More than 350 parents took part in the workshops of the recently finished cycle of the “Support, NOT Perfection” program, which directly affected over 300 children. We are sharing with you the impressions of Gabrijel and Anika Mesaros, who attended this cycle’s workshops in Pancevo.
“Support, NOT perfection” has been one of the blueprints of our work for years. Created and led by our Head of programs, Smiljana Grujic, it has so far helped more than 2,600 parents across Serbia. In recent years, in accordance with the epidemiological situation, we have had to organize the workshops online, and Smiljana was joined on several occasions by our co-founder and global CEO, Jelena Djokovic, who shared her parenting experience and the challenges she faces on a daily basis.
With the support of our long-term partners, Generali Osiguranje Srbija and The Human Safety Net, last year we started the project of building 15 Parent Centers throughout Serbia, which have become a gathering place for parents and guardians over the past couple of cycles of workshops. As we look back on the year that is about to end, we share with you the experiences of the Mesaros family who attended the recently completed workshops in the city of Pancevo. We look forward to the new contingent of workshop participants who will have the opportunity to socialize and share experiences in a cozy environment.
The Mesaros family impressions can be read below:
For me, parenting is the most beautiful and at the same time the hardest “job” I’ve ever had. Full of daily challenges, without a scheme or instructions on how to do it. It became clear to me very early on that something was “not right” with the model we inherited from our parents, and I did not come across a model that was “better” and applicable in practice. While reading books on parenting, I realized that it can be different from what we picked up from our families, but it was difficult for me to put it into practice.
Attending the Support, not Perfection program, I realized that what I lacked were actually self-regulation techniques, because everything I knew in theory was very difficult for me to apply until I calmed down the “inflamed” amygdala.
Sharing experiences with other parents was useful on many levels – from understanding the fact that we are all in the same situation & that we all have similar problems, to concrete suggestions and solutions for certain situations, which we applied successfully.
I would say that the foundation chooses facilitators very carefully and successfully, at least in our case it was like that, because Aleksandra introduced us and guided us through the program with ease, always managing to keep our attention and emphasize the most important points. An enjoyable atmosphere was created very quickly, we formed a small community, which, I believe, will continue to exist in some form even after 10 weeks of the official program.
I would recommend to all parents not to miss this experience, no matter how well they navigate their parenting journey, because support is something we always need.
I joined the program to become a better father and husband – to master some new and useful techniques (e.g. “I messages”), share my parenting experience, and learn from others about it.
What benefited me the most was that I had the opportunity to understand that everything is a matter of openness towards myself, my partner and children, how far an individual will progress as a person and a parent, and that the power of parenting and raising children is in OUR hands – the hands of parents. It means a lot to me now to know that all parents share the same or very similar concerns, problems, and hopes regarding their children and family. I made some new acquaintances that I plan to develop into closer relationships and to continue family gatherings to the mutual pleasure of everyone involved.
I recommend the workshop to every parent, regardless of gender and age of the child!
I would tell the future participants to apply for the workshop sincerely and without hesitation, because through it they will have the opportunity to learn everything they wanted and needed to know about parenting and life in a family with children.
The Novak Djokovic Foundation thanks all the participants of the workshops. We hope we have made your parenting journey easier and more meaningful. With that in mind, we are looking forward to a new cycle!