What people are saying about the Flourishing Together Programme
Oliver Tomkins – Swindon
“I’ve learnt more about myself and the world around me in 6 weeks Flourishing Together course than 5 years in university. The programme is awesome and could really make the world a better place. I highly recommend it to everybody.”
“It has shaped our way of living. It makes us more aware of people’s feelings. Its amazing, life changing.”
“I try not to solve everyone’s problems so much. I think about how my actions, and how the way I am, feels to my children. I have apologised to them a lot after I have said or been horrible to them and we have talked things through more. Helps you see life in perspective more, and how to be more in control of parenting. I also found that I am not alone in how I feel about my children and that my children are not unique in how they behave.”
“It has taught to think first and not react with such quickness. That it is time well spent. Lots of great tips especially the time thing.”
“It’s made me think more before reacting to situations, and made me less shouty. I understand more about how my mind and other minds work and more able to understand how thinking can change situations and it’s making me a better person.”
“It has opened my eyes and mind to lots of different areas. I’ve really enjoyed doing this course and hope to implement these changes. It has and does make me stop and think about my actions. I thought it was well presented, allowed us to speak out how we were feeling. Thank you.”
Wroughton Junior School
I have found the course extremely useful in making me think about how and what I say, and why people do what they do, and how I can change things. A course to help you think about how you speak to/what you say to others to get the best possible outcome. To enable others. This course has helped me to help my children to solve their own problems and to try to reduce my control and encourage the child to make their own decisions. The only thing I can think of is for the course to be longer!
I was lucky enough to attend this course without seeking some immediate answer for my current life. Through this course I was pleased to find the thing I’ve been doing was mostly facing in the correct direction. This is for everybody who is seeking immediate answers and also just for curiosity. Something to learn and new ideas for everybody. Thank-you very much.
It has helped me to realise that I try to control my children too much, and has made me more aware of the language I should use to enable better outcomes. Useful to learn different ways to approach dealing with the children in a positive manner. I have really enjoyed flourishing together.
Some comments from those attending our recent parent programmes.
It has really, really helped me. I don’t swear at my children as much, its helped me with past things and that I can’t change what has happened in the past. I’m just more positive in how I think, and it has helped me out, loads.
My son has a different relationship with me now, its a better way of living.
It’s been amazing, its really helped me, especially with my son as he has been quite challenging for me. Its really helped, he’s a different boy, and I’m a different mum, definitely. Its been really good.
I feel that being on this course makes me desperate for other people to go on, because I want them to have that experience. Its a beautiful, life changing experience. Its been really good, I love being able to turn the chatter off in my head and just appreciate life, its very empowering.
This has helped me a lot. I can see that I’m more calm, confident and can understand my kid’s feelings. Please hold more workshops like this, I really loved it and will try to bring my husband to learn too.
I have learned to keep calm when things get difficult at home and I am trying to pass this on to my children. I find that Flourishing Together is really helpful in learning to understand the emotions that cause other people to behave the way they do. Also very helpful in teaching techniques to manage these emotions.
It has helped me to stop first and think/evaluate before I blame others if something goes wrong! Understanding the/who’s problem it may be, it has helped me to put things in perspective. This should be more widely available to people.
Oliver Tomkins – feedback from children
Kathy and I finished our Knowing About Ourselves course with Year 5 at Oliver Tomkins School. Really enjoyable and some wonderful feedback from the children.
We asked the question, “Has Knowing About Ourselves helped you at all?”
Here are just a few of the answers:
“It has helped me with my temper and how to be nice to others”
“I have troubles at home and I have started to feel better”
“These lessons have helped me to not get distracted”
“It has helped me to become a better person. I do not lash out anymore”
“I have learnt how to communicate with my family”
“This has helped me a lot. I feel more like I belong”
“I have learnt a lot about to be kind and how our life goes”
“I have learnt that my life is getting better”
“I have learnt how to help myself”
“I have learnt how to control my fears”
“I have learnt how to deal with my problems at home”
“I’ve learnt that my reputation can be built and how to do the right things”
“I think I have changed a lot”
“It feels good”
Previous Comments From Parents
I have learnt and changed so much since I began the workshops. All the fragments of learning feel joined up, all the missing bits are now there and I understand them in a way that I can use. I better understand my own and others behaviour and am happy to accept that the need to belong was my missing link in a very jumbled version of how it should be. For me the realisation that some one in the world knows what I know and has found a way to shape it, organise it, fill in the gaps and present it in a way that makes sense and can really have a positive impact is something that fills me with so much hope it literally brings me to tears. I doubt I will ever be able to fully articulate what that has done for me personally. Flourishing Together is my “what’s right with the world”. It’s the first time I have ever come across anything that I agree with 100% and its part of me for the rest of my life.
