Information for Parents

Parents Plus is an Irish charity that develops evidence-based, practical, parenting and mental health programmes. Our mission is to improve the well-being of children and families, by training and empowering professionals to deliver our programmes in their services.

We have put together some parenting resources for you below, and some useful contacts.

We do not run courses directly with parents and young people – our programmes are delivered by professionals from many different settings, who have attended our trainings, and who go on to run programmes throughout Ireland, the U.K. and internationally.

If you would like to attend a Parents Plus programme in your area, please contact your local services for children and families, such as those listed below, to find out if there is a course coming up.

“The Parents Plus group absolutely helped us as parents and our son David. I didn’t think that anybody could help us, because David was violent towards everybody. Ever since I did the Parents Plus sessions I’m a lot happier, David is a lot calmer, his sister is happier, his mother is happier. Our home is a lot calmer and he’s actually fun to be around now.”

Owen

There are seven different Parents Plus Programmes for parents and young people, which are usually run as 6-12 week courses. The courses are largely run free of charge or at a minimal cost to those attending.

The Adolescents Programme is for parents of adolescents aged 11 to 16 years.

The Children’s Programme is for parents of children aged 6 to 11 years.

The Early Years Programme is for parents of young children aged 1 to 6 years.

The Parenting when Separated Programme is for parents who are preparing for, going through or have gone through a separation or divorce.

The Working Things Out is for adolescents, aged 11 to 16, and promotes positive mental health and teaches coping skills to overcome specific problems.

The Special Needs Programme is for parents who are bringing up an adolescent with an intellectual disability.

The Healthy Families Programme: is for parents of children aged 1-12 years and supports healthy, active and positive family lifestyles.

Although we do not run courses directly with parents and young people, our programmes are available throughout Ireland, the U.K. and internationally. The programmes are run by the professionals we train, in many different settings, such as Family Resource Centres, Primary Care Teams, Disability Teams, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, CAMHS and Primary and Secondary Schools.

In addition, many county organisations coordinate parenting courses and services, such as County Child Care Committees and
Children and young peoples services committees.

Regional organisations offering Parents Plus Courses on a regular basis include SPECS Bray Family Support Project, Clarecare in Co Clare, Love Parenting in Co Limerick, Parenting Monaghan, Donegal Parenting Hub

You can also check out our Facebook and Twitter pages where information is shared regularly on the services that are running upcoming courses.

If you would like to attend a Parents Plus programme in your area, please contact your local services for children and families to find out if there is a course coming up.

If you are a parent or young person who has attended a Parents Plus or Working Things Out programme, we would very much welcome your feedback. We would like to hear about your experience of attending our programmes, what went well and what could have been improved.

To provide feedback, please email cherie@parentsplus.ie. You can leave your feedback anonymously or you can include your contact details if you would like to hear back from us. All feedback will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Click on the link below to find helpful information, including

  • Parenting Tips and Resources from the Parents Plus Programmes
  • Information on Parenting Support Services
  • Children’s Support Services
  • Relationship Counselling Services
  • Mediation Services
  • Mental Health Services, as well as
  • Parenting articles, featured in The Irish Times, from Professor John Sharry of Parents Plus

“I think the Parents Plus course was fantastic. I was really lost before I  went to it. But each day coming out of the course, I felt more confident. You gave me the tools to do things right. Everything you taught us to do really worked. Thank you.”

Louise

“I’m mum to one fabulous, fun, energetic and exhausting girl who’s turning five next week. We’re far from perfect but try our best everyday. Some days are wonderful – others not so much. I took the leap and signed up to a Parents Plus parenting course. The support, encouragement and skills shared and learned were so much more than I’d expected. For any parents out there who are struggling or want to do better, I’d encourage you to make the time to find a local resource that are there to help. Invest in your relationship with your child – you’ll both benefit.”

“Well it was an experience for me to understand my son Anthony more than I used to before I went to the Parents Plus course as in not to think that he was just being bold or being a bully, but more to understand the pressures that he is under and what it is like to be out there today with friends and peer pressure and everything else”

“I think that when we started on the Parents Plus course I thought maybe it would be, ‘this is what you’re doing wrong, that’s what you’re doing wrong,’ instead of that I found that it emphasised the positive aspects. We all felt that we were good parents that were doing a lot of things right.”

“I found it very hard to come along to the Parents Plus class because I thought nobody was going to have a child like my child. It was absolutely great being able to say, well my child has this bad behaviour, and he wasn’t the only one with bad behaviour. Other children had done exactly same thing. As parents we benefited greatly from the course, we got a lot of emotions out – laughed, cried, and joked. It was time out.”

“I found doing the Parents Plus course really very helpful, I must say I went in thinking ‘Everybody will think I’m here that I have a problem with parenting’ but I soon realised that the people coming were the people that were already good parents and that wanted to do the best for their children, who wanted to do a very important job even better. It really did help my life considerably and helped the way that we related to each other as a family.”

“Really positive – I was very unsure about going to the Parents Plus group, I thought people were going to criticize me, but the course gave me the tools I needed in a friendly way…I just need to remember to press the pause button!”

“One of the key things that the Parents Plus course has given me is a sense of hope and understanding that there are other people in similar situations. I think that is very important for a parent because you do feel very lonely when you have to deal with a child with these difficulties, which other children and other parents don’t seem to experience. So just that idea of meeting people who have gone through the same experiences and are dealing with the same problems as you gives you an awful lot of strength and a lot of confidence to go on with your life and keep building that relationship with your child.”

“Overall the Parents Plus course was really helpful and I’m so glad I did it, and, if my experience or any of my feelings can help anybody else, then it’s well worth it. There was a group of us, mothers and fathers, everyone of us had one or two children but we all had the common problem that we couldn’t  manage our children. Today to be able to manage my children and feel that I am a good mother is worth everything to me and I think that the children have reaped the benefit of it too.”