Photo Story: Iraqi Refugee Women Attend Positive-Parenting Sessions

Thursday 25 June 2015

Save the Children’s Child Protection programme in Beirut held a week long positive parenting workshop to Iraqi women who have fled the conflict in their country and sought refuge in Lebanon.The Japan Platform (JPF) is funding this project to ensure that the desperation and recent vulnerability of newly displaced parents does not severely affect their relationship with their children.

The workshop elaborates on the goals that parents want to achieve with their children and the means to attain these goals through good means of communication, mutual respect, and trust.

Save the Children’s Child Protection Officer, Suad Younis, gives a training session on positive parenting to Iraqi women who fled the crisis in Erbil and sought refuge in Lebanon.

Six Iraqi women attended the training. They raised their concerns about how their post-crisis stress levels and new, tougher lifestyle might be affecting the way they deal with their children.

Wasan, mother of three including newborn twin girls, is attending her second positive parenting session. “The first session was very beneficial” she says. “There has been a positive change in my relationship with my eldest daughter Maha.” Nine year old Maha would make a big fuss every time her mother gave her chores instead of giving her permission to play. Now Wasan is being more flexible with her daughter’s playtime needs, and in return Maha is taking the initiative to help her mother around the house and with her twin sisters.

The women were divided into two groups to take part in a positive parenting exercise. They were asked to imagine themselves in school and answer questions about how they would prefer their teacher to behave with them for an enjoyable and efficient learning experience.

The groups then presented their answers and came to the conclusion that teachers should be positive and encouraging. “Teachers should praise children for their good work, instead of only reacting when students behave badly” says Oum Nour (Nour’s mother). She explains: “If the students like their teacher, then they will excel in the subject that the teacher is giving. “

Ten month old Dalida is one of Wassan’s twin daughters. She was present during the session and is benefiting from her mother’s new attained skills in positive parenting. “One major element to positive parenting is that children should be treated with respect, free from fear of violence and shame, and guided with encouragement” says Save the Children’s positive parenting trainer Suad Younis concluding the session