Category: News

#ReachOut during COVID-19: Supporting a mum to understand feelings behind behaviour

This is the second in our series of #ReachOut blog posts during COVID-19. Our For Baby’s Sake Practitioners continue to support families, learning and developing how we can still deliver front line work through technology.

During a Video Interactive Guidance (VIG) session with a mum our For Baby’s Sake Practitioner was able to open up a discussion around the feelings of all her children, they write: ‘Yesterday I completed a VIG review session over FaceTime, the unusual circumstances didn’t interfere with the session or the reviewing of the VIG, we were both able to see each other and the clips. In one of the clips, mum noted that she asked her baby if she was tired, this led to a conversation around identifying, acknowledging and naming feelings.  She told me that she is giving her older two children more opportunities to talk about their feelings since engaging with For Baby’s Sake.  She gave an example of how she had noted her son was angry, named the feeling and tried to have a conversation with him about it. I built on this explaining that anger is often a cover up for another feeling. Mum noted that the anger may have come from him being frustrated with a game he had been given that didn’t have instructions with it. She agreed that knowing the feeling behind a behaviour made it easier to understand and deal with it positively.’

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#ReachOut during COVID-19: For Baby’s Sake Practitioner supports dad to refocus on his baby

For Baby’s Sake practitioners continue to work every day with mums and dads who have experienced trauma in their lives – and yet really want to make changes, to break cycles of abuse and to protect their babies and children.  In a recent therapeutic session, a father was supported to understand how his use of instrumental emotions* and judgements on his co-parent was having a negative effect on their co-parenting.  The episode had been triggered by a media report on COVID-19, which heightened tensions in the home resulting in the loss of  focus on their baby and child.  This family is on their own journey – making a transition from ‘intimate’ to a ‘co-parenting’ relationship. Our For Baby’s Sake practitioner was able to provide the dad with strategies to contain and process his emotions and restore his focus.  Subsequent feedback from dad was both welcome and reassuring.

For Baby’s Sake recognises that this could have a long-term impact, potentially including developmental trauma, for babies and young children.  Brenda Evans, our Therapeutic Lead, has written some specialist guidance, providing context around the risks to mental and emotional health and offering advice on providing trauma-informed and attachment-focused support to vulnerable families at this time.  You can download a copy of the guidance by going to the resources section of our website.

Babies and toddlers can be emotionally overwhelmed when their sense of safety has been lost.  The guidance offers tips on the signs that this might be happening and suggestions to help parents to be prepared to understand and to act.  Empowering parents to make home a safe base for babies and children has rarely been more important.  Parents also need to know that reaching out for support when they need it is a sign of resilience.   

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First 1001 Days Movement – Joint statement in response to COVID-19

It is widely recognised that for some people, home is not a safe haven. Across the UK, there are babies, born and unborn, that are particularly vulnerable to physical and emotional harm because they are at a critical stage in their development. For Baby’s Sake is totally committed to these babies – and their parents – and has continued to commit significant resources to deliver specialist, trauma-informed support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, For Baby’s Sakejoined leading charities across the country to call on the government to keep the needs of all vulnerable babies in mind.  

Read the detail here: First 1001 Days Movement – Joint statement in response to COVID-19

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#ReachOut during COVID-19: For Baby’s Sake Practitioner on successful delivery of Inner Child work

At the therapeutic core of For Baby’s Sake is our Inner Child module. We use this to connect with the often wounded element within the parents we support: their child within – fragmented, alone and confused.  This is where we can begin to discover the root of their fears, insecurities and sabotaging life patterns – where the true healing actually happens.

For Baby’s Sake Practitioners are working hard every day to ensure ongoing delivery of this essential module, despite lockdown.  Here, in their own words, is just one example:

‘I am successfully working remotely with a mum on the inner child module via the phone – and she is responding well.  To give herself space without partner and children around, she either goes for a walk whilst on the phone to me or sits in her car.  Last week, she sat in the car and closed her eyes so that she could immerse herself into the visualisation exercise ‘going back home’ to set the foundations for the rest of the session. We were able to complete essential elements of the module and, somehow, completing this via telephone seemed to work well as she reported not feeling awkward by not being watched.  The session enabled her to speak up for her 11 year old self, which she said felt ‘like a weight had been lifted’.  She said It also helped her to verbalise how she will parent differently to break the cycle of low self-esteem for her own children.

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