London
The Parent Practice has now delivered 2 workshops to our local cluster of schools. Each presentation has been received positively and with huge enthusiasm by our parents. Their clear principles, empathy with the difficulties of parenting and the simple yet effective techniques they suggest have been whole-heartedly welcomed by our parenting community. The Parent Practice offers very practical solutions to the demands of parenting in today's world.
Patricia Beechey, Head Teacher, Oatlands Primary School, Weybridge
Thank you very much for the talk 'Bringing Out The Best In Your Children'. Those who came went away all fired up with ideas and several parents have come and asked if we may host some more! They are spreading the word around the playground, so I will be in touch again soon.
Philippa Jackson, Headteacher Hollymount Primary School, Merton, London
We couldn't believe how quickly the evening sold out! Thank you so much, the feedback forms showed it was an overwhelming 'yes' for more talks. Consider the evening a great success.
Fulham Prep PTA parent
Thank you for giving us some great strategies and for creating an environment where we freely shared our frustrations and concerns!
A Colet Court parent
It gave me a chance to look at my parenting from a different perspective and see how I can be more positive.
A Blackheath Prep parent
Thank you very much for presenting such a wonderful evening at Rolfe's Nursery School. Your presentation was fun, informative and has proved a big hit with our parents. I do hope that you will be able to come back and present another event very soon.
Victoria Irwin, Headmistress, Rolfe Nursery School
A special thanks to Sue who has been an inspiration for me personally ,and who also delivered a truly impeccable event - she was a pleasure to work with in the prep for the event, great attention to detail and ability to modify the content and make it exactly right for our audience, she was open, eloquent but gentle, connected with the audience, never came across as patronising, made everyone feel ready for change (as opposed to defensive) - I feel this is a truly great result when you talk to parents about parenting!!
Valia, Event organiser
I really enjoyed this session and could honestly sit through it again and again. The speaker was very engaging and it was really useful, so if there is ever a refresher session please book me on! Lots to take in and many useful tools to use, now I just need to make them a habit.
Following one of our talks at Osborne Clarke
We wanted to extend our warmest thanks for an excellent seminar today on emotional resilience attended by 120 people. You’ve left us with very pragmatic tools and techniques and the case studies and real life examples really brought this to life and made for a very enjoyable hour. Thanks also for opening up for an additional 30 minutes of Q&A for individuals’ personal questions. You have certainly prompted lots of positive debate here and we would warmly recommend this seminar to others.
Following our lunchtime talk at BP
A special thanks to Sue who has been an inspiration for me personally ,and who also delivered a truly impeccable event - she was a pleasure to work with in the prep for the event, great attention to detail and ability to modify the content and make it exactly right for our audience, she was open, eloquent but gentle, connected with the audience, never came across as patronising, made everyone feel ready for change (as opposed to defensive) - I feel this is a truly great result when you talk to parents about parenting!!
Valia, Event organiser
I found the instructor’s insights very valuable and her willingness to help us all was very evident. The workshop exceeded my expectations. Please could we have other seminars from this company
Attendee at Freshfields lunchtime talk.
I found the course so powerful. I am a firm believer in the power of emotion parenting or ‘Parenting the brain’.And the techniques you spoke about have already worked wonders for my daughter and our family, finding the time to JUST acknowledge calms everything down and then she moves to a resolution of her own accord!
I really feel strongly about this stuff
Nicola Bagnall, Starcom Mediavest
“Very useful…good for parents with children of all ages but primarily those that can communicate
Only went to training today so not had much time to use applications but absolutely intend to (both for my child and my team….may also use it on myself!)”
“I really enjoyed the workshop today. I felt I got a lot out of it and was really enthusiastic about the approach. It would be great to participate in some more Parent Practice courses as I feel the course is not only useful from a parental perspective but gives great advice for general emotional wellbeing…”
Workshop Feedback, SMV Group
“Elaine presented a fantastic introductory workshop ‘Bringing out the Best in your children’ for a network of professional working parents (the Association of Professional Working parents or APWP) which I co-chair. She gave an excellent presentation, providing practical tips for dealing with the most tricky situations in which parents find themselves and dealt admirably with those specific issues that can affect all working parents. The introduction to Descriptive Praise went down particularly well and some of those attending the workshop have since reported how successful they have found the techniques. Elaine was also an excellent facilitator and skilfully stimulated discussion between parents of children of all ages. Members of the APWP who had previously used The Parent Practice said how valuable and supportive they had found Elaine and her colleagues. So thank you Elaine for an inspiring evening. As a partner in the family department of a City firm of solicitors I regularly refer the Parent Practice to my clients and colleagues and as a parent with three year old twins I shall definitely be signing up to some parenting classes in the near future!
