In the 1960s, a group of parents concerned about the education of their children gathered and decided to organize Courses on Family Enrichment. They realized that although they had studied very hard to become good professionals (high school, university, grad school…), no one had ever taught them how to be good parents and spouses. These things are not innate, we have to study, read, attend courses amongst other things. The greatest responsibility we have as parents is to educate our children well.
In these courses they rely heavily on the case method. It’s the same method that is used in the best business schools such as Harvard or IESE, the difference being that in the Family Enrichment courses we use cases based on family experiences. For those who haven’t heard of it, the case study method consists of an individual reading a real case that may have happened to a family, discussing that case with your spouse, discussing it in a group of about five other couples, and finally discussing it in a general session.
In the text that describes the case, notes are often added to emphasize the specific subject that the group should focus on. Courses are divided by age of the children. The “First Steps” course is from 0 to 3 years old and deals with problems such as the 4 basic habits: how to get a full night sleep, hygiene, food, and order. The other courses are “First Letters” (4 to 6 years old), “First Decisions”, “Pre-Adolesence”, “Love and Marriage”, and “Personal Projects” (for your professionals). There are many different programs for everyone.
We are so blessed that this group of parents felt the need to come together and help each other and eventually us in the education of their children!!
The International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) is responsible for these courses, and they have already spread to 66 countries on 5 continents and every year thousands of couples benefit from them. In addition, this NGO has General Consultative Status with the United Nations.
In the first half of July I was with 22 families from 15 countries for a training on marriages that was commissioned by their respective nations. In the morning we worked for 2 hours while their children are involved in other activities, and in the afternoons we went on family outings. It’s so amazing spending the summer vacation learning with family!
The participants came from the United States, Syria, Canada, Lebanon, Portugal, Latvia, Poland, Ivory Coast, England, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, and many others! You can’t imagine how enriching it is to spend these days with families from different cultures and ethnicities. And all of them are concerned with the same thing: how can we better educate our children and increase the love the parents have in matrimony.