Its a brilliant programme to help you to learn more about how and why we think and feel the way we do. It helps with every aspect of life and to understand your children’s behaviour. Its a calm and gentle place to go.
Very helpful in learning about what kids have learnt and school ethos and principles. Great from a personal perspective improving relationships with kids, husband and friends and learning how we all think.
It’s hard to explain! It’s about understanding how the human mind works and applying this understanding to explain people’s behaviour. Once you understand this, it starts to explain how you can adjust your behaviour to create outcomes that you want. It also explain how and why people act the way that they do.
It’s great. Provides a fresh approach to dealing with life, other people and your family. Helps a better understanding of those around you and how you can help them and yourself to be happy/happier. (My son) is responding well to new language used at home. He has become much more loving and willing to help around the home. Really enjoyed the course, thank-you.
Its about helping manage relationships, especially between family members.
Helpful course for families with children – helps with understanding.
Rachel Surch – Head Teacher, Red Oaks Primary School, Swindon
(Extract) Over the last three years we have been facilitating the development of the Flourishing Together initiative within our school, which is using an innovative approach to explaining human nature to our school staff, children and their parents.
So far over 70 participants have taken part in the Flourishing Together programme (formerly Flourishing Families) for parents. The feedback we have received from these participants has been extremely encouraging… We are situated in a recently developed area of Swindon where there are no community facilities and many families arrive in the area knowing no one until they join the school community. Flourishing Together has really helped these families to build healthy relationships, understand cultural differences as well as enabling them to form mutual support groups. Many course participants have re-attended and now support the project passionately knowing the benefits that the programme can have to the lives of everyone.
We have recently undertaken a pilot course for our year 5 and 6 children that is using this model to teach them about their feelings, their relationships, and how to solve problems healthily, which holds great promise for the well-being of all our children. The children have really embraced the ideas and staff are keen to develop the materials for whole class teaching as it fulfills aspects of the New Curriculum in Science and also enhances PSHE & C schemes of work.
We have embraced the ideas within our Red Oaks Behaviour Charter within school and have explained the wider ideas to all staff as we believe that this knowledge will be valuable in enhancing our ability to contribute to the well-being and attainment of all our children and, importantly, help parents and their children to gain the skills they need to provide a healthy and supportive environment for each other. One experienced member of staff, a parent herself of young adults said, “This is wonderful! The ideas explain the science of parenting!”
Flourishing Together has, and is, making a significant difference to the lives of parents, children and staff. Every school should have the opportunity to experience this initiative.
Sue Cox – Head Teacher, Wroughton Junior School, Swindon
(Extract) In June and July of this year, a small group of parents were invited to attend a Flourishing Families programme which was hosted by our school.
The final feedback received from the participants has been particularly encouraging in that it has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustaining the programme and widening its impact. They feel so strongly about the benefits of Flourishing Families (Flourishing Together) that they have agreed to be ‘ambassadors’ for the project. In terms of impacting on social change in a very localized context, this has been a resounding success.
Building on the early pilot scheme, the senior leadership of the school, in collaboration with Richard Rowland, intends to develop the Flourishing Together initiative at the core of school improvement. In January 2014, we will host a further programme for parents. In addition, having embedded many of the programme’s core principles for behaviour management in our revised Behaviour for Learning Policy, we now seek to conduct a piece of action research with the pupils. Staff will be trained to support the pupils and empower them to self-regulate their behaviour. It is anticipated that the deeper understanding of motive, and resulting shifts in attitudes to learning will enable the pupils to maximize their potential and truly flourish.
Flourishing Together has enabled me to better understand the needs of my children and to respond to those needs in a way that has led to us all being happier people. It has also led me to have a greater understanding of myself and allowed me to treat myself with the gentleness and respect I treat others. R.H.
Gives you an insight into understanding yourself and relationships and how to deal with situations. G.B.
It is a way of understanding our feelings, what they mean and why we react the way we do. C.C.
Learning methods to achieve cooperation between people in a respectful and positive way, suitable for relationships involving all age groups. It should be accessible to everybody! A.M.
Excellent way of learning and understanding why people react in a certain way, under certain circumstances(normally, all the time etc) and how to come to a better outcome for all involved. M.Z.
It is a programme offering a way of living which will last your lifetime! Taking time out of your usual busy schedule to stop and think and learn new ways of living and responding to people around you, especially your children. It is calm time in relaxing environment with kind and caring people/staff. There are opportunities to bring up issues that you need advice on. I will keep refreshing myself on the ideas using these. It was excellent couldn’t say anything that needs improving! N.G.
