In a recent interview with Allison Rees from Victoria, B.C., she discussed with us the parenting services she offers at LIFE Seminars.
I don’t think anyone would disagree when saying that parenting is a full-time job, and sometimes, a little advice or guidance would be a nice gesture. No matter the age, place, or time of day, every parent can use a little help now and then to transform them into an amazing parent, mentor, and role model. And that is where LIFE Seminars plays a vital role in a parent’s ongoing development.
Question: Hi Allison, can you tell our friends at ChatterBlock a little about yourself and your educational/professional history?
While I have worked as a counselor for many years and did attain credentials in psychology and leadership, the honest truth is that my career as an educator has been completely nurtured by working with the LIFE material. The material is so profound and so complete that it has enhanced all that I have learned or have done. It speaks to every relationship I have whether my kids, husband or colleagues. Recently I discarded my title as Dr. and traded it in for “coach/educator” because it gives me more freedom to move people forward and call them to take action.
Question: Since joining LIFE Seminars in 1990, what are some of the changes that have transpired over your 23 year tenure with the business?
Well, I started the policy that parents who take the eight week course can re-attend free of charge. That has been a very positive move as the returning parents provide peer leadership for the new people taking the course. I rewrote all of the LIFE material to fit my experiences and Dr. Miller and I published our two books blending our stories. The biggest change in the courses is training my volunteers to coach parents. Our classes are loud and lively as parents and course leaders interact with each other during part of the evening sessions. I’ve also added smaller courses: Parenting Teens, Parenting Preschoolers and Mad About You – a couple’s workshop.
Question: Before a parent signs up for an eight-week program, what are some things they should know before they start?
I think they need to know that it is a commitment when they take one of the eight week courses. They need to know that parent education isn’t about quick fixes so they have to work at getting answers for themselves. Other than that, we basically take good care of people while they attend.
Question: For people who have visited the website to learn about LIFE Seminars, but are still unsure of its offerings, can you give our readers any additional information about the experiences/benefits of LIFE Seminar’s services?
We teach parents what they really need to know. It is life changing and the material will be a good fit for parents with children of any age. Our classes have equal numbers of single parents, blended families and intact families. They are nondenominational and carry universal values.
Question: How does a parent get started with one of LIFE Seminar’s classes?
A parent can call us if they have questions about the material. Once they have made the decision to attend, they basically just sign up through whatever organization that is running the course. Saanich Parks and Recreation run 80% of our programs.
Question: What is your approach, style, and/or method to teaching?
I’m very transparent when I teach and share stories about my shortcomings and how I have crawled out of my own pitfalls as a parent. I see a lot of humour in human behaviour. I have done professional standup comedy in the past so I do tend to share a laugh or two with the group. I like to engage with people in the course and I’m also fairly directive so I don’t let people get away with too much. I guess you could say I get to the point and call people on their mistaken ideas.
Question: Where do you see yourself and LIFE Seminars going in the next three to five years?
I’m currently writing a book for other parent educators. I have been mentoring various professionals to teach the LIFE material. This book however, is for all parent educators. I will continue teaching the material and enjoying my career as an educator/ coach. I love what I do and have no plans to stop. LIFE Seminars is spreading and I want to make the material accessible to as many people as possible.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights Allison. Our discussion will surely excite the parents of ChatterBlock. Remember, parenting advice and help is never too far away with the great services provided at LIFE Seminars.