Most people feel a bit nervous, or embarrassed, about attending their first TOUGHLOVE meeting. They are often surprised and pleased, to find that the group is composed of caring parents just like themselves, who are experiencing very similar challenges and concerns. New parents frequently express their relief, at discovering other parents who understand exactly what they're going through.
At your first meeting you, and any other newcomers, will be placed in a separate small group for orientation. The Orientation Leader will take you through a brief introduction to the TOUGHLOVE Program. You will have a chance to share what brought you to the meeting and ask any questions you may have about the Program.
Later, you will join with the rest of the group to share in the information session, which is a valuable component of every meeting. On completion of your orientation, you will be asked whether you would like to join the group. If you do, you will be asked to purchase a member's kit which includes:
- a TOUGHLOVE Parent's Manual
- a Ten Week Diary
- and one year's membership of your local TOUGHLOVE Group or Association
This material will help you to make changes, that you will choose and implement, over the following weeks. Although the program material is useful in it's own right - it is designed to be used, most effectively, in conjunction with the collective wisdom, knowledge and support of the parents in your group and the wider TOUGHLOVE network. Your Orientation Leader will check in with you between your first and second meetings to help you with any questions and offer support.
On week two, your Orientation Leader will help you to decide what behavioural goal you want to reach with your family, but you must set your own goal. Most people find, after they have completed their Crisis Assessment, that the goal is fairly clear. If you're not sure where to start, or how to achieve your goal, the other parents in the group will help you.
What else to expect
We wish we could tell you that your problems are now over. From our experience, you will need to give your TOUGHLOVE group at least six weeks before you start seeing changes that stick. You can continue with the group for as long as you need.
The TOUGHLOVE Program has helped thousands of families around the world, over almost four decades. We welcome your participation, we welcome your support and together, we can be successful in reclaiming control of our lives and our homes.