Anna and Nicola from the Parenting Connection WA’s Midwest team recently delivered Bringing up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days, a five session workshop discussing a variety of topics including: brain development, babies social, emotional, physical and cognitive development, what babies and families need to ensure the best possible health and well-being outcomes and ways for parents to take care of themselves and get support when needed.
The Bringing up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days workshop proved to be popular with places for the program being filled within a matter of days after advertising.
Seven participants, all first time mums attended the workshop with their babies- all of which were boys! Prior to commencing the program parents were provided with a Pre-Program Reflection and asked why they decided to attend the group. Many of the parents identified they were interested in learning new skills, becoming more confident as a parent and better understand their baby’s development and needs.
Midway through the workshops the our Midwest team received a text message from one of the parents:
“I just wanted to say thank you so, so much for the program. The last few weeks have been the first time I have looked forward to something that benefits me as well as (name of child). I wish I had done this program months ago, but I am so grateful I get to do it now. Thank you for showing me empathy and listening to my journey and giving me the opportunity to speak and be heard. I’m so grateful”
At the end of the fifth and final session parents expressed their sadness that the program was at an end and commented how much they had enjoyed the course. Of the participants, 100% of reported they would recommend the course to others, with one mum commenting that she felt all parents should do the course.
Parents were asked to complete an evaluation l to reflect on how they and their baby have benefited from attending the program and what they have learnt during their five week journey. Wonderful feedback was provided by all participants with the majority of parents expressing they felt calmer and have formed a stronger bond with their baby. Just a snap shot of some of the feedback parents provided:
Mum and baby “are a team and can achieve anything together.”
“That I am good enough doing the best I can as a parent. No parent is perfect.”
“Savouring the time I have with him no matter what mood we are both in so have grown closer.”
“Feeling “normal” as a mother”
“Understanding my baby cries because he has a need, not because he wants to.”
An important topic discussed in Bringing up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days is the importance of mindfulness, self-care and support. As parents when we look after ourselves we are better able to look after and nurture our children. Each week half the session is dedicated to parents practising a variety of achievable mindfulness and self-care options including, breathing exercises, hand massage, reading a children’s story to name just a few. A common response from parents when asked to identify what changes they had noticed within themselves after participating in the program was calmness.
One parent commented, “I am more calm and able to calm myself down when heightened.” Another parent commented a change she has noticed in herself is to “practice self-care, to value myself and be more compassionate, to trust my instincts.”
Anna and Nicola thoroughly enjoyed delivering Bringing up Great Kids in the First 1000 Days and getting to know the mums, their babies and watching them delight in their babies. They enjoyed it so much they plan to deliver this course again in Term 1 2020.
To find out more contact our Parenting Connection WA Midwest team.