Charlotte Bradley, Partner at Kingsley Napley Solicitors and Co-chair of the Association of Professional Working Parents
"I've just attended one of the Parent Practice sessions at Starcom and wanted to say what a truly wonderful thing it was. Not just in terms of the commitment that the Group is showing to the mothers and fathers who work in its various offices, but also the course itself. Nothing is more important to me than my family and the things I have learned today. I look forward to learning in the coming sessions which will be of more value to me than probably any other form of training I have ever done. As a member of staff I applaud you for organising it and as a parent I thank you for helping me in such an important area of my life. Parenting is a sensitive issue at the best of times and I'm not afraid to admit that I struggle with the increasing demands of parenthood. However, I left this morning feel empowered, enlightened and genuinely optimistic about things. I wonder how many training courses can lay claim to affecting behaviour quite so dramatically."
Darren, Client Service Director, Leo Burnett
“I just wanted to say a big thank you to you for your work with SMG over the last 9 months or so. You have truly transformed the quality of some of our people's lives and changed the relationship they have with their children. We have seen the feedback. And there is no price to be put on this. I also wanted to acknowledge that your work with us was instrumental for us being in a position to enter the Mumsnet Family Friendly Awards. It was your work that gave us the story to tell which resulted in our much coveted silver award. So a big thank you.”
Liz Nottingham HR Director Starcom Mediavest
"The event was a huge success, with the feedback received from our attendees being amongst the most positive that our network has had to date. The presenter was exceptionally well received by the audience."
I can never thank you enough for this opportunity since it was a great experience for me and I have learnt so much.
Charlene, Attendee 5 day course Jan 2017
Last week was a very enriching experience, one which made me reflect on my own experience of being parented, of the people I work with and mostly of how I can make good use of the skills gained.
Antonella, Attendee 5 day course Jan 2017
I really enjoyed doing the assigned tasks as it helped me refresh my memory on the sessions we had and bring back some nice memories
Massimo, Attendee 5 day course Jan 2017
Thank you again for an amazing week last week. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it.
I loved meeting you and spending the week learning with such a fab group.
You bring this work to life in a unique way with your potent mix of facts, passion and empathy. I learnt an enormous amount and came away realising how much there is to learn but inspired and committed to taking that journey.
Last weekend I had to bring everything I had learnt on Descriptive Praise and Emotion Coaching into play at home and it helped enormously
Andrea, Attendee 5 day course Jan 2017
I managed to finish the first assignment on Descriptive Praise and even though it took me quite a while to complete it, I must admit that I loved doing it since it refreshed my memory and took me back to the amazing experience I shared with you all last week.
Charlene, Attendee 5 day course Jan 2017
I'd like to thank you most sincerely from the bottom of my heart for such a well crafted and organised course, that has taught me so much. It has served to deepen my fascination with the vital subject of parenting and has really got me thinking about all the issues on a whole new level, as well as giving me concrete ways to develop my communication and facilitation skills. I was very inspired by your excellent role modelling of everything that you were teaching us, and by your warmth and genuine care for everyone on the course. I am looking forward to building on everything that I have learnt and taking my new knowledge and skills forward
Daisy, attendee autumn 2016
Here is my homework. I'm becoming a better parent by completing it.
Erin, participant Autumn 2015, when sending in her assignment.
Prior to starting the course I imagined I would enjoy the facilitation part much more (I am finding that all very interesting and useful) and the parenting skills would be a case of ticking the box! Boy was I wrong!
I am blown away by the parenting skills. I already used descriptive praise in a small way but didn’t know what it was or that I was using it and I recommend emotion coaching to all the parents of my clients but again I didn’t have a name or a structure for it. Being on the course these last two weeks has taught me so much and in fact I’ve just spoken to a parent of a 6 year old, that I saw last week for an intro and thought he was slightly young for the way I work, and booked (confidently) in the mum instead for three parenting sessions based on what I’ve learnt from you.
Gaynor, therapeutic coach working with children and young people, Attendee Autumn 2015
I truthfully can't thank you all enough for everything you have taught me. As a result we have a very very happy household and kids who are free, loving and balanced and just incredible little people. I remain inspired by your work and in turn I try to inspire others and help others. A very long time ago I said to my family at a family lunch that I believed that the world is still largely run by men however it is (mainly) us women who raised those very men, so as women we should help each other and support each other in raising future generations and help create a world we are all happy to live in. The Parent Practice has set me on a path to help make that happen.
Kristina, attendee 2015
Thanks so much for the effort you have put into marking the homework and the extra comments you have added . It has definitely helped consolidate things.
