What if I don’t have particular concerns about my child, but would like to be a better parent?
Yes, this course is for all parents who want to help their children achieve their full potential
Will the course help my child do better at school?
Yes, it should. Our research trials have shown that these methods improve reading age
Will the course help my child who is often difficult?
Yes, the methods are proven to be effective for reducing disobedience, tantrums and moodiness, and are recommended by official government bodies such as NICE (National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence)
Will the course help my child who is a worrier and lacking self-confidence?
Yes, it has major elements on how to make your child feel more secure and enable them to celebrate their successes and feel better about themselves
Will the course help my child who can’t concentrate, is overactive and is impulsive?
Yes, the methods in the course are proven to help these behaviours and retrain your child’s
brain to focus better and calm down. When they are marked, these behaviours can
add up to ADHD, for which these methods are recommended by NICE
Will the course help my child who is on the autistic spectrum?
It is not specifically designed for children with autism, but the methods have been shown to help both challenging behaviour and anxiety in children with autistic traits
What age child is this course suitable for?
It is designed for children aged 2 to 10. Young infants need a slightly different approach, and with teenagers the same ideas apply but more negotiation is necessary.
Will it work with my teenager?
The principles of effective parenting with teenagers are the same, with strengthening of the emotional relationship, encouragement for good behaviour and staying calm with consequences for difficult behaviour. But the examples in this course are for primary age children
Would it be a good idea for my partner to do it as well?
Definitely. As you change your approach to the relationship with your child, it will increase the benefit if your partner does it too and your child experiences the same approach from both of you.
Although this course is designed to be done by one parent/carer, it helps to work together, to discuss the strategies, look at the videos and examples as well as do the home practice. Although, few parents fully agree on everything (!), the more you can work together, support each other and be consistent, the better for everyone!
Could it improve my relationship with my partner?
Yes, learning how to speak up for yourself and express your needs in a constructive way is part of the course, as is how to listen to them and show them that you understand what they are feeling
What if I'm looking for a solution to a specific problem? Do I still have to do the whole course?
We have picked some of the main difficulties parents face and are in the process of putting together simple guides to help you identify the causes, understand the impact and what you can do to manage this. They can be found in the Resources section in the top navigation bar - Common Difficulties. We will continue adding to these topics in the coming months.
How do I know if this is going to work?
How do I know this will work?
Because it consists of ingredients proven to work in over 300 trials with over 30,000 parents. This is their lived experience, that compared with parents who didn’t take a course, their children are happier, play and behave better, and make better friendships. And the family home is calmer. Beyond this, we have seen with our own eyes, time and time again, how family life can be transformed. However, to bring about lasting changes will require some input from yourself to practise the new methods with your child.
How is it different from other online parenting courses?
There are a number of online courses out there. Many are simply telling you what to do, without helping you put it into practice. Most don’t have elements to help you read with your child and improve their school performance, nor do they have ways to improve communication with your child and your partner or friend. None that we are aware of have an initial assessment to help you personalise your course to your own and your child’s needs. Few have a community too, where ideas and experiences can be shared, and parenting coaches and experts are also on hand.
What are the principles this course is based on?
There are 4 underpinning theories that we draw on: (i) attachment theory, which is about how to make your child feel safe and loved and strong inside, so then they are more willing to fit in with the family; (ii) social learning theory, which shows how to help children learn better habits, change their behaviour and gives you the tools to do this; (iii) educational language and reading learning theory, so that you use the best methods proven to help your child learn better; and finally (iv) neuroscience, choosing the approaches that have been shown to lead to better brain growth.
Doing the course
Is there an introduction to the course?
Yes, there is a brief introduction to the course right at the start. This includes a Family Star questionnaire, following which you will get some feedback about how you are managing as a parent, and how your child is getting on. You will be able to see the results on your personal Family Star chart, so you can see how you have changed from the beginning to the end of the course. This takes around 15 minutes, and is really worthwhile as it will also help personalise the course to your needs.
How long does the course take?
The course is designed to take 6 - 12 weeks. This means you can practice one or two new strategies a week with your child, before moving on to the next session or part of the course. Taking time and doing the exercises will help you to build on the positive changes.
How long does each session or part of the course take?
Each online session takes around 30-40 minutes, although we have broken each up in to smaller bite-sized chunks that take between 2 minutes and 15 minutes sot hat you can easily fit it in to your daily routine. Some people like to spend longer, looking at the feedback from other parents in the course, and sharing challenges and successes in the supported community.
The course has two halves, based on LOVE and LIMITS, and how to get the balance! There are 9 sessions overall. We recommend you do these in the following order: Starting with 6 sessions of LOVE; Play 1, Play 2, Praise 1, Praise 2 and Listen 1, Listen 2. Then the 3 sessions of LIMITS; Rules, Temper and Plan.
Can I stop before the session is completed?
Yes, you can pause at any time just by logging out. When you log back in you will be taken back to your dashboard where you can see which sessions you've completed and which are coming up next.
Do I have to do the course in a fixed order?
No, but we strongly recommend you to go in the order shown in the course, as sessions build upon each other
Does it involve practising things at home?
To get the most benefit for you and your child it is important to try out the skills covered in the course at home. It will feel strange at first, but if you keep on practicing you should see a difference. And it will get easier. We also would encourage you to practise doing play 10-minutes-a-day as well as reading together with your child throughout the course.
Are there printable materials I can download?
If you do the Parenting Style Quiz, you will get a PDF showing what sort of parenting style you currently have. Once you have signed up you will will find a few printable charts and documents within the course, such as reward charts. Downloadable materials can also be found in the community.
Do I get a summary of important advice or strategies?
Yes, we will send you a reminder of your home practice by email once you've completed each section and this also refreshes you on key strategies.
Can I track my progress?
Yes, doing home practice with your child is part of what makes this program so effective. This is a theme that runs through the course each week as it is so important. We encourage parents to continue the daily 10-minutes-a-day play and reading throughout the course. And at the end of the course, you can see on the dashboard how your Family Star has progressed.
Can my partner/carer do it too?
Yes absolutely. Although this course is designed to be done by one parent/carer, you can certainly do it together, discuss the strategies, look at the videos and examples together as well as do the home practice. Although, few parents fully agree on everything (!), the more you can work together, support each other and be consistent, the better for everyone!
How long will I have access to the site after registering?
The course will be available to you for a minimum of 3 months.
Safety and confidentiality
How safe and confidential is my information?
Is the site checked for inappropriate or worrying content posted by users?
Yes, our Community Manager is responsible for managing discussions in the private community in order to create a safe, secure and respectful space for members.
I'm having difficulties registering or at log in. Who should I contact?
You can use the contact us form on the site (via the top menu) if you need to contact the Parenting Matters team.
Can I do the course on a mobile or tablet or PC?
You can access the course from any internet enabled device - desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. We support all major browsers on these devices
Is it available in languages other than English?
Not at present. However you can get a simultaneous translation app for many languages.
Do I have to be a good reader to take course?
There is a voiceover available for the first half of the programme and this will soon be extended through the rest of the course. However to benefit from the course it helps to have a reasonable level of English.