A perfect parent doesn’t exist. Nor does a child need one. All that a child needs is a supportive parent with unconditional love to give.
Providing children with nurturing care requires immense energy and patience. This program aims to present parents with the ingredients—familiar and new alike—needed to make their own unique parenting recipe, tailored to their child’s needs and affinities.
WHY WE DO IT?
Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in laying the foundation upon which children can develop their cognitive, physical and social skills and emotional intelligence. They are their first teachers and role models.
Providing children with nurturing care requires immense energy and patience. However, in Serbia, almost every other parent/caregiver reports being exhausted and not having enough self-time.
THIS IS HOW WE DO IT
The program consists of 10 free workshops, which are held on a weekly basis with a small group of 15 to 20 parents/caregivers of children up to 6 years of age. Participants share their experiences and develop a mutual support network. They can also bring their children during workshops, while teachers trained by our team organize activities for them.
The Support, not Perfection program was developed by our experts who personally train and supervise the facilitators who, in turn, lead these workshops. The facilitators, with the experience and knowledge in the field of pedagogy and psychology, help guide participants through various parenting challenges.
LONG-TERM POSITIVE EFFECTS
The biggest effects observed during the implementation of the program are aimed at reducing negative parental methods (shouting, insulting, beating). Based on the participants evaluation, after completing the program, they highlighted fewer mental health concerns and significantly greater marital satisfaction. Moreover, they reported that their children showed fewer emotional, behavioral and disciplinary problems.
The brand new component of our SNP program is the opening of our 15 parenting centers. These spaces have been created to serve as the resource centers where parents can meet up in a pleasant and creative ambiance where they will acquire new knowledge and skills, and develop a mutual network of support.
EMPOWERMENT, NOT QUICK FIXES
The program is not designed to provide a quick and easy solution to parenting challenges, because there is no universal manual that works for every child and every parent. However, this program does offer strategies to deal with challenging situations, but it is up to parents to choose which strategy they want to try and apply.
Officially starting in 2021, this new and exciting project is dedicated to the adaptation and furnishing of institutions hosting the Support, NOT Perfection program, as well as other programs aimed at empowering parents and families in everyday challenges that growing up of a child brings. The newly created premises where parents and caregivers are receiving the necessary education to raise their children are multifunctional, modern, and authentic.
Parent Centers are also meant to remind them that anything can be put on hold. Anything but love. It is a key ingredient to any family’s happiness. These designated spaces that our Foundation has renovated, together with our partners Generali Insurance Serbia and The Human Safety Net, are projected to remain within the possession of the preschool.
SEE THE COMMUNITIES WE CHANGE
Our Support, not Perfection program strengthens local communities all across Serbia. Click on the map and take a closer look at them.
Meet Smiljana and Nina - the authors of the Support, not Perfection program.
Smiljana is our program manager, a psychologist and psychotherapist with extensive experience in working with parents and children. The focus of her work is compassionate communication and emotional management.
Nina is a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on how to support parents and educators to promote children's early development. She holds a Bachelor's summa cum laude and Master's degree from Harvard University.
The scalability of Support, NOT Perfection and its contribution to the improvement of parent and child well-being was recognized by the European Journal of Developmental Psychology. Read more about it right here.
If you are also eager to learn more about parenting, check out our Novak Djokovic Foundation Online Academy.
Youll find interactive courses on various topics lead by our team of experts that can help you build a stronger bond with your child.
"We realized that we are not such bad parents, but rather that we sometimes miss creative problem-solving tools that can replace disciplinary measures that do not do us nor the children any good."
- Father Stefan Peric
“The realization that all the challenges you are facing are faced by other parents as well and that sense of belonging are very empowering and motivating.”
-Mother Milica Matovic
“This was a great experience for me, and all my friends know how much these workshops meant to me. I am sure that they will also decide to attend this program because each of us who completed it became a better version of ourselves.”
-Mother Marija Kovacevic Misic
“My husband and I regret that we did not have the opportunity to go to the workshops together, and our recommendation is that, if you have the opportunity, go as a couple. This is certainly the best 90 minutes spent!”
-Mother Mira Aničić Urošević
“The biggest impression on me was the fact that behind each of our affectations (abrupt emotions) there is a real need that is always justified and we have to realize it, satisfy it, and at the same time think about how to self-regulate strong emotions.”