Parenting: the journey ahead
I have now been an accredited Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) facilitator for around three years, having delivered numerous face-to-face programmes and more than 50 online programmes! Training to become a facilitator began a journey that led me to join the Race Equality Foundation as a member of staff where I have been leading work in Waltham Forest, taking forward our work with young people in prison and their families and overseeing the rollout of our online parenting programme.
During my time at the Foundation, I have worked with some amazing parents from all walks of life that have really taught me what it is to be a loving parent. In April this year, I was blessed to find out that my partner and I are now expecting our first child and the work I have done with the foundation and the SFSC programme has supported me in knowing how to approach this new challenging but exciting stage of life.
With the tables turning as we approach the ‘final leg’, I find myself in a position of breaking down the building blocks which underpin the SFSC programme and working out ways in which to incorporate them into this next life chapter. From my ethnic, cultural, family and spiritual roots to ensuring a strong parent/child relationship and knowing what I want to model and teach my child, I feel the programme has equipped me with the foundations to work from to ensure a positive, healthy and loving household.
Many parents start the course with us when their children are of a certain age, but I am recognising the need for courses like ours to be available to new parents who are yet, or just starting out on their journey. I myself have reflected on my own upbringing and how I was raised and in turn it has allowed me to decide whether I will continue some practices or traditions, or whether I want to adapt or discard them. I’d be lying if I said we were not scared! But I do believe my experience of the SFSC programme, as well as the parents I have worked with and their kindness in sharing their journey, will set the foundations of this rite of passage for my partner and I.
I will most definitely miss delivering the programme whilst on maternity leave, but thank all of the wonderful parents I have worked with over the past 3 years, as well as the SFSC programme itself, for preparing me for the journey ahead.
Taquira Wilson, Children and Young People’s Programme Officer, Race Equality Foundation