This, that, the other…
May 24, 2019
CFC Praise Breakfast 2019
May 24, 2019

CSP: new skills, tools to parent better

CSP class of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Maracas parish.

Common Sense Parenting (CSP) is offered by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) in collaboration with the Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development through the generosity of the Republic Bank Limited Power to Make a Difference programme.

Please visit our website –, email – or call us 299-1047 to start a programme in your area.

Programmes have been held at six venues from February to May, 2019:

St Philip and St James, Chaguanas RC Parish – parents of first communion candidates

Ryu Dan Dojo- Youth Empowerment Centre, Chaguanas  – parents of students

Tablepiece Government Primary, Les Coteaux, Tobago – parents

Enterprise police youth club and Dass Trace youth empowerment centre, Chaguanas – youth leaders

St Dominic’s Children’s Home, Belmont – caregivers

Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Maracas parish – parents of confirmation candidates. Coming out of the CSP programme here, a monthly parent support group has started.  Here are a few testimonies from parents:

CH – From my own experience this generation of children is very different from my generation…. However, my own observation is that the influences on a child outside of the immediate home and community are currently not only wide-ranging—from television, internet, mobile devices—but also largely outside the sphere of easy understanding of parents.

New tools for parents are required to deal with this new generation, and the ‘Common Sense Parenting’ programme provides just that. One of the first lessons from the course is the importance of being calm, brief and dealing with one point at a time which goes against the grain of the traditional Trini parent who tends to want to say a lot. Children tune us out!

Though I was one who did not believe in parenting courses this one is different in that immediately there were tools that taught me “relating to children after getting yourself calm”, “demonstrating negative and positive consequences”, “preventive teaching” and “holding family meetings”. Thus far, there are times that I still descend to the old traditions, especially not doing enough to stay calm, but at least now I recognise it and have made progress in utilising the new found skills with my kids.

KC– Apart from learning how to methodically treat with children and their behavioural issues, attending the course with peers highlights the fact that the challenges you face aren’t yours alone: other parents face the same trials.

Along with systematically treating with children’s behaviours, the course also highlights shortcomings in our own interactions with our children; sometimes we focus on remedial items and pay less attention to reinforcing and praising positive actions of our children. It also highlights the stakeholder role children play in the household.

LP – One of the key messages in this programme is that we are raising children to be part of society. I found that many of the corrective and preventative steps in this programme can be used with my own spouse and at my workplace and so it definitely will help me in raising children who will be able to positively enter into society as adults. It all comes together as a total package.

This programme brought everything into perspective for me and I know I will use what I learnt over the past few weeks not only in my home but also at work.

JM – I thought the Common Sense Parenting Course was excellent. It clarified for me the skills that we already use, but sharpened them to be more effective. It also clarified when to put things on the back burner and deal with the important behaviour issues first. Even the simple skill of observing and describing with specifics, has helped me a lot. Our teacher was excellent! Our group was lively and interactive. I will definitely recommend this programme to friends and family.

CJ – What impacted me the most about the Common Sense Parenting programme:
1) The teaching material which supported the lessons.
2) The facilitators ability to passionately convey the insightful teaching material while powerfully sharing their own experiences.
3) The facilitators ability to put everyone at ease with respect to sharing their individual experiences and maintaining an open mind to the shared lessons and individual experiences.
4) The structured lessons to fostering a predominantly methodical rather than an emotional approach to parenting.
5) The opportunity for situational role playing and practise of learnt techniques.

MG – The Common Sense Parenting was a real eye opener for me for both home and school life. I was excited to try the various strategies and it made disagreements among parents and children, even teacher and children, less stressful and manageable! I will continue to use it to my best ability. I have my books to help me remember as well ?

MJ – Thank you for very informative, interactive and positive messages on Common Sense Parenting. I feel better equipped to deal with my son in a way that will foster a more effective and open communication and enable me to continue to nurture him into a productive young member of our family, our community and our nation.