The parenting challenge

Parenting can be a challenge at the best of times, so throw a pandemic into the mix and you may be forgiven for losing the plot. In the nick of time, The Parenting Toolkit author and experienced family therapist Caroline Penney is offering an online course for parents with children aged 0-19 years dealing with everything from tantrums to teenage angst.

Starting on 15 October, this 9 week online, interactive course supports parents to help children thrive and transform family patterns.  It is based on The Parenting Toolkit book by Caroline Penney.
Key topics covered: Building confidence, feelings, play, listening skills and communication, setting limits, understanding behaviour, developmental stages.

This is a great opportunity to meet other parents and share ideas whilst following a structured course format, covering a whole range of skills (The Parenting Toolkit) to raise happy and confident children.
Caroline Penney, author and systemic family therapist will be delivering this course alongside Catherine Kearney, parenting and community development specialist. Caroline and Cathy have many years experience working with parents and families as well as running courses for parents.

Find out more about the course and book here

Buy the book here 

Illustrations here and in the book by Kate Hajducka


A Podcast on Parenting

Caroline Penney

Caroline Penny, Author of The Parenting Toolkit talks about the success of her book as part of the podcast series Balance. You can listen to the conversation here.

You don’t have to be a parent to love this book, the skills and tips that Caroline points out are transferable.

It’s about good quality relationships with everybody not just with your children but with with your partner, with your colleagues.

Caroline Penney

Buy The Parenting Toolkit on our website.

Parenting Workshop

This two-day course is for professionals who work individually with parents and their children. It looks at both the theory and practice of parenting education. It includes advanced communication skills, positive discipline strategies, emotional literacy and empathic parenting skills, child led play, descriptive praise and stress management. It also covers social learning theory, systemic family therapy interventions, problems in child development and communication with distressed children.

  • Date: Thursday March 28th and Friday March 29th 2019
  • Time: 9:30 – 4:30             
  • Place: The Lantern Family Centre, 4 Dowlans Road, Great Bookham, Surrey KT23 4LE  
  • Cost: £120 Lunch and refreshments included. Maximum Number 12 participants. Students can gain accreditation with Open College Network London Region.
The Parenting Toolkit - Simple steps to happy and confident children by Caroline Penney

Caroline Penney BSc, SRN, MSc, PGCE pioneered the Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities project at the South London and Maudsley Hospital, London, where she trained parents to run parenting groups. A systemic family therapist she has run parenting education and facilitator training courses in many countries. She is the mother of three children and the grandmother of two. Her great-grandfather was Sigmund Freud and her great-aunt was Anna Freud whose work has inspired her. She has spent thirty years working in parenting education, social services, Parent Network, the Maudsley Hospital and the Lantern Family Centre. She has written several parenting manuals.

Cathy Kearney MA in Children and Families work, first started working with parents in the local community when her own three sons (now in their early twenties) were born. She ran her first parenting course when she was a Deputy Centre Manager of a Family Centre. Cathy subsequently moved to China with her young family for three years, running parenting courses for parents of children with addictions. On her return to the UK, Cathy was a Family Support Worker for offenders and their families. At this point, Cathy joined the Empowering Parents Empowering Communities team initially as an Outreach Worker, then a Hub Manager and finally as a Specialist Trainer.

Welcome to a New Year

There is much that is exciting happening at Hawthorn Press in 2019 so we are keen to get started. We have some events coming up and some new developments that we can’t reveal just yet, so watch this space.

From “Gandhi’s India”

Join Jonathan Stedall for an immersive weekend of films at Hawkwood, Stroud, 18 – 20 January with the option to stay and this lovely country house. This is a unique opportunity to see an outstanding selection of BBC documentary films – including biographies of Tolstoy, Gandhi and C G Jung, and filmed essays by Alan Bennett and Ben Okri – in the company of their award-winning director, Jonathan Stedall.

Jonathan Stedall joined the BBC as a producer in 1963, where he then worked for twenty-seven years. His earlier career had included stage managing in repertory theatre, work in the cutting-rooms at Pinewood and as a floor manager and then director in commercial television. He won a British Film Academy Award for his documentary In Need of Special Care about a Camphill school in Scotland for children with special needs. This was typical of the gentle and sensitive style of film-making that has won him so much praise over the years.

Portrait of jonathan Stedall by Saied Dai
Portrait of Jonathan Stedall by Saied Dai

He has been an independent documentary film-maker since 1990. His book, Where on Earth is Heaven? was inspired by a question posed by his young son, and looks at the challenging issues of living and dying, looking and seeing, heaven and earth, and human potential. Written since the death of his wife in 2014, No Shore Too Far is a collection of heartfelt poems and meditations on the themes of death, bereavement and hope.

Parenting Toolkit author Caroline Penney is giving a workshop and talk at Woolley Grange, Bradford-on-Avon on Thursday evening and Friday morning 24-25 Jan. Suitable for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 18.

Caroline Penney is a well-known systemic family therapist. She has been involved in training parents to facilitate parenting groups and courses. This talk and workshop will:

  • Explore what are the needs underlying all behaviour 
  • What are the needs and meaning underlying children’s behaviour. 
  • How do we get our needs met 
  • Using advanced listening skills to understand your child.
  • Tickets are £5 per person including tea or coffee.

Parenting Toolkit workshop

Caroline Penney will bring her wisdom as a parent, grandma, family therapist and  lifelong parent-educator to run a parenting workshop in the magical Secret Garden at Stroud’s Museum in the Park on Saturday 17th November.  This will be supported by her stunning new book, The Parenting Toolkit.

Parenting Toolkit Workshop 17 November 2018 – Simple steps to happy and confident children

For parents, grandparents and people working with families interested in exploring:

  1. How to look after yourself?
  2. How to acknowledge your child’s feelings and express your own?
  3. Ages and stages – what behaviour to expect at different ages?
  4. The meaning behind children’s behaviour?
    How to ‘do’ child-led play?
  5. Descriptive praise & key discipline strategies

Caroline Penney is a parenting educator, family therapist, nurse and grandmother. She draws on years of research and experience to show how to be a ‘good enough’ parent, with the skills for raising happy and confident children.

Cost £60, now reduced to £45, includes a copy of the new Parenting Toolkit book, worth £16.99.

Bring packed lunch: Coffee and tea provided

Saturday 17 Nov 2018: 10am – 4.30pm

Secret Garden, Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stroud GL5 4AF

To book please call the Museum on 01453 763394