A short interview with the founder of The Parenting Cafe, Sonja Preston.
Interviewer: Hi Sonja. Can you tell me a bit about The Parenting Cafe and why you started it up?
Sonja: I like to go to coffee shops, have good coffee with friends, lovely conversation and in a nice atmosphere and I wanted to recreate that feeling that you get into parenting.
Now I know parents are often too busy to go to a café and chat and learn about their babies and development and so forth. The easy way is you make your own coffee in the comfort of your own home and come to the computer and you can access parenting information that way. It’s an easy way to do it.
Interviewer: What do you offer?
Sonja: There are weekly articles about different aspects of child development and the issues around parenting. So there are articles about toilet learning your child, behavioural issues, how do you establish sleep routines with your children and toddlers and then covers child development information too. So parents understand what we expect to find in babies or toddlers at a certain age, children of a certain age regarding their language and how they move, how they communicate and so forth.
The other thing we will offer is also parenting courses such as the 123 Magic Course which is for parents of 2 to 12-year-olds to deal with those difficult or challenging behaviours that kids often have.
Interviewer: So who is it for?
Sonja: It’s for anyone from pregnancy right through to children or parents of children about five years old.
Interviewer: Why do you start with pregnancy?
Sonja: Well, in pregnancy generally parents, their interest is high in understanding this new developing child and then they’re also looking forward to what’s happening with the baby. So if I can access and share information with parents in those early days, it makes it easy for them to understand their baby. It’s also a great time to introduce parents to the Dunstan Baby Language, which is a way for parents to understand the different cries baby makes because we found that all babies make five different sounds and one for example is telling the parents I’m tired. It is a different sound for I’m hungry and if parents know those sounds, it makes it so much easier.
Interviewer: What about the older children? What do you offer them and their parents?
Sonja: So for the older children, we have a confident children program, a confident kids program and that’s for children obviously with a bit of low confidence and it’s about raising their self-esteem, raising their resilience so they have some tools to help them get through life. Then for the parents, there’s also the 123 Magic Course, teaching them how to deal with the challenging behaviours to handle it well.
Interviewer: That sounds great. How do I get involved?
Sonja: You can contact me directly through email, Sonja@TheParentingCafe.com.au or you can access the information through the Programs tab on the website.
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