Parent Gym is the philanthropic arm of a company called The Mind Gym, and consists of a nine week programme facilitated by volunteer coaches to support parents. Approximately 550 parents so far have benefitted from the project.
Based on evidence-based parenting techniques, Parent Gym’s sessions cover topics such as Rules & Routines, Love, Friends & Family, Health, Learn, Chat & Play and Arguments. Success factors include having ‘missions’ to complete in between each course. Also, each ‘gym’ has only up to 20 parents. Intended outcomes include reduction in child emotional problems, hyperactivity and peer problems.
The sessions are delivered by parent volunteers who have passed Parent Gym’s rigorous 3- day Academy (train-the-trainer) with distinction.
Volunteer coaches are recruited on Tryout days and Academies, using The Mind Gym’s five disciplines to ensure that the selection process is fair, efficient and consistent. They are then introduced to the work and ethos of Parent Gym during the training stage, as well as through a Welcome pack and the opportunity to speak to their mentors and to PG centrally at any time.