‘The Parenting Tree’ was created during weekly sessions at our group for young parents at Effra Children's Centre.
Parents looked at their lives based on a tree.
The roots are what they think has influenced their parenting and made them the people/parents they are today. They listed prison life, social services, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, single parent family, close family network, grandparents and aunts.
The trunk of the tree contained their names.
The leaves represented how they want their children to be; words like clever, confident, kind, loving, caring, healthy and intelligent.
The branches indicate what they need to do as parents to help their children be the people they want them to be; words like patient, tolerant, supportive, give hugs and cuddles, listen and be responsible.
Finally the fruits bear the names of their children. The children decorated the fruits in a crèche activity.
"Myself and my colleague took a whole day to put the tree together which has taken up a whole wall at the Effra Children’s Centre. It gave great pleasure to see the looks of the parents’ faces when they saw how it had come together. We also had members of staff some who have never communicated with us taking time out to come and have a look at our tree with admiration. We were also told by the Head that they would like to get the school governors to see the tree and would also like to get the press to do a feature on it with the pictures of the parents who took part, alongside it. That tree is the highlight of my year." - St Michael's Young Parent Practitioner