I lead a busy and chaotic lifestyle – we shout a lot at home and I have an unhealthy relationship with unhealthy food. BUT! Since our first session, both my household and my life have become significantly calmer and happier, I think about the food that I eat and if it’s going to give me goodness or not and I am dealing with both my and my young daughter’s emotions in a way I didn’t ever imagine I’d be capable of. We have calmed and we are incredibly happy. Richard talked through ways to be more contented and healthier and I cannot thank him enough for his time and wonderful calming influence. J.B.
A great course, really insightful and nice to speak and share with other parents. K.B.
The workshops are very interesting, and they differ from every other I have attended so far. The theory is highly plausible and when put into practice works almost immediately. U.S.
In my opinion any family would benefit regardless if things are a little off track within your family. It is very powerful. D.G.
Richard’s approach has been fantastic, he is a very kind and caring man. And is very passionate in what he has talked about, which in turn has made me feel positive about wanting to turn things around. D.G.
These workshops have enabled me to re-evaluate the way I communicate and manage my own attitude and behaviour when my own children/child and also at work and other relationships. I am addicted (to this approach) I would love to support further programmes. S.S.
The workshops have opened my mind completely, giving me many tools and skills to make the future brighter for my family. The ‘fog’ is lifting and I feel supported. D.D.
I found it really helpful that both of you have had your own experiences. To know you understand makes a ‘HUGE’ difference. C.D.
Some of this has been so invaluable, it makes you realise that their are ways and different approaches which over time do work. It really makes you see how changing certain ways and putting the problem solving back on to your children, lets them see how they can solve their own problems. D.G.
The programme has really opened my mind to a new way of thinking. It has given me lots of tips, strategies and advice that I have been able to take away and put into practice at home and work. Fantastic course. N.F.
Life is calmer and more chilled. H.F.
It has helped me listen to my family and create a calmer more soothing atmosphere at home. It has also helped me consider the ways I was brought up and how I can change my parenting and enhance and enrich my children’s lives. F.D.
A different and more productive approach to being a parent. Provides the tools for my family to flourish and provides the framework for a much happier and fulfilling household. M.K.
This workshop gives you a totally new perspective on parenting. I can honestly say I have bought into it 100%. It is in my nature to analyse things, in fact I chose a career in it. My mindset is typically skeptical until I gather the facts and can form an opinion. I concluded what I was being presented and discussed made logical sense! Plenty of sound advice, support, guidance and more importantly, empathy. Its going to be extremely hard work to change, not only my son’s undesirable behaviours around, but also my own. I am however very positive about the future, and look forward to a more happier household. M.K.
A positive approach to help your children and also the family as a whole. Become better at communicating with each other for each other. S.S.
Very supportive, friendly faces when having a tough time. Extremely helpful as to how to manage and mould, cope with, challenging families. E.L.
Gives you more confidence as a parent, and makes you realise you are not alone. Gives you ideas and techniques to try at home making you feel less stressed. S.A.
A fantastic programme which helps in every aspect of life, relationships, parenting and much more. Explores why people do things. B.L.
Your family would benefit in a big way and you would benefit personally by understanding your family and everyone around you. R.H.
I think everyone should come onto the programme. Its helpful to understand your desires and hopes and use it to help everyone around you, for every aspect of your life. M.H-S.
Very useful to understand why behaviour is happening and how your own behaviour affects the child and family life, and ideas to make a calmer family. S.A.
This is invaluable, it helps you regain faith in that you are a great parent, even when things feel at rock bottom. All of the help and ideas are just so encouraging and over time, effort of lots of love, work!! Lots of patience needed, stick with the whole course and you will really notice how things can change, slowly, but they do change. D.G.
Do it!!! It really makes a huge difference. If you really want to change and are ready then it speaks for itself. Its easy to follow and makes perfect sense. Its the only ‘thing’ that has made any difference to us! C.D.
Very helpful and gets you thinking about how you are as a family unit. Helps you understand how our behaviour affects our children and families. Teaches us that its better to guide our children rather than trying to control them. All make healthy choices. A.R.
This has been the most helpful programme to us as a family, both practical help, theory and more importantly realising you are not alone as other families share their experiences as a group. D.D.
It is a very good programme for anybody. It is not a parenting course but a new way of thinking of things, approaching things, dealing with things. It has made me more aware of myself and how I approach things. It has made me think more positively. It has made me change my behaviour which has helped change the dynamics of my family. M.H-S.
Excellent programme that has brought the family ‘together’. The ideas used are valuable and really work. Makes you view life differently and understand yours and others needs. N and S. H.
It may feel a little distant to start with, ie a group of strangers sharing, learning and developing together. But give it a chance! It will help and it will provide a good insight into helping yourself and your family to grow healthily. It will equip you. S.S.
