What Clients have to say about us.
“I just wanted to let you know I have had so much success using empathy with regards to tantrums that I am simply astounded. It gets her out of it so quickly and we move on swiftly. I can also see the amazing positive results of Descriptive Praise; my daughter seems happy and confident and wants to do more and more for herself. I am so pleased I have started your course now whilst my daughter is still so little (3 1/2) and my son only 8 months. Thank you, thank you!” JoAnne, mother of two children
"Here are 2 examples of how, over the holidays, I used some of the skills you taught us [on the 10 week course]:
"There are so many ideas to take on board and implement that I have no doubt I will be back for refresher sessions. I never feel completely at a loss anymore even when things are going wrong. I am now able to try and think of something productive to do and if it doesn't work, I can think of a different way of handling the situation next time." Victoria, mother of one
“I am so passionate about the Parent Practice because I think as a society we place so much emphasis on being qualified for absolutely everything - yet the one thing we don't need is any sort of qualification for parenting. We raise our kids hoping for the best and often use the same parenting techniques our parents did, even though we know they don't work because we don't know what else to do. Wouldn't we have the most amazing society if literally all parents attended a 10 week parenting course? Its not a lot of time to invest given the incredible results.” Kristina mother of 2
"This has being a hard year for my family. My oldest son was struggling in the school and we have been seeing a battery of experts (tutors, psychotherapists, etc.,) but had nothing concrete to show for it. In the end, what has helped us the most by far has been the Positive Parenting Course. Our teacher Ann has being great in giving us concrete skills and tips that help us to help our son change his behaviour." Maria mother of 4.
"As usual, a minor quarrel over not wanting to share shopping bags with his younger brotherunravelled in much the same way as it has in the past - a steady crescendo of complaining in the street, then wailing as we got close to home, and then hysthat we should just go and find a different room until we felt we could talk, and (c) when it was all over, I focused far more on listening to him and descriptively praising him than lecturing him.
"I wanted to drop you a note thanking you for the parenting course. I have completed the evaluation and hope that you find the comments helpful- they are heartfelt.
On reflection, I think I have previously encountered many of the theories and ideas behind these sessions, perhaps not named or articulated so clearly and so I have been trying to analyse why I am so inspired by the course. I think it is because of your integrity, enthusiasm and commitment to the content. I feel as though you live this stuff and have seen enormous changes in yourself and family as a result. So many thanks to you for sharing this. I have also really valued that you put across your enthusiasm for ongoing learning - we continue to be work in progress - this empowers me to try things out, no mistakes only learning opportunities.
Being english, I will say a simple thank you. Looking forward to joining more workshops in the future and hopefully getting onto the training the trainers course at some point. With very best wishes for all your future endeavours." Clare, mother of one.
"The Descriptive Praise and Reflective Listening language learnt in just one session helped avoid three major tantrums. When I saw the results I almost fell off my chair! So I am thrilled to say that it hasn’t taken 3 months but just one evening to witness some incredible changes. So amazing I want to sign up to the course straight away.” A McIntyre after one parent session.
"I try to descriptive praise and reflective listening [two of the skills taught on the course] wherever possible now. We have thrown away our punishments system (the black dots, sent to your bedroom etc). I listen to my children a lot more. They are involved in the decisions we make as a family much more. We have more structure and therefore less regulations now. I think they are trying to be the best kids they can be now – rather than just winging it. They are motivated to succeed. They take a lot of care of me and show their love a lot more. They try to make it work between themselves much more than before. They do more for themselves, bedroom tidying, washing up etc." Emma, mother of four
"We both came out of that session feeling that you had helped us make progress on a path that we have been stumbling on for some time. You created a safe harbour for us to just sit down, slow down and talk... What we both realise is that formally sitting down and talking using parent practice language and therefore Parent Practice mindset is exactly what we need. The ideas are there but you have to give them a forum to develop. We need to refresh our thinking and our ideas constantly and what was nice is that it all feels within the realms of the possible!
"The one thing that surprised me most about the course was not the impact that it had on my kids but more the impact that it had on me! I was constantly challenged as a parent week after week and as a result it has transformed my life and the lives of my family." Lana, mother of a boy 2 and girl 1.
