Throughout the past few years we at Aylsham Community Church have been building relationships with more and more families in our community, specifically through our toddler group and MakeLunch (where we provide a hot meal and fun activities in the school holidays for families struggling on tight budgets). One of the biggest needs many of these families talk about is the need for support and help in parenting. The bible says in Psalm 66:8 that ‘God puts the lonely in families’. For various reasons many parents can feel lonely and isolated and it’s our heart as a church to reach out and empower parents and carers struggling with adversity to develop confidence and good parenting skills that will enable their children to flourish and well-functioning family life to be sustained. Whilst we don’t claim to have all the answers about parenting - we can share experience, wisdom and, above all, the love of a heavenly Father.
This year we have started to run an exciting new parenting programme called Kids Matter. This programme has been produced by a charity of the same name who specifically want to help churches to reach out and support struggling parents within their communities. The vision is to see families thriving not just surviving; and for the church to be known as ‘a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes’. (Isaiah 58:12b NLT). Eventually we would love to see Kids Matter parenting groups taking place in the various villages & towns surrounding Aylsham, and further afield.
What is it?
Kids Matter Parenting Programme is a six week programme working with a small group of parents (4-8 any one time) exploring the following topics:
· Being a strong family
· Loving our children well
· Play, encouragement & listening
· Routines, choices and rewards
· Family rules and consequences
· The Bigger Picture
Having had experience delivering various other parenting programmes, I can’t speak highly enough of Kids Matter. It has been such an amazing tool to use and a real privilege to be able to encourage and support local (non-church) families in this way. Here are a few comments from our group;
"Coming to Kids Matter has helped me realise that I’m not alone."
"Solid info and just loved the group and the opportunities to share’ ‘It’s so relaxed and you are able to talk."
"It’s helped me massively to realise it’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Talking to others and realising I am not alone’"