Evenings for Parents

What is “Evenings for Parents?”

It is a purposely designed parent family programme run once a week for six weeks to help parents build a richer and more rewarding relationship with each of their children through learning more effective communication skills within the family.

How does it do this?

The programme faces everyday situations and problems that arise in family dynamics and helps parents build on their innate parenting skills to deal with them in a constructive way.

Common examples of these are:

Children not talking to you about themselves and their lives.

You feel your children do not listen to you very much.

Having to constantly repeat yourself to no effect.

Arguments about homework.  Underachievement at school.

Children being irresponsible.

Unpunctuality such as not going to bed or getting up on time.  Procrastination, doing things at the last minute.

Not keeping rules.

What happens during the six evenings?

There is a short talk during which new skills are explained and then followed up with interactive practice and discussion.  Each evening’s topic builds on the previous one and parents are encouraged to try out at home what they have learned and come back and talk about their successes or failures, if they wish.  The sessions are generally light hearted and fun.  There is no pressure on anyone to talk about family problems or issues, but if they choose to do so, privacy is respected.

Does the programme work?

Those who participated said they would recommend it to parents of children of any age and that since doing the programme their family interactions and relationships had improved.

The following is a representative sample of some of the feedback comments from parents

“It was extremely insightful, useful and practical.”

“We generally found it very helpful and also fun.  It is really badly needed for couples.  We hope it will continue on.  The notes were very helpful and we plan to continually look back.”

“Some very practical and powerful information.”

“We learned a lot about ourselves as parents.”

“This course has already altered me as a parent.  I have developed better relationships with my children.”

“Learning how to actively listen and accept that we as parents are not the only ones who need to be heard and understood.”

“I messages are a fantastic way of expressing feelings rather than the typical response of getting annoyed and giving out to the children.”

“This journey over six weeks has had a very positive effect on my relationship with my husband and children.  I found it strengthened my faith.”

“I can cope better with stressed situations within the family.”

“It provided me with the confidence to be a more responsible parent.”

“I find it difficult to deal with teenagers and was wondering what I or we might be doing wrong.  The program motivated us to stop and think before speaking to the children. We learned how to change the way we talk to them so as to be more effective.  We learned a lot about the importance of communicating within the family.”

“It enriched my relationship with my husband.”

“Overall I felt by using the approaches outlined in this course a greater calmness was brought to the household.”

“It is undeniable that the program is highly useful for parents in dealing with day to day problems and to make personal changes as well.”

“It is very useful and has changed my thinking, given me tools for more productive communication.”

“I would like to see all parents practising these simple steps that make life happier and more loving.”

“It is vital that both parents attend together because you can help each other to adopt these amazing new skills into making the home a better place for everyone.”

“I really enjoyed attending this course.  I learned a lot about myself and why I react to certain situations.”

“It was good to meet other parents and hear their experience.”

“Even if someone has nothing to learn, time out as a couple to think about their own relationship and their relationship with their children/others is invaluable.”

“What I found most useful was the input on active listening and conflict resolution.”

Who can benefit from the course?

The programme is designed with both parents in mind.  The reason is that when they do it together and discuss it at home both parents and children get far greater benefit.  If you are a single parent you are also very welcome and are encouraged to come with a friend who will engage with you.


If you are motivated to participate in future “Evenings for Parents” or would like to set up a group of parents to do the course,  please contact Micheál and Tess Mac Giolla Ri, tel. 087 2444548, or email michael.tessmgr@yahoo.com



Bishop Kevin Doran with “Evenings for Parents” presenters Tess and Micheál Mac Giolla Rí