The testimonials below reference the work of Kim McGarvey and Joan Musitano at The Pacella Parent Child Center. Kim and Joan worked at Pacella until the end of 2014 and are now offering similar types of services at UWS Parenting Support.
I wanted to let you all know I had my first ‘graduate’ of a Side-by-Side Mother-Child Group enrolled in our summer program this year. She’s a remarkably comfortable and socially adjusted child. We all observed how well she relates to others and how calm and confident she is. When I found out she had attended this program, I thought what a pity every child can’t have this advantage.
As a new mom, this was a continuous wellspring of helpful information about feeding, sleeping, potty training, you name it. It was my really honest go-to place for checking in about all my fears about my child’s development and my parenting. There were phenomenal professionals who engaged my daughter in play to explore the world, understand sharing, and prepare her for a new sibling.
My experience in the Mother-Child Group exceeded my hopes. One cannot overestimate the value of continuity for both mothers and children. I felt like I was “parented” myself as I negotiated the logistics and emotions of motherhood. Throughout my involvement in the groups, I have received validation, emotional support, a parenting resource and practical parenting tips. My now five-year-old daughter still cherishes her experiences in the group. Throughout the three years, she developed a special fondness and closeness to Kim and the child development staff and other children. Rather than just talking about developmentally appropriate ways to understand and communicate with our children, we had the opportunity to watch “experts” play with them. They also provided helpful input about my daughter’s emerging personality and temperament and, thus, could respond to my questions and concerns based on their comprehensive understanding of her. I highly recommend these groups for any mother who is seeking a deeper and richer experience than most parenting groups.”
The Side-by-Side Model is perfect for exchanging thoughts and ideas, frustrations and insights, in a safe and moderated setting with a professional, while at the same time being able to watch my child play, nearby in a safe and moderated way. I got so much out of this work with our first child, that three years later, I returned with my second child.
The Parent-Child Consultations at Pacella have completely changed my feelings about motherhood by providing my daughter and me with a place where we feel nurtured in the most caring way by complete professionals. Our mother-child dynamic went from major tantrums to learning how to deal with the outbursts to times of joy with my child that didn’t exist as readily before…They have revolutionized my experience as a mom, and for this I will always be grateful.
I am a much more confident mother as a result of this program….It’s a lot about gaining insight into what your child is triggering in you so you can try to change and better help him or her. Rather than waiting for a major problem to surface, you continually work to make adjustments in your own behavior. I am so much more assertive with my son and not as afraid to hold my authority. I believe he is much more secure – and confident as a result.
Read more in her blog post.