The „Great Power” campaign aims at raising public awareness about development of the parent-child bond. The bond with a parent is a two-way relationship influencing the child’s behavior for a whole lifetime. Experiencing early and safe bonds has an impact on the social and emotional development of the child by influencing its brain development, reactions to the experienced emotions, expectations and interactions in close relationships.

The campaign is implemented by The Power of Support Association in cooperation with the town of Czeladź with financial support of the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.

As a parent you probably know that without you, at least in the beginning, your child does not exist. For your child everything is new, the child doesn’t know what is or isn’t safe. You are the guide through the outside world but also through the world of the fantasies, desires and emotions. The bond you and our child develop, Dear Parent, is the pattern for its whole lifetime.

Secure attachement

Without a doubt you wish your child is able to receive and give love in its adult life. You want the child to have self-esteem and to feel safe while facing new challenges and tasks. You imagine the child now and in the future does enjoyable and satisfactory things and the relationships your child will develop will be mature and beneficial.
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The relationship you build with your child from the earliest moments of your life together, becomes a pattern for its future behaviours. It has an impact on the way your child will experience itself and the environment, how the child will regulate its emotions.

 

When you are a safe base for your child, it learns the world is a safe and caring place, the tensions and emotions are manageable and not threatening. The child understands it can ask other people for help when its needed, without going into excessive dependence and trusting its own skills. The self-image and self-esteem will be stable and solid, no matter what the social environment’s reaction will be, while the ability to respect its own and others’ boundaries will be properly developed. In different relationships your child will be able to receive and give.

Insecure attachement

When your accessibility for the child is disturbed, there is too little or too much of the accessibility or if it is characterized by volatility and unpredictability, your child may not have the possibility to develop the feelings of security, stability and predictability of its own and the environment’s reactions. Its self-image and self-esteem may be impacted by the way other people judge him, they may be unstable and impermanent.

Your child may not believe in the possibility of getting help and may create an illusion it will cope with the problem on its own just because it has to deal with the surrounding reality. The world may become a threatening place, a battlefield, where cooperation and dependence mean defeat and weakness, as difficult to handle as emotions. The child will not develop the ability to get calm therefore the experienced fear and anxiety will be realized through immature and adverse behaviors. Development of stable and mature relationships with other people may not be possible. There is no safe base, there are only uncertain and threatening islands, full of swamps and dark caves.

Becoming a responsive parent means to be „in tune” with the child. We learn how to be a parent from the moment we are born and the process is influenced by the relationship with our parents. So what are the effects of responsiveness? Let’s take a look at the impact of a parent’s responsiveness on the development of the bond.

Accessibility and reacting

When you are a caregiver to a baby who doesn’t have the ability to postpone the satisfaction of its needs and doesn’t know how to cope with the tension, the parent has to be the first to react. The prolonged tension turns into suffering. How do you know your child is hungry? You learn to recognize what the cry means which helps you to comfort your child quite fast. A responsive parent is ready to react fast to the baby’s crying and is able to endure it which means the baby’s discomfort doesn’t make the parent completely helpless and allows her/him to stay a mindful caregiver. Remember, the baby rules.

How to recognize the baby’s needs

The first steps you take as a baby’s caregiver are just an experiment. You learn how to be together and understand each other without any words. The parent needs to be attuned, a focused and careful observer and listener to the signals your child is sending you. The baby will calm down only if it is understood. If it’s hungry, the baby will calm down when it is fed, not when the diaper is changed or the baby is rocked. It sounds trivial but to get the right level of communication is quite a challenge, for some parents even impossible. Remember being ahead of your baby’s needs just like overprotection may be destructive for the development of your child.

Emotional connection

According to the scientific research, the emotional connection has the biggest impact on the development of the baby’s brain in the first two years of its life. A parent is a mirror reflecting the baby. Feeding, change of diapers, carrying the baby in the arms, bathing or other forms of physical contact may help to develop the bond with the parent.

Mechanical way of caregiving to a baby obviously is not the perfect experience you can provide your child with. Keeping an eye contact, smiling and smiling back, physical stimulation, carrying a crying baby is the prompt response to your child’s need for physical closeness and is necessary to build secure attachement.

Parental presence until the baby calms down

As caregivers to our children we often get „good advice”. Sometimes the tips are good indeed but very often they are taken from bad parenting books or popularized by media. Infants do not have self-regulation mechanisms developed therefore they need their caregivers to be soothed. Children younger than 4 years also may not have the mechanisms fully developed yet. What does it mean? Well, if you think your child will calm down on its own, you are very wrong.
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Let’s take a look at one of the myths how to teach a baby to soothe itself. One can be told you should ignore infant crying to prevent the situation when your child is used to you reacting or doesn’t want to sleep on its own at all. The child will stop crying eventually but does it mean it really soothed itself? No. It only means the baby adapts to caregivers’ unresponsiveness. It stopped crying because nobody reacted. But the fear and tension is still there and will have an impact on other situations.
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Same with cuddling and carrying. What other ways of experiencing instance physical contact or observing the world around it does a baby have? As the baby cannot self-regulate, the parent has to stay with the baby until it stops crying, being afraid or releases tensions, also the positive ones. Otherwise the baby will never develop the skill.

