Editor’s Note: In this series, Mind in the Making facilitators share their experiences guiding workshops for parents, educators, caregivers and healthcare professionals throughout the Suncoast. In May, The Patterson Foundation funded training for 31 people through the Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute, which breaks down executive functions into seven essential life skills that help children achieve their goals.
What can I say? This was great! I enjoyed seeing the excitement, the joy, the desire to learn and how each of the Mind in the Making workshop participants put into practice everything they learned.
The nicest thing of all for me as a facilitator training professionals was that they were able to keep an open mind, put aside all their existing knowledge, and learn the new material.
Something that both my co-facilitator Liliana Wright and I got to do was understand the culture of the participants, so we could identify with them from the beginning (and also because the workshop was offered in Spanish, which is their native language). The participants said they felt more comfortable hearing the material in their language, which made it easier to understand and participate.
At the end of the workshop, the participants said they had used these seven modules in their personal lives as adults, mothers and professionals, and wanted to develop their potential as women.
One of the stories shared is from a participant who said she realized, through a video presented, that babies from birth can use their executive functions and be aware of everything that happens around them. This impacted her life as a grandmother because now she plans on being more alert when interacting with her little granddaughter.
Another participant said that before the workshop, she used to play video games every Friday with her 10 year-old-son, her 3-year-old girl and her husband. After going through this workshop, she decided to buy some board games to put into practice some of the learned modules, such as focus and self-control, perspective, communication and challenges, among others. She told the group that she went to the store with her family and gave everyone the opportunity to choose a board game, and when they were playing at home, they realized that they enjoyed it more than when playing video games.
At the end of the workshop, participants decided to share this material with others in the community they serve. This workshop helps us grow as human beings, to realize our mistakes, but also teaches us how to improve ourselves and become better parents. One of the things I liked best is that it educated us as parents on how to teach our children to obtain their greatest potential in their pathways to success.