An intimate mothers’* discussion led by a group leader takes place side-by-side in the same room with a separately staffed socialization group for the babies. When possible, we group the mother-infant pairs according to the age of the babies so that their ages are within six months of one another.
*if fathers are interested in joining, we create fathers’ or mixed parent groups
GROUP STRUCTURE AND PARTICIPANTS
- groups meet once a week for one hour
- short and long term groups are offered
- 3 to 4 mother-infant pairs
- parent group leader
- child development specialist and staff
BENEFITS OF JOINING A GROUP
- You will feel less alone with your questions and concerns.
- You will gain confidence in your own unique mothering style as you learn to attune and respond to your child.
- You will learn about your child’s stage of development and how s/he is negotiating that stage.
- You will receive tips and advice from other mothers, the group leader, and the child development specialist.
- You and your child may make lasting friendships.
Women share experiences with each other and seek advice and guidance from the group leader. Each week, mothers bring their current concerns and the leader extracts themes to connect the women in the discussion. The child development staff supports each child’s development, building on his or her spontaneous gestures and play.
|Mothers discuss…||While babies…|
ADVANTAGES OF THE SIDE-BY-SIDE MODEL
- Mothers learn helpful approaches by observing the child development specialist’s interactions with the children.
- The child development specialist can join the mothers’ group to discuss a scenario that has just occurred between two or more children.
- It provides a unique, in vivo opportunity to connect each mother’s questions and concerns with the development and temperament of her individual child.
- The parent group leader and child development specialist work closely with one other to help each mother understand her child’s inner world and developmental needs.