The New Norm of Learning and Support for Working Mothers
Sylvia Denham talks online parenting courses with self-development
What brings you to ‘Parenting for Working Mothers’?
Five years ago, my twin boys were ten. Clearly, there were many more years of my parenting ahead. I found many working parents were coming to me and asking to know how I had achieved so much with my children. I have always been a working mother. I have always loved the parenting journey. It has not been without pain and challenges. I thought hard about how I could support these working mothers, who were asking me these questions. What difference could I make to their lives? I had to look at my skills. What skills did I have? I am a life-long learner. I have taught, coached and counselled children and parents for 25+ years. I have a BSc in Mathematics, PGCE in teaching Mathematics, Post Graduate in Business and Finance from Birkbeck and a number of online business course qualifications. I am a Systems Analyst and Computer Programmer and have worked for Pearson Education and QCA in this role.
How have you taken your experience to help mothers?
I use my experience, qualifications and expertise in effective pedagogy to design learning programmes for working mothers. The programmes are honest, funny and relatable. I specifically support working mothers in their parenting, encouraging self-development without guilt.
What have been your successes with helping children and parents, over the years?
In the mid-nineties, I worked at a tutorial centre.
Over time, I have successfully prepared children for entrance tests to top schools in the country, including Dulwich College, St Dunstan’s, Blackheath High, James Allen’s Girls’ School, St Olaves, Newstead Wood, Whitgift and Millfield School and. I was also a classroom teacher for many years and an online tutor. My own children were able to obtain scholarship awards for Sherborne School in 2018.
Tell us what you have developed that could help working mothers?
I have now developed a suite of digital parenting learning programmes serving working mothers. These include free courses, webinars and mini-teaches. These can be found at www.parentingsoungly.co.uk/courses.
Although parenting and working are separate on the surface, for the working mother, they are inseparable. By creating online parenting courses I’m able to reach hundreds of people. This allows me to make a really big impact. I am able to touch a lot of lives, more than when I have worked one to one with parents. To me, it’s the perfect model for what I want to do in this world, the kind of personality I have, wanting to give to charity and share my knowledge to help and collaborate with others.
“Speaking as a parent [Regarding the webinar], we really liked the motivational slant – the ‘I did it, so can you’ inspiration. The picture messaging is upbeat and encouraging. The pragmatic section on ‘domestics’ is very helpful and although not glamorous, reflects reality and important!”
Sherborne School Deputy Head and parent
What is different about your parenting courses?
I say, do not shy away from thinking about the bigger picture and your self-development – my online projects for working mothers have come from thinking about holistic parenting and my objective is to help you in your situation.
Nothing prepares you for motherhood. Certainly nothing prepares you for work, a professional role and children. To add insult to injury everything moves at a pace you are truly challenged to keep up with (…the first six months…potty training…). It’s all messy. It could be a warped romantic comedy. You would not give it up for the world, but where has the professional ‘you’ gone? I am meeting your parenting needs where you are.
Are you for everyone?