I’ve done a lot of courses over the years but never one like this. Its nice to meet other parents families with similar problems. Its nice to know your not alone. Meeting new people making friends and socialise which I don’t do much. The only downfall is that its only 6 weeks and probably not long enough. K.S.
A life changing experience that provides solutions to the problems we all share to seek answers from. A way of life that will enrich everyone’s life for the better. Understanding how to improve self-esteem of oneself and others. I’d love to be an ambassador and help with rolling this out to more people. A.H.
A very different and interesting experience to teach you to have more understanding of how you treat yourself, others and your children. L.B.
It is a different way of thinking and approaching everyday things. If you think you have tried everything, are exhausted, can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, think no-one understands, give it a go. Are you questioning whether you are making a meal of parenting? Are you ready to change (are you both ready to change?). Be open minded. Are you willing to learn something about yourself? All families deserve to flourish, this shouldn’t be the best kept secret out there! Thank-you very much. A.W.
“We had all the bits of the jigsaw, we were just in the room with the lights off”. A.W.
Like a light bulb being switched on. Need to have an open mind. A totally different approach to problem solving. If you are at the end of your tether and tried everything else, then this course is for you! Thank-you so much for your time and sharing these amazing ideas with us. The mere existence of this group has reassured us that we are not alone. R.W.
Flourishing Families empowers one to live an effective life. It teaches one the natural way of living an effective life without the use of medication. F.C.
Very helpful and encouraging. Good to talk to others about different experiences. Family changing for the better to create a happier family life. Absolutely fantastic and has certainly made our family life better already! S. and J. N.
I would say that it is amazing. You can get a lot of help and meet new friends. Also get good advice. E.H.
Life changing advice on how to deal with everyday problems. Gives you the skills to help your family in a calm and understanding way. D.R.
A calmer/alternative approach to parenting. Getting children to answer the ‘How?’ question themselves. R.M.
Its different, but very interesting, helpful and friendly. K.S.
Introduces a new approach to parenting and relationships. Using empathy, consideration and understanding as a parenting tool to help your children take responsibility for the choices they make in how to behave and lead their life. A very simple but extremely effective approach. A.G.
Friendly, helpful. J.C.
I definitely agree and believe in what you’re doing. It has helped me a lot and not only that but its also helped my sister and a close friend of mine because I’ve been passing all the things I’ve learnt on to them. I will also pass it on to the parents I am in contact with and come to me for help. It has helped me as a parent and also helped me in my work with young people. Another great thing is that I got to meet some lovely people and find great friends. D.B.
Very beneficial. Changes your perspective of how to interpret other people, especially children in order to better interact and belong. Am going to focus over the holidays on implementing all the strategies we have discussed. I would like to attend another course if possible to ensure I can continue to do this. More examples of how to deal with specific issues, talking through individual processes etc. Otherwise a really beneficial and useful course. J.P.
Nice friendly group, feel comfortable sharing situations with family life. Able to discuss and learn different ways of dealing with many situations. Given great ideas of how to approach things. C.S.
It is a very helpful group that have made me want to change my way of parenting and my whole way of bringing up my children. It has made me and my children happier. It needs to be more well known and heard about. S.E.
Absolutely will change your life for the better if you allow it to. Need to be open minded. Opportunity to bond with others – expand on friendship groups. Creates understanding and awareness – be accepting of other’s circumstances. Puts pieces of the jigsaw together – pulls it together. Affirms what you’re doing. Spread the news. C.C.
This is a whole new way of thinking which could change your life. It works on the idea of everyone is in control of their own life, you can only guide and suggests others including your children and partners. Behind every child’s reactions/behaviours is a need which needs to be met with understanding. It is the best and most useful course I have ever been on. You can make new friends with the same understanding. It would be great to have regular meetings with Richard see how we are getting on and remind us of the key ideas when they naturally gets a bit lost in the day today family life. I think everyone should be introduced to this at school!! The laminated sheets were fab!! N.G.
I would strongly recommend. The logic and methodology within the program can be applied as a framework on various periods in life, parenting, social interactions, problem-solving and many others. I believe all people can benefit and take away helpful information from this program. Thank you all! S.
Safe environment to explore and understand how we think and how we perceive others. Learn how to get our needs met in the green zone without hurting others. Be able to empathise with others and try to see why their behaviour is what it is and that there needs maybe actually different to what we thought. S.
This is an extremely well prepared and thought out course which makes you think in a completely different way how to deal with different relationships in a calm away without making either party feel to blame or unfair. It helps you to think clearer to make better decisions or suggestions to empower others to take responsibility for their actions. R.C.