"Before picking up the children from school, yesterday afternoon, we made sure we had a pasta jar ready and once we fetched them from school, we started to practise the describing praise. When we got home, we explained about our meeting with you and we all went to buy notebooks. Mathis calls it his "Brilliant Book" and Theo calls it the "football book". Jasmine had not understood it was for mum and dad to write in it about her and got upset! :-) They were all very excited about filling the jar little by little. The real test for me was this morning because I was on my own with the children. To my surprise, we got through the morning without any punching, kicking, shouting. There was a little squabble between Mathis and Theo once, but we did not dwell on it and they quickly moved on to doing and saying good things. Breakfast went really well and the children talked nicely to one another, it was so much more relaxed and pleasant for everyone. Between yesterday afternoon/evening and this morning they filled their jar and tonight they will get to choose to do something special. Thank you for your help, it has been very useful." Michele, mother of 3 children.
"Thanks so much for your time yesterday. I have printed off the Reflective Listening sheets and will do as you suggest. Also, I am trying the new approach with Savannah and I think we had a much nicer afternoon and evening. I did not go thru my agenda when I collected her. She did say in the car she though that Lee and I 'hated her', which I tried to use the Reflective listening to ask her questions around that. Once home she was unahppy about the laptop removal from the day before but we worked thru that and actually she let the emotion out but then went to her room and did her homework.
"Thanks for the podcasts. TIming was perfect. Just feeling SO frustrated with the nagging and selective deafness of my son." Nicky, mother of one boy.
"I just wanted to thank you for today and my first sight into the Parent Practice. I have come away feeling really positive. You made me feel that I have the fundamentals right and that so far, what I have done isn't 'wrong', but there are areas that I can work on to make life better! You didn't make me feel that I need to change the way i parent, just that I should focus on what I need to improve.I will definitely go along to one of the course sessions to decide whether or not to sign up, but I am sure I will." Julie and David, parents of 4 children
"I have just started the 10 week course in Fulham. I've only done 2 classes, and I also attended the Bonnie Harris Sibling talk. I just wanted to say that even after a few sessions I am so thankful that I found this course. I can't explain the level of relief I am feeling right now. I really struggled with my parenting, but I didn't know where to turn for help. I didn't see any hope for improving my situation. I was just lost. I felt like I was on a really bad path with my eldest daughter, particularly. I could see her self-confidence was already so low at the age of 8, and I knew she struggled to talk to me about things. I really feared the teen years coming up in her future. I feared for our relationship. I also feared for her happiness throughout life. But I had no idea how to change the situation. Thank goodness I found you! I am just so relieved now! I have seen a positive effect from just a few things I've put into practice and now I am actually excited about the future with her! I can see how even with the few tools I've been introduced to already I can really make a difference in her self confidence and our relationship. I was just sitting here thinking about how the teen years aren't seeming quite so scary at the moment. That's what prompted me to write! I think I am on the right path to obtaining the tools I need. Leslie, mother of 2 children, 8 and 5.
"I just wanted to say thank you for the parent session yesterday. It was mind-blowing and you are right, I tried hard to start the process yesterday when I collected the children and our house was certainly a much calmer place." Stephanie, mother of 2 girls 8 and 5.
