November 16, 2017

Tolerance and patience = great parenting

Today we’re celebrating the International Day of Tolerance that promotes tolerance, respect and dignity across the world and aims to reduce negative perceptions and attitudes towards people with migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Raad’s Story: Focus on Fathers

Over a number of years of delivering PINC programs to newly arrived parents, Spectrum identified that there was a need to create a very specific, welcoming space for Father’s to build their parenting skills, and to share and grow from their experiences.

Spectrum PINC Facilitator, Alex Dentener observes, “What I see when working in PINC is that families are often struggling with the changes they face when moving to Australia, particularly the difference in culture, lifestyle and customs. For fathers this change also affects their role and identity, which can have a real impact on their wellbeing as well as their families wellbeing. I love working in PINC, especially with the Fathers group because it provides migrant fathers with an opportunity to connect with other fathers, learn and test new parenting skills, build their knowledge of Australia and its system and also their capacity and confidence as healthy men and fathers in Australia.  The flexibility of the program means we can cater to the needs of the men, and provide additional material and support so that participants receive the skills and information they need to support their children and their families to thrive in Australia”.

Alex recently conducted a 5 session course with fathers which was delivered in Arabic. He sat down with course participant Raad, who is from Iraq, and of Assyrian descent, for a chat about his experience:

Q. What did you learn from this course?
A. As you may know, there are many differences between the country we came from and Australia in terms of culture and the way of dealing with kids and teenagers. In the beginning of the course, I learned about the pressure and tension the average immigrant family faces due to moving from one place to another place with different culture. I learned that there are laws that govern the way we deal with and treat kids, in addition to organisations and agencies that protect the children and families. I also learned how to contact these agencies if I need to.

Q. How has the course affected the way you assume your role as a parent in Australia?
A. Among the techniques I learned about parenting in the new Australian culture was self-control and admitting that I am going through difficult time and the fact that my family and I are living in a culture different than the one we are used to.  The other important aspect I learned throughout the course is the proper way of dealing with teenage kids. I was introduced to the reasons of the conflict that arises between the parents and teenage kids, in addition to learning how to face problems and challenges head on. I came to realise that this phase is not only difficult for the parents, but for the kids as well, because we are all in the process of adjusting to the new culture. 

Q. Do you think this course is important? Why?
A. Yes. I think this course is highly important because it helped me receive and process a large amount of information related to dealing with my children, especially as I have children of different ages, including teenage kids.  I can see the important results of this course every day. I have changed the way I deal with my kids. I have become calmer and I enjoy more self-control when dealing with my family.  I personally think that this course is very important for any person who arrives in Australia, in fact many Australian’s could benefit from this experience!

Tolerance and patience = great parenting

Spectrum’s PINC Facilitator Alex and course participant Raad.

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