Parents Anonymous® of Chicago with UCAN celebrated National Parent Leadership Month by having candid conversation with group participants. This year’s celebration for National Parent Leadership Month included a question that was asked of all participants: “What does Parent Leadership mean to me?” Parents discussed values they gained, all from their commitment to growth and change; this constitutes leadership for many of them. Moreover, this was the basic theme throughout the 11 groups under Parents Anonymous® of Chicago. However, the topic question was also answered in more detail from Lowden and Altgeld groups.
For example, a member from the Lowden group discussed how the entire group plays a role in Parent Leadership by attending the meetings on a weekly basis. Others talked about the group in general as being one that teaches new skills, such as the sewing classes that involves all members and creates a sense of camaraderie. In addition, the Altgeld group shared more personal reflections to the question.
One member told the story of how she changed her discipline methods with her children. She stopped spanking and started giving time-outs as punishments; a change resulting from the attendance of the Parent Anonymous groups. Furthermore, her parent leadership skills have been passed on to her older children when disciplining their own children. Another member gave an account of how her referral to Parents Anonymous® changed her life. She stated how she gained a wealth of information and knowledge to help her deal with the stress of raising a child that challenged her parenting skills. By this member participating in the Parent Anonymous® group, she was taking control of the matter, exercising her parent leadership abilities. Overall, all group members agreed Parent Anonymous® gave them something to look forward to each week.
Lastly, Parents Anonymous® of Chicago recognizes all parents who make the commitment to come to one, two, or hundreds of group meetings as Parent Leaders in their own right. The group acknowledges the effort as a “sign of strength” and willingness to become better parents. To show appreciation, UCAN provided group members with certificates of recognition and gift cards. Each member also received a Parents Anonymous® pin which honored their leadership and lasting contribution to promising parenthood.
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