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Building relationships

Relationships matter: Queensland’s Parents and Friends association encourages parents to work on their relationships with themselves, their child and the Church.

Relationships matter: Queensland’s Parents and Friends association encourages parents to work on their relationships with themselves, their child and the Church.

By Emilie Ng

PARENTS and Friends Federation of Catholic Schools in Queensland is committed to shaping better parents, according to executive director Carmel Nash.

To support parents improve their parenting skills, the federation is holding their Biennial Catholic School Parent Conference from April 25 -27.

Almost 200 parents and other “significant people in Catholic education” from around the country attend the conference, which is a key feature in the federation’s calendar.

The conference will look at the theme Relationships, Relationships, Relationships – mainly the relationship between parents and their children’s education, the Church and interaction with the school community.

Mrs Nash said the Federation’s focus was on helping parents strive for better parenting.

“The conference’s focus will be to increasing the level of understanding of our role as a parent,” she said.

Mrs Nash said improving parenting skills also included building on a parent’s relationship with their faith.

She said some parents who send their children to Catholic schools were “disconnected” from the Church.

Mrs Nash said P&F had developed many resources, including the upcoming Conference, to help increase parents’ knowledge and formation of the Catholic Church.

Father of four and the Federation’s executive officer John Beaton has been involved with the Parents and Friends movement for more than 20 years.

 “The reason I got involved was I was handing my children over to a place and to a set of people for them to teach, and these people had almost the same amount of contact with my children as I did,” Mr Beaton said.

“I think it’s a parent’s responsibility.

He said parents who sent their children to Catholic schools should also be actively working on forming not only their child’s faith, but their personal faiths too.

Mr Beaton said a survey run by the Federation last year showed many parents had a limited relationship with the Church.

“Many parents don’t see P&F as important in building and supporting Catholic identity,” he said.

 “People make the choice to send their children to Catholic schools, but without the Catholic ethos, might as well be sending them to a grammar school,” he said.

The Biennial Catholic School Parent Conference running from April 25 – 27 will be held at St Monica’s College, Cairns.

For more information and to register, visit www.pandf.org.au.

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