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Blog, N4 Mexico

Change Begins at Home

N4 Mexico Operations Manager Maru Castañeda

This month we chatted with N4 Mexico Operations Manager Maru Castañeda who recently led a virtual SEL workshop for over 150 parents at Colegio Inglés Americano in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. 

N4: What inspired you to host a Narrative 4 workshop specifically for parents?
MC: I realized that in order to make a change in the students we must start from the origin, that is, the parents. Children replicate what they have learned at home, so I decided to organize a workshop where parents could learn about the importance of emotional intelligence, empathy, and listening to others in order to understand and communicate more effectively.

N4: What did you hope to accomplish?
MC: I hoped to help parents know that in order to understand their children and family they need to be people who practice empathy, who can put themselves in the shoes of their children. I also hoped to build parental awareness for our work in schools, so it’s not just the teachers or administrators who support us, but the parents as well.

If you stop to breathe and observe you are giving yourself an opportunity to connect with your children and your family.

—Parent, N4 Mexico

N4: What did you learn from the experience?
MC: I realized there is a need for more parent workshops related to emotions. Parents need support to control and manage their emotions, even more so in the pandemic since they spend a lot of time at home with their children. What stands out is not only a lack of empathy but a lack of patience. Participants also suggested that we make the next workshop longer.
 
N4: What are your next steps to build on the success of the parent workshop?
MC: I would love to host another workshop using the activity that [N4 Learning Resources Director] Margaret LaRaia shared with me: 20 Questions for Sharing Family Stories, as a way to connect with parents until we’re able to do a story exchange together, probably in a third session.