A Newmarket mum who took a parenting course has enjoyed such a confidence boost that she has launched her own support network for fellow parents.
Thirty-seven-year-old Lucy Castang, of George Lambton Avenue, went on the ten-week programme run by award-winning Newmarket group, Sharing Parenting, after her eight-year-old daughter Imogen, showed signs of ADHD.
“Imogen is a very lively girl and can be quite full on,” said Lucy. “A family friend thought she may have ADHD, but before I could get her assessed I had to take a parenting course.”
Self-employed gardener Lucy, who is also mum to three-year-old Sophie, was enrolled onto the Raising Children course, which was funded by a £13,000 community grant from workforce development provider TCHC.
For two hours each week, she and a group of other mums and dads learned about different parenting methods, understanding why their children might act in a particular manner and how to respond accordingly.
“We learned how to discipline them in the right way and explain the consequences of their actions to them,” said Lucy. “The course was brilliant, it made me take a step back and look at ways I could handle my children better, helping me improving how I deal with them.It’s increased my confidence and made me realise that I’m more capable than I thought.”
Such was the positive impact on Lucy’s self-esteem that she has since co-launched a parenting project with three other mums from the course. This will offer one-on-one support for local people who are experiencing minor issues with their children.
“The parents will get in touch with Sharing Parenting, and we will then arrange a time to meet them in a neutral location,” said Lucy, who lives with partner Michael. “We’ll be a listening ear for them and hopefully be able to suggest ways they can improve things.”
Sharing Parenting director Suzanne Pearson said: “We are very grateful to TCHC for this grant, without which we wouldn’t have been able to run our parenting course. The families involved really benefit from it; the course increases positive relationships at the same time as improving confidence and self-esteem in the children. Two hours a week can really change a child’s life.”
She added: “Lucy did brilliantly - it was fantastic to see her growing in confidence as the weeks went on.”