Ellesmere Port mum-of-four Sam Butler says her household is much calmer now she is no longer arguing with her daughter.
Despite being an experienced parent, Sam realised she could learn new tricks as well as picking up tips from other mums and dads.
Sam is among parents offered help in supporting their children through the council’s Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting course.
The six week-long course helped parents from across the borough improve how they communicate with their children and cope with challenging behaviour.
Sam said: “My nine-year-old son said recently that everything is different at home now. Before the course I would be arguing with my daughter and there would be lots of shouting. Now it is calm.”
Her 13-year-old daughter Demi was lashing out and behaving angrily at home and school as she struggled to adapt to secondary school in Year 8 after missing Year 7 due to a serious illness.
Sam explained: “It was awful, she was messing about and being aggressive in school and was temporarily excluded. The course was good. I was wary at first because I suffer from anxiety and did not know what to expect but I have made good friends from the course.
“You realise that it is not just me having problems, we learned from each other. We had plans to put in place each week and it has worked. I have stuck to everything I learned on the course.
“Before I would just argue with the children but now I am a lot calmer and I follow through with the punishments rather than backing down.”
Sarah Gregory from Northwich is a mother-of-six but felt out of her depth when her 15-year-old autistic daughter Rosie began self-harming after struggling at school.
Sarah said: “When you are an adult it is hard to understand what your teenage daughter is thinking. The course helped me understand how the teenage brain works and how to explain things to her.
“Her emotions were extreme. Life for a teenager seems a lot deeper than when I was a child – it’s important what your peers think and what will make you popular.”
She added: “I have noticed a change in my daughter. She is coming to me more and telling me things. She is writing her feelings down. It is a massive relief to see her like this. I do feel more relaxed and I am going to miss going on the course. She will always be autistic but I have learned to listen and understand her, I have learned to pick my battles.
“People are very reluctant to get help but it is a non-judgmental and supportive course, you don’t feel like you are alone and it's great knowing that there are people going through the same thing.”
Among them is Amanda Scott, also from Northwich , who has three sons aged 16, 12 and 10. Her eldest son Tyler has ADHD and autism and Amanda says she began to feel like she was failing as a parent before the tips she learned on the course changed the atmosphere at home.
She said: “We learned different scenarios and took part in practical tasks and we then had homework and followed through with them by practising them at home.
“We learned behavioural strategies and it has helped to build my confidence as a parent. Every child is different and behaves in different ways. It helped with the way that I phrase things at home.”
Helen Brackenbury, the council’s director of early help and prevention, said: “Our Triple P course aims to make parenting easier.
“With the challenges of modern life, many parents are struggling with the pressures of parenting and everyday life. We aim to help them to improve their relationships with their child and to follow the council’s aims to help our community to thrive.
“The course offers to make suggestions and ideas on positive parenting in order to help parents enjoy being a parent and to help the child develop well. The programme is evidence based, this means that the content has been thoroughly researched and puts effective parenting solutions into practice.”
Parents looking for advice and guidance can click on this link .