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Course Information

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions we are offering virtual sessions at this time. If you have any questions or wish to come along, email dadsmatter@norfolk.gov.uk.

Session one: Introduction of the group

During this session the dads introduce themselves and say how many children, age, gender. They are also asked the reason they have come to the group. During this session we explain the models we work with which include Solihull Approach (Accredited programme for parents), Restorative Approaches (Accredited programme for repairing and retuning of relationships). We also bring in latest research on Brain developments for studies across the world i.e. Harvard University, Gabor Mate, NHS, Nature -Science journal. 

Session two: Feelings and emotions

In this session we explore the purpose of human emotions. Why we have them? What evolutionary purpose do they have? We ask the participants to explore their own emotions and what triggers them. We explore the physical and chemical mechanics of children’s brain development and the external influences that affect this development. We discuss intrinsic memories set from childhood. Perhaps linked to trauma or happier times.

Session three: Communication

During this session we cover the positives and negatives of communication, what is communication, why do we communicate. We discuss the importance of body language. We demonstrate: Active listening, is a technique that is used in counselling, training, and solving disputes or conflicts. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said. We discuss when we have felt not listened to and how that effects your communication. We bring in from last session how we use emotions and feelings to guide the way we communicate with others, especially young children as they are not fully developed with spoken language. Communication is a vast subject and we bring it in to the rest of the session within different discussions.

Session four: Developmental stages

We discus brain development from pre-natal to death and the stages in-between. For example: Why some two-year olds experience the “terrible twos”, is this frustration caused due to the child being unable to express themselves? What makes the teenage years so difficult for some families? Explaining the surge of development in the adolescent brain that affects their impulses, problem solving, embarrassment and mood.

Session five: Parenting through the years

We discuss the history of parenting and how opinion and professional advice has changed over the years. We discuss how their parents were parented and how that affected how they in turn were parented. This offers the chance for participants to reflect on their own childhoods and how this influences their behaviour and parental style.

Session six: Play

During this session we discuss the importance of play and that it comes in many forms. Play effects our learning and development. We show studies that have linked play with our primitive brain, the part of the brain we share with other animals. Play allows us to experiment with the world and understand it as well as ourselves within it. We ask the dads to play with toys for 15 minutes then ask them how they felt, most of us play the way we did as children. We never stop playing we just modify it as we develop.

Session seven: Sleep

During this session we discuss the importance of a good sleep routine, as most people in the world are sleep deprived, we discuss the effects physically and mentally. We offer advice around creating good sleep routines for children as well as adults. We link to emotions i.e. when we are tired, we rely more on emotions than logic, sometimes resulting in losing our temper quicker. 

Session eight: Technology

We explore the affect that the ever-changing landscape of technology has on children’s development. The physical, mental and social pros and cons of social media, gaming and screen time.

Session nine: Anger

Like in session 2 we look at the mechanics of emotion both physical and chemical but more specifically anger. Why do we get angry? Is it triggered by intrinsic memories or frustration? Does anger help solve problems or cause them? How can we avoid getting angry?

Session ten: Restorative (repairing, retuning relationships)

During this session we describe the Restorative Approaches, which refer to a range of methods and strategies, which can be used both to prevent relationship-damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. These can be used for relationships with children, partners, and professionals.

Session eleven: Identity

We discuss what makes us? We are different people in different situations. A father, a friend, an employee for example. Do we change over the years or are we always going to be the same? How do others perceive us? What makes a man a man? What is the difference between man and boy and what are the similarities? What does masculinity mean in 2020?

Session twelve: Final session

This is when we re-cap what we have covered, Dads speak about their time with us, we invite them to do a Vox-Pox and give feedback on how they found the group. Certificates are handed out.

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