This programme is created for parents to find support, reprieve and comfort in handling the incredible responsibilities and complexities of parenting. Arts-based sessions offer parents (and by extension, children) a chance to pause, reflect and rediscover their relationships with themselves and their children in the process.

The Genesis

As parents, we plan and prepare for so many eventualities, hoping to shield and equip our children for any curveball life may throw our way. Nothing, however, prepared us for what a mental and emotional overhaul the home-schooling experience would be, as the world reeled from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forced to either isolate, quarantine or stay home, our interpersonal relationships underwent a sea-change as homes morphed into offices, schools and entertainment centres, bringing us in closer quarters for extended periods of time. While familiarity need not always breed contempt, the frustration levels are certainly palpable. Simultaneously, we also reduced our interactions with peers and friends, thus eroding our go-to support system options.

Already under significant strain from navigating the balance between children, partner/spouse, work and self, parents have had to often fly solo as opportunities dwindled for them to interact with each other, creating a dearth of emotional support, meaningful engagement and a space to allow oneself to have heartfelt conversations.

Somewhere in all this, the vivacity and joy of interacting with our children was often challenged, changing the parent-child relationship in unprecedented ways. Recognising how effective it is to tap into our inner artists and children, we propose that parents uninhibitedly join hands with us to harness the creative power of multi-art forms like visual arts, music, drama, games, play and dance and build an enduring community together through our new programme Paren{T}hesis.

Intent of Paren{T}hesis

Grammatically, a parenthesis provides space for supporting/additional information in a sentence that is ensconced within brackets, commas or dashes. It provides a visual and contextual break within a larger sentence before we go ahead and complete it. Numbers put within parentheses are given priority in a mathematical expression. Conversationally, they give you a breather while showcasing a parallel idea. Recognising how parenting as an experience is in constant need of the very space that grammar provides and often reiterates how it is a priority like in Math, we at Snehadhara Foundation have decided to give parents the breather, the space they so desire. In Parenthesis, we create a safe haven for parents to freely discuss and analyze matters that concern them, offer them a way to prioritise not their daily duties but the larger idea of interpersonal relationships by helping them buddy up with their own children. Collaborating and working with the arts allows both parents and children to reassess their dynamics, giving both of them an interlude of introspection.

The logo—while being true to its name—holds the programme within a tight embrace, letting you know that we’re all in it together as we build a healthier world for parents to parent.

Going beyond our Snehadhara parents, we aim to bring together groups of parents to experience solidarity, awakening, strength in vulnerability and belonging, all intricately woven together through multiple arts-based sessions. Through programmes online, on-campus and overnight, we envisage Paren{T}hesis to be a chance for parents to rediscover themselves and their children without the distractions of everyday life.

The Objectives of Paren{T}hesis

  • Rearranging the parent-child dynamic in a COVID-19 world where the parent has had to increase their stake in the learning experiences of the child.
  • Allowing parents and their children to explore possibilities and learnings beyond 4 walls and conventional learning set-ups.
  • A transformative experience awaits as the programme aims to promote social and emotional health and learning through interaction and engagement.
  • Provide a safe and encouraging place for parents to share, interact and support one another, unafraid of being judged.
  • Giving parents and their “buddies” the opportunity to dabble with art forms and find expression beyond the typical expectations of vocabulary.
  • Rediscover the learner within and learn to seek and offer help, pick up new skills, form bonds and enjoy the learning journey.
  • Building tools and skills to apply arts like visual arts, music, drama, games, play and dance as mediums to learn, interact, develop resilience and apply it to other aspects of life.
  • Build capacity for parents to better adjust to their ‘stay at home,’ quarantine or social distance/ isolation lives back at home through the strength acquired from making and meeting new friends.

What this Programme Offers

BRINGING UP

Online Workshops for Parents

Conducted online, the BRINGING UP programme, like the name suggests, offers you and other parents a safe haven to bring up and navigate through various issues that confront modern day caregivers. Using music, dance, fine arts and more, our online workshops help you express and process issues you are facing, as fellow parents join you in your personal journey of healing.

Date: To be announced soon! Stay Tuned!

Cost: Rs 500/-

DOSTI

Online Parent-Child Sessions

This online programme ropes in parents with their children serving as buddies in the process. Children get to experience their parents as peers, leveling the playing field as they work together with the arts to reach more personal, therapeutic goals. Coming together in this space will allow parents and children to explore new avenues for interaction, work together, and create a space for exchange of thoughts, ideas, feelings and expressions.

Date: To be announced soon! Stay Tuned!

Cost: Rs 500/-

PICNICKING

Day Outing at our Campus

This is a day programme in our community living space at Nelamangala where parents will be invited to spend a day full of exciting activities. Through the magic of theatre and the power of melody, here’s a chance for parents to find their feet, be boisterous and carefree, meet fellow parents and experience meaningful collaborations. They will get a taste of community living and access refreshing and rejuvenating experiences in idyllic environs.

Date: To be announced soon! Stay Tuned!

Cost: Rs 1000/-

EKJUT

A Night at Campus

Here, parents will be invited to our community living space to spend a day and a night on campus. Surrounded by lush green spaces and away from the hustle-bustle of the city, parents can breathe in the experience of forming bonds with each other, immersing themselves in the arts, utilizing the creative learning space and growing anew. Here’s a chance to have that hostel experience you couldn’t while not having to worry about grades and deadlines. In this community space, parents will get a chance to make it their own while interacting, sharing and forming lasting relationships.

Date: To be announced soon! Stay Tuned!

Cost: Rs 1750/-

Our monthly calendar will be updated about upcoming events under Paren{T}hesis!

Past Work with Parents

Through our Dosti programme, we offered a session on building interpersonal dynamics between employees of HP and their children, using play and drama. The aim was to create a safe haven for parents and children to collaborate through the arts.

Through the workshop ‘A Cave Within’, we offered a space of insights for parents to look within as one explores a relationship with the world around.

Through our initiative, The Secret Garden, we brought together parents to speak about their children’s sexuality and its effects. It was a safe space for parents to come together and talk about vulnerabilities, sexuality and growing up.

Testimonials from Parents

It was amazing to know that colours speak so much about oneself….. I always thought that I am not that creative but it was intriguing to find out that  I could paint something and do all the artwork that Vikram asked us to do…. he actually pushed us to do and think things that we had not ventured before. It was a great learning…… so many new words….new meanings and each of us saw things so differently…..different perspectives and all their perspectives taught something new and I am sure the way we look at ourselves also has changed.

Sanjana

Workshop : A Cave Within

The experience was nothing short of overwhelming. We felt vulnerable, yet strong. The fears we don’t face become our limitations.. and stripping ourselves of our disguises, we dared to look into the eyes of the child that was, and still is, the real “me”. Creating a safe space for ourselves, our inner child, was an affirmation that “I’ll take care of you”.. something we long to hear as adults. Coming from myself, it felt so reassuring, that it made me want to trust myself again. The workshop was conducted beautifully. Each day leaving us with food for thought and tools to help us probe a little deeper into ourselves. There’s still a barrage of questions to which I don’t know the answers, but I am willing to stay with them and contemplate and let the answers come to me.

This was indeed the best gift one could receive and I am grateful to you for extending this opportunity to all of us. I do hope there will be more of such sessions being organised and would look forward to being a part of them.

Anonymous Parent

Workshop : A Cave Within

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