Movember launches world's first online parenting programme for fathers 1 week ago

Movember launches world's first online parenting programme for fathers

Improvements in behaviour can be seen within two weeks

Parenting is difficult. You don't need to be a parent to know that. It is both a miracle for many and a challenge - there is no shame in admitting that and no shame in seeking help to improve one's parenting skills.

After a year when many parents have had to take on even more responsibilities, like homeschooling, on top of the already 24/7/365 jobs they do as a parent, seeking help to undertake the challenge makes more sense than ever.

So it seems like perfect timing for men's health charity to launch the world's first ever free parenting course, specifically aimed at fathers. Parenting courses are not new, but they are usually expensive and research shows that in most programmes, only 20 per cent of participants are fathers.

The programme, Movember's Family Man, is a 'free, online course designed to equip parents of children, aged between two and eight, with the practical skills to manage challenging child behaviour and increase their parenting confidence.'

Movember boast that improvements in children's behaviour can be noticed within just two weeks.

Jane Endacott, Director of Digital Health Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at Movember, said: "Being a parent can be a very rewarding experience, but it isn’t always easy. Dealing with meltdowns in the supermarket or a child who repeatedly ignores instructions can be incredibly stressful.

"It can cause friction at home and over time that can impact the whole family’s mental wellbeing.

"There is a huge amount of research that shows parenting is more effective when it’s done as a team. We know that when all available parents are engaged in parenting decisions, it benefits the whole family."

The programme comprises three 20 minute episodes, specifically aimed at dads, with each episode featuring a father as the main character, who is faced with challenging behaviours in different situations such as a battle over the dinner table or a tantrum in public.

Users are offered a variety of responses to the child's behaviour, with the pros and cons of each option clearly explained by the programme.

Family Man was adapted from ParentWorks, designed by Professor Mark Dadds, who said: "Evidence-based parenting programmes are effective in reducing behavioural problems, yet few involve the participation of fathers.

"Our study of ParentWorks showed that this type of intervention was successful in reducing child behavioural problems, ineffective parenting, couple conflict, and improving parental mental health.

"We were able to recruit a large number of dads to take part, and both fathers and mothers seemed to benefit equally from the programme.

"Family Man was designed to be accessible to all families and may be especially useful in rural and remote areas, where resources can be hard to access.

"It is delivered online, without the support of trained practitioners, which overcomes a key barrier for many parents."

Go to Movember's Family Man to find out more