"I look back 4 years ago at the kind of mother I'd somehow morphed into being and I feel quite horrified. I threatened and shouted at my two little boys because quite honestly I didn't know what else to do when they misbehaved. I'd heard I should try ignoring bad behaviour and praising good but it never seemed to work and I ended up more frustrated and angry when they would not listen to me. I was tired of repeating myself constantly and I found myself flying off the handle more and more. Then I discovered the Parent Practice. Whew! I learned how to bring out the best in my boys and how to be an effective parent. It truly transformed our family life in a way I could have never imagined. My 9 year old has just read this over my shoulder and said, "You don't shout at us anymore like you used to..... but I suppose we're not being naughty like we used to be either! Exactly. Thank you Parent Practice!" Kelly, mother of 2 children, 9 and 7
"I really want to thank you for the course. I was slightly cynical to begin with - but the facilitator’s patience, clarity of communication, 110% belief in what you teach, plus the results we have already achieved from practising what we've learnt have made me a convert. I feel so lucky to have learnt these skills and I suspect that this will be the most powerful investment I will ever make in my relationship my children." Louisa, mother or 3 children, 5, 3 and 1
"I agreed to sign up and attend the parent practice course a little sceptical as to what I might gain from it and what it might enable us to achieve with our children. The first weeks of descriptive praise and reflective listening gave us good tools to address some of our issues and tricky moments. It has been a steep learning curve and much harder to implement and see through than I expected when [the facilitator] has explained howto put it into practice, but as the course has gone on and further strategies have been unveiled that work and support those outlined in the previous weeks, our gradual introduction of them has transformed our home life, enriched our relationships with all three of our very different children and empowered us with the confidence to handle really difficult situations with them where we had previously not been able to find any solutions and had often found ourselves in downward spiraling messes." Kate, mother of 3 children, twins 6 and 2
"Going on the Parent Practice’s Positive Parenting course has been without doubt one of the most important things I’ve ever done. It has transformed our family life, and continues to do so. Thank you.”“The Positive Parenting Course helped me gain a real insight into what makes my children tick and armed me with a most valuable thing: a positive, effective guide to parenting, particularly how to navigate the difficult bits that no one tells you about.” “In just a few weeks, my husband and I have learnt skills that have both transformed our family life and increased my son’s happiness and confidence immeasurably. We are all truly grateful.” Rachel, mother of one child, 4
"Just wanted to write to say thank you so much for all your leadership on the parenting course . I am finding the topics very challenging, and thought provoking, but very worthwhile. I am starting to feel calmer and more in control, and am trying to DP in any situation, even when I feel my blood boiling! It's starting to have results - I don't feel I have to be so bossy/shouty all the time and the boys are responding well to being asked their opinion and helping find solutions.Looking forward to the next few sessions. Many thanks and see you Friday." Jo, mother of three children, 6, 5 and 3.
"Your parenting tips still steer our family ship. I don't always remember to respond the way I'd like on reflection but It's like finding a £10 pound note at the bottom of your handbag..............sometimes finding just he right words to smooth through family life. When my children were quite small I had a parent practice top 10 tips printed out on the inside of our pantry cupboard. I could then whip out some skills with the cereal and be sure of a good day. I was always amazed by the results! Happy calm children. Bliss!" Pippa, mother of two children, 10 and 8.
"There has been a hugely positive shift in family life this week and I know that without the support of The Parent Practise, the change would not have been possible." Rachel, mother of 3 children, 10, 7 and 3.
"Many thanks for the session with you yesterday. We both found it extremely useful and so interesting and reassuring to see that our children are like most other children... You very efficiently managed to give us so much information and tips in such a short time! We've put some of it to the test this morning and enjoyed a very stress-free time before school (trying to avoid the giggles... especially when Jessica said: "Are you being sarcastic?"!!!)." Anne-Marie, mother of 3 children, 12, 9, 7.
"Thanks for [the private session] yesterday, it's what we needed.
“I wanted to thank you for the call, it really did inspire me and gave me the boost I needed as I was pretty much running on empty by the time we spoke and I needed reinvigorating, to say the least! Things are generally much improved, the praise and rules seem to be going well and my daughter's anger has passed which is a major relief. Things feel more peaceful and less anxious as it has opened my eyes to understanding her personality more than I had ever taken the time to do beforehand, which I think will stand me in good stead to help her in the future" Sally, mother of two, based in Hampshire
"We had the most amazingly positive interactions with Alexander both last night and this morning. We've got a long way to go but feeling optimistic which is great. .. We both feel so much lighter and more hopeful. I can't thank you enough." Sarah and James, parents of teenagers, boy 14 and girl, 12 after their first parent session.
"[When my son was] aged 3.5 I seemed to be constantly doing battle - hardly a day went by when we didn't have at least one 'showdown'….[I set up some skype sessions with The Parent Practice]… His behaviour changed almost overnight. I felt I understood him better, and more importantly, I was back in control, I had 'tools' and support, and a whole new way of coping. It was the most wonderful feeling. Over time and with ongoing coaching and encouragement from Elaine, I have totally changed my way of parenting, and my son has blossomed into the most wonderful little boy. He is sensitive, kind, thoughtful and spirited - and I am so so proud to be his mummy! Family life is fun now, and I know that I am helping him to become a confident, happy, caring little boy who believes in himself, and trusts in his world." Sarah, mother of two
"A heartfelt thanks for your calm and effective advice you gave me on the phone the other week when I was struggling with an unhappy Darcey and the changes in her new life! Thank you - we have a golden book in place and I'm making more time for her - it's working! Reconnecting with the (course) manual is my new golden rule for myself!" Catherine, mother of one daughter.
