Shaping Ourselves and Our Children or SOOC (pronounced sock) is one of our programmes on offer from the team here at Lifestart.  We are so excited about going into our 3rd year of SOOC and even though the way we do things has changed we are pleased to say that SOOC is still the same!

Parenting is fun, it is so rewarding but it is not without its challenges.  I think it is also one of those things where there is a belief that skills needed for parenting come naturally.  This certainly wasn’t the case for me.  I know as a young mum I felt so out of my depth, muddling through from day to day.  I really felt that I was the only person in the world who did not have natural parenting skills.

It wasn’t until I had my second child that I really relaxed into my role as a mother.  Just take a minute and think about this.  If we want to develop skills in any field we take courses on how to become adept in this new pursuit.

For example, if we want to become a great athlete or football player, we go and get a personal trainer or join a club so we can become the best. Set targets at achieving our personal best!  The same if we want to be good at technology, cooking, gardening and so on, we do a course! But when it comes to parenting, for some reason there seems to be a notion that we come ready equipped with the necessary skills to look after a child.  How hard can it be?  Seriously?

Thankfully things have changed. We now know that skills for parenting need developing just like all other skills needed for whatever it is we wish to do or become in life.  Developing an understanding of child development is without a doubt one of the most enlightening things you can do for your child.

Knowing how to support your child meet their milestones is like having the best position in the garden for growing the best sunflower.  All children need nurture, attention and love to thrive but it is how we do this that can make all the difference.

What we do from day one of our child’s life makes all the difference.  In fact your child will learn more in the first two years of life than they will learn throughout the rest of their life – pretty mind boggling!

What we do in the first two years of our child’s life lays down the foundations for every aspect of their life.  This includes how your child will learn, how they will be with others,  their physical and mental well-being and ultimately their overall health for the rest of their life.

If we get it right in these first two years we are actually putting in place a stable foundation on which your child will build everything else upon.

SOOC is a course that looks at child development, we help you understand the four domains of child development. There is a key focus on our child’s social and emotional development. Amazingly how we were parented can impact on our children’s social and emotional development without us even knowing it.

We also look at how our child’s self-esteem and confidence are nurtured at home.  Understand how our child’s attitudes to and empathy for those they live with is actually the attitudes and empathy they will take with them when they go to school and further on into life.

SOOC is for anyone who has a child in their life, parents, grandparents, foster parents and guardians. It is also for those who work in the childcare sector and would like to have a deeper understanding on how it is home that actually shapes our children.

SOOC is run over 4 days and for the foreseeable future to eliminate any fear and to reduce risk during the pandemic we will work with small groups of 4 people.  Our team fully understands that this may be your first encounter with the outside world and we want you to feel safe and comfortable.  Our facilitators are warm and will ensure you have a wonderful experience whilst doing SOOC.

There is an allowance for childcare costs and we treat you to lunch. We also supply a number of wonderful booklets on all topics covered during the course.  We will also be offering an online SOOC for anyone who has underlying health worries or would simply prefer to complete SOOC online.  Contact details below for both group and online courses.

To date almost 1200 parents have completed SOOC and 99.9% would recommend it to a friend something we are very proud of. One mum told us that SOOC was far more useful to her than her antenatal classes.  Another mum said this is the best course she ever done and everyone should do it for their children.

SOOC is available in Donegal, Sligo, Cavan, Leitrim, Derry/Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and the Ards Peninsula.  Contact Mary or Sharleen on numbers below or DM us through Shaping Ourselves and Our Children’s Facebook Page. We’ve had such a positive response and know that you will enjoy being part of our SOOC family!

ROI: Mary 085 154 8508 or 048 71 365 363

Northern Ireland: Sharleen 077 43921068 or 028 71 365 363