A Practical Example of Before and After

The feedback below demonstrates how useful all this can be. It is a good example of how before and after awareness-building can make your work more effective. In this case, the practitioners are describing their experience of running the ‘Parenting Teenagers’ course, but the process applies equally to any of our courses:

“At the first session of our Parenting Teenagers course my friend and I asked parents to write (anonymously) their concerns about their children. We then wrote the concerns as a huge(!) list on the flipchart. Then at the end of the course we had an extra session during which we showed the parents their list – and also gave them a list of all the skills (about 16!) which they had been learning on the course. We went through the list of problems, asking the parents to explain how they might tackle these issues by using skills from the list. We tackled some as a whole group but also gave the ‘grittier’ problems to small groups. The feedback from this session was particularly good – parents felt it had pulled everything together and refreshed their memories with a quick ‘check-list’ to which they could refer. They also felt encouraged that they now had the means to tackle what had seemed quite insurmountable problems at the course outset. So, many thanks! My friend and I love delivering the Parenting Teenagers course and are now offering it to all parents of Year 7 pupils as part of their welcome to Pilton Community College (where we are both based).” 

Shirley Paterson & Sue Wearne, Pilton, Barnstaple.



The skills below will make more sense to people who are familiar with our courses – and there is inevitably a little overlapping, but here’s how Shirley and Sue sum them up:

1. ‘Connecting’ with your teen.
2. Avoiding getting ‘hooked in’ as we do when we give negative attention.
3. Avoiding angry confrontations by deferring talking until calmer.
4. Giving good attention when it’s not expected.
5. Looking beyond surface behaviours for signs of discouragement, lack of self-esteem etc.
6. Listening and letting your teen talk.
7. Active listening (reflecting back what is understood).
8. Encouraging – being positive and kind.
9. Specific encouragement, acknowledging efforts or improvements.
10. Teaching basic skills and chores.
11. Giving responsibility, boosting self-confidence.
12. Recognising whose problem?!
13. Giving ‘I’ messages when you’re upset – but listening when your teen is more upset.
14. Managing conflict using the 6 stages.
15. Agreeing boundaries and consequences together.
16. Applying consequences.