February 20th, 2015 | reflectivecommunities
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Mindful Parenting Groups (MPG) is an interactive group workshop designed to enhance parents’ capacity to “read” babies’ and/or toddlers’ cues and communications.
Mindful Parenting Groups provide a development-driven, relationship-focused approach to the cultivation of resilient, healthy and secure parent-child bonds. In an intimate and interactive group setting, MPGs bring together infants, toddlers or preschoolers (ages three months to three+ years), along with their parents, in order to promote childhood attachment security. Most notably, MPGs allow parents to slow down, reflect, and practice mindful observation―about their own emotional experiences as well as those of their young children. These groups are structured to enhance a parent’s capacity to make meaning of the thoughts, feelings, intentions, and behaviors of his or her child. By giving meaning to a child’s emotional experience, and ‘‘representing’’ this experience to him/her in a regulated fashion, the parent sets the stage for the development of a sense of security and safety in the child.
MPGs are facilitated by infant/early childhood mental health specialists on a weekly basis. Children are grouped developmentally in MPGs, with no more than six months’ difference in age between infants and toddlers up to age two, or no more than eight months’ difference for those over age two.
Each group time consists of three primary components: Child-Centered Observation of the children at play, modeling of respectful parenting practices through Facilitation of Social Interactions, Parent-Centered Reflection on what is observed, as well as time for questions about each child’s development. In this process, the group addresses behavioral, social, and emotional issues such as:
For older toddlers, a group snack and a circle time with songs and fingerplays is added, providing opportunities for children to participate in a school-readiness activity at their own pace, experiencing the joys and challenges of navigating structure and turn-taking.
Furthermore, MPGs also place a major emphasis on increasing the behavioral quality, psychological involvement and affective tone of young children’s primary caregiving relationships, as well as parental resilience, supportive social connections, knowledge of respectful parenting practices, and of child development.
Click for more information on MPG Trainings