The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District lead with an initiative to help parents to feel okay in raising children with multiple cultures. The Strengthening Parenting Course commenced in Shepparton on Friday, 13 September 2019.
The Ethnic Council of Shepparton had its first session to help prevent domestic violence and improve family relaﬁonships on Friday. Program facilitator Thon Thon said statistics showed men were responsible for most disturbances in the home. (This session) was about asking the men what your parenting role with young children is,” he said.
The session focused on fathers building a relationship with their child and raising them in Australian culture. “The main focus of today is parenting. How to raise a child in two different cultures,” Mr Thon said.
Dr Santino Atem Deng, who spoke during the session, said children needed to feel accepted. “If we don’t feel accepted, then we don’t feel like we belong,” he said. “There are aspects of being picked on because we are different – (that’s) racism, discrimination.”
Ethnic Council of Shepparton representative Andrew Murley hoped the program would help parents to navigate through the integration of cultures and raise children to feel okay about being in between both cultures.
“(This program) is teaching them to mix their culture and bring that in line with the new culture they’ve got living here in Australia,” he said. “If they’re not in their parents’ culture and they’re not in Australian culture, then they are somewhere in the middle.
“We want children to believe they belong somewhere and that their culture is not bad, their culture is good — it’s just mixed.”
The program will run until next month and will eventually involve whole families. It will cover topics including building respectful relationships within families, raising children in Australia, mental health awareness and suicide prevention and changing men’s behaviour.
For information, contact the Ethnic Council on 5831 2395 or email at info@ethniccounciI.com.au