By Jade Glen
Unfortunately kids don’t come with a manual – but the Bringing up Great Kids program may just be the next best thing.
The Bringing up Great Kids (BUGK) program is a six-week positive parenting program that equips parents and carers with the tools to promote a respectful, caring and nurturing relationship with their children.
BUGK is an evidence-based program developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation – and best of all, Yarra Ranges parents can access it completely free of charge.
Local service provider CIRE facilitated the program in Yarra Junction earlier this year, in partnership with EACH. Another course will begin in Healesville this August.
This program is tailored for parents of children aged under six years old, and free childcare is provided while parents participate in each session.
CIRE manager Family and Children’s Services Alison Forbes said the program promoted positive and respectful relationships.
“This is achieved by addressing the significance and importance of strong family relationships and the impact that this has on children’s lives and development.
“Respect is a key step in building strong family relationships, when it is absent or lacking, conflict or relationship breakdown often occurs. Absence or lack of respect can lead to problems at an individual, family and/or community level.”
One of the program facilitators Eliza Lee, CIRE Early Childhood educator, said the program encouraged parents and carers to consider the messages they sent and received.
“It’s all about messages. It looks at the messages that we received when we were brought up; it looks at brain development and how we give and receive messages, at non-verbal messages like body language.
“We talk about mindfulness; one of the activities is sop pause play. You stop what you are doing, you ground your feet, take four deep breaths, press play and then respond to the children.”
Early Childhood Intervention Services Key Worker at EACH, Bronwyn Forster, said the program was open to all parents.
“Parents are provided a parenting journal to use, and they can reflect on what they learnt in that session. Each session is a chapter of their parenting story.”
Graduates of the BUGK program said it had made a positive impact on their parenting.
“I think every parent should attend this program,” reflected one student.
“It makes me feel very normal as a parent. Things that I thought I was doing as a parent, I have found that other parents are doing this too. I have found the course is fun, eye-opening and a safe group environment, mixed groups of ladies with different backgrounds.”
The next Bringing Up Great Kids 6 week Parenting Program will be held at Wurun Child & Family Place Healesville Monday 7th August to September 11th 2017. Booking essential call Cire on 1300 935 235