Kids Matter groups have been running in several inner city settings with parents from a range of ethnic backgrounds. Below are some quotes from parents recorded with their permission during the research evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme discussing what the experience of being in the group was like and what they saw as the benefits.

Trained leaders setting the context for open, safe discussion

“I just think they were great. (the leaders) were fantastic and it was great there was a crèche and they were fantastic”
“I quite liked you know the way she lead it because she kind of gave it from a ‘been there done that having not done it perfectly’ and ‘I have a you know an adult child and you know these are my experiences’ so I thought it was good the way she followed the format and recapped as she went along but also stopped to kind of share her experiences and give people the chance to share their experiences as well and so I thought that was quite good and I think she was encouraging each time.”
“You know the leader was open about her relationship with her daughter as well and I think that helped us to open up a bit more because she’s sharing her personal thing and then it made us feel okay maybe we can talk about our personal thing..”
“I felt okay talking in the group because there were some parents who were finding it harder to control their children so I didn’t feel like ‘okay I’m saying bad things about my children’ or you know ‘I’m a bad parent maybe I don’t know how to look after them you know’ so it was quite nice coz everyone spoke their own mind …..we all chipped in a bit of a personal stuff so it was quite nice as we all opened up …knowing that it’s not gonna go any further.”

Warm, inviting environment encouraging sharing and community

“I really enjoyed the small group and I think it would have been harder if it was a large group cos in this way we got to know each other as kind of as real people.”
“I really enjoyed the course and how the surrounding and getting the knowledge of each other and some of the mums were in the toddler group so we all go to know familiar faces even we’re like next door neighbours which we didn’t know so that actually got us going as well so it was a regular 7-8 people if not more some days so that’s why it was more homely..”
“It was great that they had a crèche and it was also nice for me to kind of just let them play. You could see them play and you knew they were in good hands and you could get on and just enjoy your bit of time you know for coffee and just it was like being amongst friends almost”
“They had the tables all set up with refreshments and then we chatted and it just felt quite informal, so that was quite nice and then you know lunch was provided afterwards and so it was just really nice”

Building parental confidence and awareness

“But then like now it’s more I’m starting to notice that it’s more what I’m doing and how our relationship is that’s making her the way that she is like that..”
“I think I’m more aware about my approach to dealing with my sons and the way I’m doing it”
“It’s a discussion getting you thinking about how well you know you parent and what works best and I think it’s more that I came out a bit feeling that I learned some bits and I had taken some bits away but more importantly it got me thinking about how I actually parent and that was more useful for me actually”

Positive changes in parenting and family relationships

“My daughter would say we don’t shout no more because I don’t do no more shouting and now I would say I changed: my tone of voice: now there’s a high tone and a low tone and then we have more cuddles together and then we do read books”
“I think I have become better and I try, it’s so easy to kind of start shouting at them and stuff and then I always feel bad so I try not to do that I try to go to the next room lock myself in the bathroom or something you know for 30 seconds and then go back out”
“I think I’m understanding her more and again remembering that she is just two and it’s expected that she has tantrums and stuff although she doesn’t have the tantrums anymore which is fantastic! I understand her more now I think and observing her more now”


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