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The following interviews were recently conducted between students of the Positive Parenting Program and the Mothers’ Union worldwide Program Coordinator, Anne-Marie Clive. The Positive Parenting Program is supported by ABM, with the aim of empowering parents to raise healthy, happy children in a positive family environment.
Alan Christian is married with 5 children, and lives in San Fly village near Gela on Nggela Sule Island to the north of Guadalcanal.
“Through this workshop I have learnt a lot and felt encouraged as a father. I have reflected on the fact that at times I have been involved in negative things in my family and as a leader. I am not happy with how I behaved.
I was aggressive before and realise that it was breeding hate and has a negative impact on people.
Through this group I have learnt and been empowered to be a strong dad but not an angry or aggressive dad. I am making a new approach and want to try new things. I now know as a Dad I have a responsibility to my family especially for developing relationships, but also for the physical and intellectual development of my children.
I am inspired. I am a new being. I want to now protect my children from harm and sickness and have ideas and methods for doing this. I am excited to try these.”
Anne is married and has 7 children. She is from Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
“I have learnt a lot this week. I used to talk harshly to my children. Now I have learnt that I can talk in a more loving way and can be a friend to my children.
My eldest daughter got pregnant at 16 and I dealt with it badly by berating her. I see now that was negative for her and didn’t help her situation at all, but I thought that was my role as a mother. With my two youngest daughters I want to be more open minded, I want to discuss things and be a friend to them.
My 14 year old actually came home last night and told me about a boy at school who had asked her to be his girlfriend (!) instead of shouting at her and telling her ‘it’s wrong!’ I just calmed down and listened to her. I let her talk and discussed it with her. I asked her ‘what did you say’ and she said she feels she is too young.
I said that was a good answer and we hugged. So I feel like I have learnt a lot and am already using these techniques!”
Father Leslie is a husband to Mary, and has 5 children. They live in Gela on Nggela Sule Island.
“One main thing I have decided is wrong is to cane and whip the children. It is wrong because it is against their rights as a child. It is not the right parental care they deserve, it is a form of child abuse!
I am trying now to be peaceful and to direct my mind-set to the fact they are young. When I get home from work, even if I am tired, I want to gather them to me and show them my love.
I want to change from the father and husband I was in the past to a new one. We didn’t parent together but we will now. I have a positive attitude rather than a negative one and want us to be a family with love and play together.”
ABM would like to thank everyone who has generously given towards this project. Your support and prayers and making a tangible difference in the lives of so many families, ensuring blessing for generations to come.
Interviews and photographs conducted by Anne-Marie Clive (Mothers’ Union program, Mary Sumner House, UK) in October 2016