I moved abroad almost 2 years ago. The experience of moving is unsettling for a family - new language, new culture, new climate and a very different daily routine to my London existence. So initially I was not too worried about my elder son's testing behaviour. It was a lot of all of us to adapt to. But a year on, his behaviour had deteriorated further and at some point I became deeply frustrated and even ashamed of him. Aged 3.5 I seemed to be constantly doing battle - hardly a day went by when we didn't have at least one 'showdown'. My reaction was to become more and more aggressive - I think I was trying to intimidate him into submission. Good behaviour was an impossibility, just trying to stamp out the aggression, the tantrums was all I could focus on. After a long period of wondering what was wrong with my child, it finally dawned on me - it wasn't him, it was me. I was basically bullying him, and he was coping the only way he could.
"I really think I'm onto a winner with the classes I've attended". Separated father, Mike, Parent of a daughter
"When we first signed-up for the course I was curious but also concerned about giving up what felt like so much of my time. In the event it wasn't a huge imposition on my time and it was really worthwhile. We had specific issues to tackle and within weeks we found that things were turning round. After the course I am pretty confident that I am a better parent and that my kids are happier too." Leo, fatter of 2 daughters
"I wanted to thank you for the change in my relationship with my daughter following the descriptive praise & reflective listening session. We have always been close but the last few months she reacted very badly to me on many occasions and I haven't known what to do. I now do descriptive praise a lot and really try to listen to her. At tough times, I bring out the praise book and read to her some of the praise I have written previously. I usually finish with praise related to her having previously done well something she now doesn't want to do. It works a treat! Isabel's attitude and mood changes and she co-operates with whatever I am hoping for her to do". Alex, following a talk at his daughter's school
"yesterday was very good I thought it was going to be something that I was going to hate but I found it very interesting. I also found it quite easy to chat in the group which normally I hate doing." Joe, father of boy, 4
"Wow! What a session! I very much enjoyed it and everyone came out buzzing with ideas and questions. I found the material thought-provoking and the discussion interesting, balanced and helpful. I loved the way you facilitated the group today. I think that the different styles you’re using week-to-week are working beautifully as the group grows through its developmental stages as both a group (forming, storming etc.) and in terms of the group’s familiarity with the principals and values of positive parenting. This morning you drew out everyone and left no one stranded, no loose ends, and left us eager for the next instalment - where we are confident that we’ll address the questions that were left open – intentionally. Well done. Well done. Well done. Expertly managed." Katy, mother of 2, 10 and 2.
Separated and blended families
I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have completed your (core) course and what gift you are to those that you help. I have changed so much throughout the course and you have been a guiding light in a dark episode but your calming spirit and guidance have been a huge help. It has been a tremendous honour to be taught by someone who cares so much about changing lives and someone who does it exceptionally well. Those that you have blessed through your work will never forget you but always regret that the time they spent with you was so short." John MacNamara, father of 3 girls
"Thank you for a super eveing. I think we have something that works very well. The fact that well over a quarter of the school community - nearly a third - is attending is testimony to the value of the course, so thanks you." Kate Mitchell, Head Juniors, Wimbledon High School.
