Parent Cafés can have a profound effect on a community when they are done with fidelity to the model, and when they are part of an overall approach to parent engagement and a commitment to parent participants that is strength-based and that recognizes and affirms parents’ leadership role in their families. Parent Cafés engage parents in meaningful conversations about what matters most – their family and how to strengthen that family by building protective factors. Our Parent Cafés are focused on building the 5 research based protective factors that mitigate the negative impacts of trauma. Parent Cafes are an adaptation of the World Café process (an internationally recognized small group conversation technology which was developed for strategic planning and community consensus building). Besides building protective factors, Parent Cafes address trauma in another way. Dr. Bruce Perry, Senior Fellow for the Child Trauma Academy (Houston, TX), asserts that empathy, the ability to connect and share others’ feelings, is an intervention found instrumental in combating the impact of trauma. Additionally, the manifestation of relationship building (social and emotional connections) combined with empathy are powerful strategies in mitigating the impact of trauma. Relationship building amongst parents is the heart of the Parent Café and positive social connections is one of the Protective Factors that’s explicitly taught through the Parent Café. Each Café is accompanied by a developmentally appropriate child care program the curriculum for which mirrors the Parent Café curriculum.
The Listening to Children and to Each Other workshop series takes parents and primary care givers on a wonderful ride of discovery. The curriculum is based on Hand in Hand Parenting literature developed by Patty Wipfler. Parents and care givers are challenged to explore revolutionary new ways of addressing every day issues such as setting limits, tantrums and crying. Participants also learn effect methods of healing children’s fears and supporting adolescence. However, this workshop is specifically designed to improve each participant’s ability to listen. Parents learn how to listen by identifying and removing the listening blocks that they unconsciously possess. When children are listened to by parents or care givers they develop a level of trust that cannot exist without effective listening.