Parenting Creatively in a Quaker Manner

Parents explore:

  • What Quaker beliefs, testimonies and practices mean to them.
  • How these foundations of Quakerism can support and guide them as they nurture their children.
  • A system of queries that can help them plan how they want to live with and guide their children.
  • With other parents the joys and challenges of parenting.

Discussion Series Outline

Session 1

  • Settling together: Practicing mindfulness
  • Getting to know each other: Reasons for being here – yours and mine
  • Planning where we are going
    • Overview of discussion series: Questions/queries to guide us
  • What are our current concerns? Describe the situation
    • Using observation skills
  • What are our choices?
    • Brainstorming
  • Maintaining the relationship
  • Communication skills: affirming and supporting; communing and sharing
  • Testimonies—what are they?
  • Family-of-origin
  • What is your situation?
    • Mindfulness in your situation
  • Mindful of our bodies

Session 2

  • What qualities do we want to see in our children as adults?
    • What do the Testimonies mean for our family life?
    • What guidance do the Testimonies give us when selecting our values?
    • Testimonies and values as guides for deciding how to deal with our situation.
  • Being mindful of our child
  • Feelings and emotions Where do they fit into our lives?
    • How do we want to deal with them?
    • Communication skills: Reflective and/or Active listening
  • Families of origin
  • Sharing our specific situations
  • Mindful of the situation

Session 3

  • What are our beliefs? How do they impact on our child
  • How do we meet the needs of our children and of ourselves?
    • Meeting needs as a technique of discipline
    • Meeting children’s needs in an unQuakerly world
  • Communication skills: Explaining and giving information; discussing and dialoguing
  • Helping our children relax

Session 4

  • Planning with consideration for each member in the family
    • Development with an emphasis on cognitive changes
    • Learning and thinking styles
  • Communication skills: Inquiring, Clarifying meaning
  • Mindfulness of the larger world

Session 5

  • Looking at pleasant experiences
  • Planning with consideration of each child in the family – and ourselves
    • Temperament patterns
    • Interests
    • Physical make-up
    • Previous experience
  • Communication skills: Responding to our children’s obnoxious comments;
    • Problem solving

Session 6

  • Defining for ourselves the parental role
  • Guiding out of the center or centering in the midst of chaos
  • Structuring our environments: Using time, space and equipment
  • Deciding/planning
    • Planning for other situations
  • Reflections and evaluations of the discussion series