Dudley Council has invested in a tried and tested parenting programme which can be accessed by local families, for free.
The Solihull Approach online course is a well-established and trusted way of understanding more about your child. The courses cover from conception up to 19 years and are broken down into modules, some as short as 15 minutes.
It’s for mums, dads, grandparents, or anyone involved in raising a child or supporting families that do. There’s even a course just for teenagers themselves. Parents who have used the course often say they feel calmer, more confident and have a better relationship with their children after taking part.
The courses were developed in partnership with the NHS, front line workers and parents. There is a different course for a variety of needs starting from the very beginning with an antenatal programme ‘‘Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby’ which integrates the traditional information given on an antenatal course with a new approach to starting a relationship with your baby before they arrive.
The postnatal course ‘Understanding your baby’ gives parents information about their baby’s brain, physical and emotional development. It shows how important their relationship with their baby is for healthy, all-round development.
All families can access ‘Understanding your child’ which cover from 6 months to age 19. This course is available in several languages and aims to help parents be the best they can be.
There are options for parents with a child with additional needs. It is for parents, relatives and friends of children who may have a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits, this course is in two sections. Level 1 lays the foundation for understanding your child. Level 2 looks at some aspects of parenting: sleeping and anger management, together with more about how we interact with each other.
There are two courses about teenagers’ brains. One for parents and one for teenagers. For teens the course looks at changes in behaviour, needing more sleep and why teens are more open minded.
The parents course looks at teenager’s brain development, reading emotions, risk taking, sensitivity to rejection and sleep changes. Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people said:
"Dudley Council puts the wellbeing and happiness of our families at the heart of everything we do and, as a mum myself, I understand all too well that while parenting can be the most rewarding thing we do, it can also be the most challenging.
"These fantastic courses provide parents and carers with invaluable tools not only as they prepare for parenthood but also as they continue during their family journey.
"The pre- and post-natal courses in particular are perfect for couples who can’t both attend their local sessions, this way they can make sure that each of them gets the information and support they need.
"The SEND and teenager courses also mean that we can offer support to parents who need more specialised support. The courses are completely free to Dudley families and I hope parents, carers and grandparents sign up to make the most of this incredible resource."
The courses, worth over £100, have been prepaid by Dudley Council for all Dudley families and provide a lifetime of access. They are ideal for parents who cannot attend sessions in person, or to support a co-parent who is unable to attend in person. The courses are open to parents, grandparents or anyone who is caring for a child.
The courses are broken down into modules, with some quizzes, videos and interactive content. They can be accessed on mobiles, tablets or computers. To get your access code, visit dudleyparents.co.uk.