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About 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' workshops

The purpose of the programme of 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' workshops with parents is to enable the exchange of information, knowledge, skills and support that will help parents exercise their parental responsibilities, and to promote personal growth and development of competencies of both parents and their children.

Programme 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' is focused on parents and their children alike.

  • Parents have the opportunity to learn about the child development and parenting that support it; the programme promotes personal growth and development of parents and helps them face the difficulties and acquire strength in a meaningful way; also, it expands the informal network of support.
  • The programme develops resilience in children to unfavourable influences through adoption of skills in coping with stress, develops their communication and problem solving skills, and provides support to the development of their self-esteem.

The main goal of the Programme is to create a stimulating and empowering environment where parents, together with workshop leaders and other parents:

  • exchange ideas about the ways of coping with parenting,
  • learn more about themselves as parents,
  • identify ways they relate to their children,
  • learn about other possible ways of relating to their children.

Also, they learn more about scientific views on:

  • development and stimulative parent-child interaction,
  • parenting that is beneficial to both parents and children.

At the same time, in a stimulative environment and through structured activities and free play, the children acquire:

  • basic skills in coping with stress,
  • skills in unburdening and mitigation of worries,
  • ability to receive and offer support.

The programme of 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' consists of fifteen 1,5-hour long workshops that are conceptually and thematically interconnected (simultaneously for parents and children). After each workshop, the parents and children spend another half hour in joint activities.

The workshops are conducted by specially educated teams of experts in providing support to early childhood development.

Workshops with parents Workshops with children
Parents of the 21st century Let's play together
Basic psychological needs Same and different at the same time
Easier way to achieve goals Friendship
Four pillars of parenting That's me – there are no two of the kind
All our children and how we love them What can children be?!
Expectations of development – understanding and directing Look, I can do it by myself!
Listening – an important parental skill An unusual 4D story
How a child learns about the world around him/her The world of feelings
Boundaries: why and how? What and how with anger?
We create and choose solutions Who is important to me, whom do I trust
Parental responsibilities and some other issues It's OK to feel sad
Being a parent: influences and choices Invisible boundaries
Supporting oneself, supporting others When I am happy, I dance!
About partnership and co-parenting Child's rights
End and new beginning End and new beginning

Workshops are attended by 4-10 parents. They include various forms of work, depending on the goals and content of each activity. Short lectures with PPT presentations, exercises and assignments interchange with conversations on particular topics and exchange of experiences in small or large groups. Each workshop is 'spiced' with some sort of play and/or short film.

Workshops for children are attended by 4-10 children. The main form of work is play, either structured or free. Learning through play includes occasional songs, toys, materials and activities involving movement, and some activities practising routine.

The 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' programme was launched in 2017 by the experienced leaders of the 'Growing Up Together' programme. In 2018, the leaders, in collaboration with parents and children, participated in the first experimental implementation of the Programme in eleven family centres in one children's home, one kindergarten and one social co-operative. The second experimental implementation will take place in 2019 in the family centres and social welfare centres throughout Croatia. The Programme will be finalized in 2020.

The programme of 'Growing Up Together – Count Us In' workshops with parents and children has been developed within the scope of the systematic support to preschool parents, and in particular to those exposed to adverse parenting environment. The 'Growing Up Together' Centre participates as implementation partner to UNICEF in the joint initiative of the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy and UNICEF, called 'For a Stronger Family'.

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