I posted last week about how J & I were attending our first ‘Parenting Pitstop‘ session. It was only an hour session this time but the usual ones are one and three-quarter hours long. I was feeling really nervous about leaving him to play even though he was under supervision, but just the fact it was a new setting and I wasn’t there worried me; how he’d act without me there, if he’d get upset, and so on. When it came to it though, he didn’t even notice me leaving! They actually do a countdown so the children are given notice that parents will be leaving, for example “Five minutes left to play!”, “One minute left to play!” and then a countdown from ten seconds and then it’s a kiss goodbye and off we go.
There were only eight of us there (plus the course leader and an assistant) so it really is a small group; two of those were a couple and another two were mother and Nanna so six children between us meaning they got lots of attention when playing without us. When we left the children we headed to the kitchen. Everyone was really nervous, you could tell just by looking. My anxiety was up anyway as it was a new situation for me too, but I felt relaxed once we’d all settled in with a cuppa! We did introductions and had to tell everybody the one thing we wanted to focus on with our children (for me it was J’s anger/temper and lashing out) and with ourselves (again, for me it was my reactions to those situations where he does lash out).
As it was just an introduction session we didn’t really talk about a lot of things, we basically just went over what future sessions would entail, and we also had to fill out a couple of forms. On one of them it asked the child’s favourite activities & toys, so they could get those things out for them during our sessions; I think this is really great as it will put them more at ease too. We were supplied with our own folder to put our information in so we have something to keep at the end of it, which will be great to have something to refer back to once we’ve finished the course.
Once we had finished our session the children came to collect us (this is so that we don’t have to try and drag them away from playing and they get upset) – they all came running in shouting Mummy or Daddy, it was lovely! J did want to go back and play though -“Mummy, come play” – and he was quite upset when we got back in the car – he sat himself in the foot well with his head curled up in his knees rubbing his eyes, then he wouldn’t talk to us!
Obviously personal things may come out in these sessions so I won’t be sharing too much – just how we get on really, but I thought I would update you on how our first session went. Even after this first introduction session I am a teeny bit more confident that it will at least go some way to helping us all. It’s going to be tough, for all of us, but I am determined that we will see a turnaround as it is really wearing us down now.
Wish us luck for the next few weeks!