Cath, mother of 3, attendee 2015
I have to admit that with this homework I am having the biggest "wow" moments since I started my journey with The Parent Practice! Words are not enough to say how much I appreciate this knowledge! Hat off !!! and A BIG Thank You for your amazing job and all the written materials!
I do believe that every single mum should read it to make her motherhood absolutely enjoyable! Thanks to your "parenting manuals" my children's needs are so easy to be understood and fulfilled!!!!! ;)
Joanna, course attendee 2015
Descriptive praise is a concept that totally resonates with me. I have seen the wonders of it working with my children and with me so I do feel quite evangelistic about it! I am really really enjoying the process of doing the homework. The challenge of reworking the lessons we learned in class has been hugely beneficial and it's actually quite nice to use my brain again! Thanks again for taking the time to go through my answers and give constructive comments. It is really appreciated.
Cath - mother of 3, Course attendee 2015
After less than a month [after completing the course] I feel a great difference in my relationship with my daughter, I don't know what exactly is making this difference, I think it's everything I am trying to apply and that has started to happen without as much effort as before. I am enjoying my time with her so much now! I used to count the time I have till I have to put her in bed, I love spending time with her now. She has become so compassionate with me and her dad which I always thought was not her nature!
2 things happened this week that made me feel the change:
1. We had a tantrum a couple of days ago and I suddenly realised that we haven't had one in a long time! It used to happen many times daily! I just didn't notice that it had stopped.
2. I was talking to someone and she asked how old is your daughter, I said 2.5 and she was like, ohh what a tough phase, and then I was thinking actually it is not bad! It is mostly sweet, a lot of work, but sweet and enjoyable.
I am very grateful to you and TPP and I am really looking forward to passing this on to many other parents.
Mai, mother of one girl, course attendee 2015
Thank you so much for another great day full of knowledge. I really enjoy our course and i am trying to take as much as possible out of it! You are truly doing an amazing job and you are a very skilful teacher!
Joanna, course attendee 2015
Yesterday I delivered week 2 of the course and I wanted to thank you Melissa and Elaine - I am just loving it! Whilst I am not really new to any of the material, I really enjoy the way of delivering it in my own home to smaller groups as opposed to being in a large auditorium with an audience of 100. I had until now avoided working with individuals as I just thought it was more hassle but I get so much satisfaction out of it. It is much more personal, you get true feedback from parents each work and they all attest to the fact that it really works.
One father who started off a bit sceptical the first week said last night that "descriptive praise works like magic". Another dad who came for the first time yesterday (under duress) said "I learnt more in the first 45 minutes than I have in 13 years of being a parent". It is more along the lines of classroom teaching which was my first passion rather than delivering seminars.
I started off by offering a 5 week course, just to see how it goes and not to ask people to commit too much time and money. Every person in both the morning and evening groups wants to commit to the full 10 weeks.
I am so happy to have met the parent practice. I have found a means of earning some money, doing something I love and genuinely making a difference to people's lives. I am sure you are aware of what a wonderful thing you have done for thousands of families but I thought I would just remind you!
Rachel, Licensee in North London
Your presentations were very clear, memorable and well organized. You made us feel our opinions and questions were valued. You helped us feel part of a group. The venue was very comfortable and welcoming. Of course, I could go on.
I especially found the feedback aspect of the individual presentations quite illuminating. By only hearing positive feedback, I found I appreciated the presentations more than I probably would have. As a presenter, it gave me more incentive to improve than if I had only received "negative" comments. While constructive criticism would be helpful also to improve things that a presenter is unaware of, the emphasis on the positive gave me a first hand experience to feel the benefits of descriptive praise.
Emma, Train the Trainer attendee
An excellent course. I wish I had taken it years ago. You are the first trainer I have met that reaches [my] high standards.
Topics were presented in a logical order to enhance parents learning, referencing good quality literature from a variety of sources in a relevant manner with a very good range of teaching methods. Language and expression were consistently clear, fluent, creative and appropriate for the group and the tone was always appropriate and consistently encouraging participants to express their concerns.
The presenter always balanced her own views with those of others and was always respectful and fully enabling of participants' need to share their views. Thoughtful attention was given to every aspect of the environment in order to ensure a welcoming atmosphere and optimum learning environment.
Tina Keogh,Ante-natal teacher starting up new business educating parents of infants in Brussels
I have just watched you on Sky News and felt so proud of the Parent Practice and that I had been trained by you in the Trainer's Training course. I still use ALL the techniques and I love the fact that my calmer and more loving house is proof of the benefits of the techniques in practice. I actually teach a lot of them in the corporate world for managers having difficult conversations with their staff. - Never saw that coming.
Natalie, Training course attendee, Summer 2012