Stories from Parents & Practitioners

What parents say

“I enjoyed being at Mellow Dads, it was a great experience, it gave me the chance to hear other dads stories and how much they enjoy being dads. Thank you for letting me be a part of it”

Mellow Dad

“I now know that toys and expensive outings aren’t what kids want. They want your time and your attention. Before Mellow I just thought tantrums were tantrums but now I know why Dean has tantrums and understand how he feels”

Mellow Mum

“I have never been able to speak about the what happened to me and my sister before as it didn’t feel safe. I used drugs to block everything out but I have my daughter to think of now”

Mellow Dad

“I feel more confident dealing with Ciara now … Mellow has helped me trust people again and shows that not everyone is against me”

Mellow Mum

“I was abused by a family friend as a teenager and bar my children’s Mum I had never spoke to anyone before but finding out that it has happened to others makes me realise I am not alone”

Mellow Dad

“I enjoyed the ‘have a go’ as it gave me something to focus on each week. I have learned a lot from mellow like how to deal with different situations so Tim and me are happy… Mellow taught me to understand Tim’s feelings, why he does what he does. I have learned to be more patient and what makes me feel what I feel”

Mellow Mum

“I thought growing up with my dad as my friend was great … through this group I realise I needed a parent not a friend … I now realise that giving me money and everything I wanted didn’t compensate for not spending time with me … I didn’t realise my mum was the better parent to live with, I do now … Mellow has made me realise what my two sons need from me as a mum”

Mellow Mum

What practitioners say

The Mother was initially reluctant to attend Mellow Babies however absolutely loves the programme and now looks forward to attending each week. She is implementing the strategies learned on the programme at home and since beginning the programme her confidence and self-esteem has increased dramatically

Overall very useful, clearly showing how MP can meet the needs of a specific group. I can see this fitting in well alongside other parenting programmes in the borough

Mellow Parenting has provided me with a great insight into ways in which parents can manage their child’s behaviour. There are approaches we have discussed which I have never thought of before

Parent’s Stories

Stories & Letters from Mums and Dads

Simon lives in a small Scottish town with his two sons aged 9 and 5 and his 2 year old daughter.   He and his ex- partner had a long history of drug abuse and were involved with Social Work Services for many years.  The children had experienced several foster care placements and moved house numerous times. Simon became drug free and he and the children no longer have any contact with his ex –partner.  He was referred to the Mellow Parenting programme by his social worker who indicated that if his ability to cope with his children’s needs did not improve the children would be placed in the permanent care of the local authority.

Simon says “Before going on the Mellow Parenting Programme I had loads on my mind, I didn’t know how to handle my kids, even the most basic things like getting them to school on time was difficult for me. Home Care came in daily and dealt with the kids.  I would stick my head in the sand and felt like I was alone.  It was very depressing and at times several time I felt it would be best if I just gave them up.

When my social worker told me about the Mellow Programme she said I had to do it or risk losing my kids.  I didn’t really want to go but knew if I didn’t it would be all over for me.  Nile came and met me at the house and straight away I liked him.  He listened to me and told me that I could only go on the programme if I wanted to do it for me and not for Social Work. Not being forced or told to do something for me was something I want used to.   It was always about the kids, nobody ever thought about me!  

Since taking part in Mellow Parenting I feel a lot closer to my kids and more confident in getting my children to do things I have asked them to do. My children are so much happier and my oldest son Luke said “I don’t mind doing things with the dad’s group because they’re not social work”.  Luke has been involved with Social Work for most of his young life.  Since I have been working with Nile my Mellow Mentor I feel I have a better relationship with my support workers.  He has made me realise they are there to help and are only there to look out for the kids.  I now have someone I can talk to and someone who will support me if I need help with anything that is worrying me, the kids, money, anything; he’s always at the end of the phone and always makes time for me.  My time keeping is so much better and I am going to all of my appointments and my social worker is happy with my progress.  My middle child has now turned and told me “I love you daddy because you are really good at looking after me”. I now feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.  My life is so much better and I am happy to wake up each morning. I no longer feel like looking after my kids as a job but as a blessing.  For the first time in many years my life is moving in the right direction. 

Simon attended the programme for the full 14 weeks and continues to meet with Nile, his Mellow Mentor regularly.  Peer and Professional worker observations have reported improved interaction and communication with his children.  There have been significant changes in his confidence and his understanding of his children‘s needs.  His children are now tidy, clean and seem happier.  This has resulted in Home Care no longer being required to support the family.   Simon and his children’s now have regular weekly outings accompanied by his mentor.  Observations have indicated that the children now seem happy to take part in local activities this has resulting in increased interaction with their father and a decreased level of challenging behaviour from the children.

Simon’s Social worker has reported that she has seen significant changes in him since taking part in the programme and is extremely happy with this progress.  

Practitioners’ Stories

“Being a Mellow Parenting Facilitator (MPF)”….

M = Marvellous interaction with parents and parents-to-be….. the groups are so relaxed and informal, and although the programme content is always delivered, being parent-led means we, as facilitators, can deliver the sessions in such a flexible way to suit the needs of the group. Therefore each parent feels they are being listened to, valued and respected.

P = Powerful emotions can be unleashed within these sessions…..parents may find themselves pouring out thoughts they’ve kept inside for a long time. Mellow groups can enable parents to feel safe, secure and appreciated in a non-judgmental way, which in turn, empowers them to speak from the heart. Parents may find themselves revisiting their past, and challenging historic (or current) relationship issues. Tears may flow (and have done on many an occasion!), however there is always a box of tissues on the table, a comforting shoulder and a listening ear at a Mellow group!

F = Fun!! There are lots of laughs in Mellow sessions! Parents are encouraged to enjoy their pregnancies then ultimately, their babies and children. We provide lots of fun activities for parents and their children to enjoy together, encouraging bonding and attachment. From bubbles and balloons, to messy play and singing – everyone is encouraged to have fun with their children and unleash the child within themselves (including us facilitators!!)