"I am so pleased that we invited you and that the response was so enthusiastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, and found that I was wanting more at the end. I could have listened to you for hours. All the feedback was overwhelmingly positive." Melissa Jo PTA organiser The Villa Peckham
"Thank you so very much on behalf of Highgate Pre-Prep for delivering a hugely informative evening for helping to get the best out of one's children. As you know this was our first of this kind and the feedback we have had already has been very enthusiastic. Parents definitely want help/advice and you delivered this in such a professional, humorous and kindly way that the message went down very well. As you realized we follow these principals already so it was super to hear them from another source." Janet Mills SENCO at Highgate Pre Prep school
"The presentation was clear, engaging and persuasive. Descriptive praise definitely works - I tried it the same evening!" Clarissa Farr, High Mistress, St Pauls's Girls School, London
“We were extremely grateful to you for coming. Being the first session that the School has done like this, we were not sure of the take-up by parents or the overall outcomes. What however was not unclear was the presentation itself. The encouragement to think about new ways of engagement, new vocabulary, new ‘tricks’ was very helpful indeed. It was particularly heartening to see parents thinking about this important issue, and sharing key scenarios that resonated with everyone present, without too much guilt! The School itself too has opportunities to look at what it does and put into practice even more strategies to help achieve the best outcomes for the pupils, to support them in their longer term development, both at Elstree and beyond. Who would not wish to see that for their pupils or child(ren)? Thank you for helping to make it such a fun, informative and efficient way to learn.” Mark Sayer, Headteacher, Elstree School, Berkshire
“Thank you very much for the inspiring talk that you gave to our parents. It really was first class and has enabled our parents to consider the importance of an emotional education in conjunction with an academic one. The feedback from our parents has all been resoundingly positive with a general cry for more workshops, so I feel sure we shall be working with you and The Parent Practice again.” Kate Simon, Head of Garden House School London
"Thank you very much for presenting such a wonderful evening at Rolfe’s Nursery School. Your presentation was fun, informative and has proved a big hit with our parents. I do hope that you will be able to come back and present another event very soon." Headteacher, Rolfe Nursery School
"Just to say thank you again for coming all this way to share some of your invaluable knowledge and skills with me and some of the mothers from Queens College Prep. One mother said I left feeling I had identified areas of family life that I really need to pay more attention to and also that I had acquired some strategies for coping with situations I find difficult..Very, very, very useful and interesting,Thank you again for such an interesting and enjoyable morning."
"Thanks for your email, the workshop was really appreciated by all who attended. We had lots of positive feedback the next day and parents were coming in saying their morning’s had been much happier. One parent said she was utterly exhausted from being so nice! It was interesting how much the dads had taken on the descriptive praise advice and were much more involved in the organisation of the household as a result.The content of the workshop was relevant although I think we could have gone on all night with questions. People clearly relate it to their own experiences and it all become rather specific if you allow it to so I know you couldn’t answer everyone’s questions. I think those with older children were more cynical about whether it would work and whether it would wash with their children.I received the feedback forms today so I’ll take them home at the weekend and think about our next move.Again for your inspiring talk. I know it will really help some of our parents." Headteacher, Bute House, London
"I caught up with a few people who'd attended the parent practice workshop in the playground on Wednesday, it was great to hear that they'd all found the techniques outlined the previous evening had helped facilitate a smooth and happy start to the day. Workshops can only cover the tip of the ice berg. Having done the foundation course and a couple of workshops, I'm now doing a 10 week course with the parent practice. All the skills I have learnt have made me a more fullfilled and happier mum and seeing how it's helped our children flourish has without doubt made it a very valuable investment, I couldn't recommend either of the courses more highly." Mother, Finton House School following a talk at the school
I believe The Parent Practice engages parents in a world of value and principle-led parenting that can lead to emotional literacy and healthy relationships for parents and their children. This is such a valuable thing in a world that has taught some in the past to be more concerned about results, which so often misses the essence of learning."
"In the car this morning, my daughter said 'Mummy, you have changed!' Breakfast had gone remarkably smoothly. I put the techniques into practice by letting them get their own breakfast ready - I normally wait for 20 mins before anyone will tell me what they want me to prepare! Long may my commitment to empowerment and descriptive praise last!"
"My children (class) respond really well to the techniques. Especially in one to one situations, or small groups." Serena, nursery teacher
"Elaine presented a fantastic introductory workshop ‘Bringing out the Best in your children’ for a network of professional working parents (the Association of Professional Working parents or APWP) which I co-chair. She gave an excellent presentation, providing practical tips for dealing with the most tricky situations in which parents find themselves and dealt admirably with those specific issues that can affect all working parents. The introduction to Descriptive Praise went down particularly well and some of those attending the workshop have since reported how successful they have found the techniques.
"I've just attended one of the Parent Practice sessions at Starcom and wanted to say what a truly wonderful thing it was. Not just in terms of the commitment that the Group is showing to the mothers and fathers who work in its various offices, but also the course itself.
"The event was a huge success, with the feedback received from our attendees being amongst the most positive that our network has had to date. The presenter was exceptionally well received by the audience." Comments from organisiers following a daytime corporate talk at Statestreet