Ken and Elizabeth Mellor have taught parenting and child rearing for many years. They are the authors of four books on the subject and are internationally known for the value of their work and their approaches to the raising of children. Parent Rooms provide an opportunity for parents to hear their views on a variety of subjects and issues, and to ask specific questions about their own children. They are conducted via a teleconferencing system that is easy to use. The outstanding value of using the telephone for these sessions is, as parents know, getting time away from the family is often next to impossible, whereas making a telephone call, even a long one, is often more possible. Much of Ken’s and Elizabeth’s work is international. So they are very experienced in running telephone sessions, they have done lots of training for many years on the telephone. Also, the overriding feedback about the sessions is that they are very helpful and informative. At the same time, they are helping to fill a need that many parents have in the modern world.
Parents have one of the most rewarding and one of the toughest jobs in the world. What makes it tougher than it needs to be is that parents these days often have to do it pretty much alone. This leaves them to their own devices: probably with no one else to discuss things with, with little or no access to experienced parents who can offer guidance and with limited opportunities to find skilled, specialised help when they need it. Unfortunately, therefore, many parents are out on a limb, isolated from support, help, guidance, information or counsel. Human beings are tribal creatures. Initially we lived in small groups or, if in larger ones, with our primary roots firmly established in our extended family networks. As a result, in those contexts, others were usually available to hold the baby, to give information, to provide a listening ear and to offer other support and help when it was needed. With these as our origins, it is understandable that we thrive on living in communities and sharing the tasks of life, which include parenting. We think that humans have not changed significantly since those days, that our systems are still wired for parents living in sharing communities, and that we know or feel the lack when we don’t.
Our Parent Room program helps parents to fulfil this need. Parents join a group which then meets at regular intervals, usually monthly, with some variations to do with Ken’s and Elizabeth’s travel schedules. Each session lasts for up to an hour and a half. During the first twenty minutes Ken or Elizabeth will talk on a subject of relevance to the age group of the parents in the Parent Room. The remainder of the time is opened to questions and discussion from the parents. The leader makes himself or herself available for the whole hour and a half to give those who need it the opportunity to have more extended discussion of issues requiring more time.
To attend the Parent Rooms, parents need to pay A$65.00 per group. This includes both the cost of hiring the teleconferencing facilities and our fee. Fees for couples are negotiable. Also, in situations of special need, we are willing to negotiate too. Please note: Once you join one of the Parent Rooms, unless you formally withdraw, you will pay for your place in the group; so, in other words, you will be charged whether you attend or not. If you wish to withdraw at any stage, you need to contact us in some way and get a written acknowledgement from us that have received your withdrawal note (by mail, fax or email). Until then we will keep charging you.
TIMES AND DATES
These vary according to availability. If you are interested, please contact us in one of the ways outlined below. We will get back to you with information on what is available. We currently have had Parent Rooms in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK. Obviously, when international groups are involved, we need to take account of the impact of the time differences in everyone’s availability.
LET US KNOW OF YOUR INTEREST
Please contact us if you are interested in participating. You can:
- telephone on +61 3 5799 1198
- fax on +61 3 5799 1132
- write to PO Box 271, Seymour, Victoria 3661, Australia, or
- email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- to apply through our Website:
When you do make contact, please let us know your contact details, the age of your children and any areas of special interest or concern that you have. We will then contact you. We are very excited about this program. It has been a great success wherever we have done it. The parents involved are very appreciative and, very interestingly, quickly developed a sense of community and many made began making contact with one another independently of the sessions.