Prenatal period

Hello. It is very comfortable here. I don’t know who you are but I can hear your voice and feel your heartbeat. It is strange but it often calms me down. There is somebody else who talks to me often. What a pity I cannot see you. Wait, just a sec, I need to turn over….. Yeah, that’s better 😊 I really like this „tube” attached to my nevel. I have this funny feeling we will stay together forever, that you and I are a unity.

Childbirth

Oh, something is happening…. I am scared…. How should I leave this place through such a small slot? I am trying…. Almost there… Ouch, it hurts… Ouch…. There’s so much light here ! And it’s cold! I want to go back! And where is water? Who are these people? I don’t want them to carry me… Is it you? Yes, I recognize your voice. Hey! Put me on her! This heartbeat…. Now I know how you look like and how you smell… Maybe it is not gonna be so bad here after all. All the effort, I am hungry now.

The first 3 months of life

When I am hungry, when I need a clean diaper, when something hurts me and I cannot fall asleep, you are always next to me. You know my needs and you can soothe me, you know what I tell you when I cry. It makes me feel secure. But every time you leave, I am scared you may never come back. Now you are with me but you can disappear in a moment. Thank God I usually sleep then….

 

3-6 months of life

Hey Mom 🙂 Yeah, I know it’s you. Can you see how I am smiling at you? You are becoming more and more important to me and I prefer your company to other people. Look, I can do so many things now, I react to your presence. Look… how does it work… arm, leg, other arm, other leg… and now all together, some saliva and a smile… yes, this is how I am inviting you to interact and play with me. I like your smile. Generally your facial expressions explain to me what is happening to me. Thanks to you I know I exist.

6 months – 2,5 years old

I can do more now and it is easier for me to control you. I want to be with you and mostly with you Mom 😊 I am afraid of strangers but it will pass because thanks to you I know the world is cool and interesting, And if something goes wrong, I have you, my safe base… I can always come back to you and we will fight my fears togethers. Let’s test a new trick now…. Ah, maybe not, wait…… Wooow…. There, in the mirror, is it me? What a discovery!

From ca. 2,5 years old

Mom. Do you remember when I though you and I were a unity? Here is the problem. Now I know it’s not true. You are there and I am here. Sometimes we disagree or even get angry at each other. I think we are two individuals. I think about my things, you probably think about yours. Now we can be together but in a different way. Do you know how many interesting things we can learn about each other?! How exiting!

…… Parenthood is one of the most beautiful and most important roles of your life. However even the most loving and caring parents sometimes are frustrated and angry or helpless. As a parent you will face many challenges. A child is fully dependent on adults who decide about the quality of experiences their babies have.

If you are a parent or plan to become one and you would like to expand your knowledge and improve your skills, you can get the support from The Power of Support Association.

We offer the following working methods adjusted to your needs and expectations:

GROUPS AND WORKSHOPS „THE PARENT ACADEMY”

The Parent Academy offers workshops, development activities, creative meetings for parents and their children. The main target groups are parents-to-be and parents of children younger than 7 years. The main topic of the activities is the role of a parent in the process of raising a secure child and development of its ability to build emotionally mature relationships in the future.

A child who experiences warm, intimate and constant relationship is more likely to be mentally healthy. The quality of caregiving is closely linked to different attachement patterns that influence how people build relationships in the future, what self-images they will have, how they will see the world and other people. The bond becomes a pattern for all future relationships the baby will build. The secure, solid, based on trust and ability to read the needs and reflect emotions, bond gives the baby a chance to develop satisfactory relationships in the future. The baby and then the adult feels comfortable with intimacy, balances own needs with the needs of other people.

The Parent Academy gives parents a possibility to take a closer look at the relationships they have with their children, to train some skills and discuss their experience during lectures, workshops, cognitive education groups.

RELATIONSHIP TRAINING COURSE®. LEARNING THROUGH PLAY AND VIDEO.

The course provides the participants with basic skills to build a relationship with a child. The program is based on John Bowlby’s theory of attachement and his followers’ ideas. Participation in the training course not only allows to expand knowledge about attachement style relationships but also improves parenting skills, facilitates creating closeness, deepens the understanding of the child and your relationship.

The training course’s structure reflects the family’s needs and expectations. First the parents are interviewed to set goals and find issues for analysis and for improvement of the child’s development process understanding, during following meetings recordings are made and replayed for further review. The meetings are held in a safe and friendly way. The meeting are developmental and educational in nature, the method of working with family is innovative.

DIAGNOSIS, SUPPORT, PSYCHOTERAPHY

Centrum Profilaktyki i Psychoterapii Więzi (The Center of Prevention and Attachement-based Psychotherapy) offers specialist psychological support, psychotherapy and psychological diagnosis. It is a part of the Power of Support Association’s structure.

The Center provides families with the following forms of support:
crisis intervention, individual/family consultations, psychological support, individual/family psychotherapy, psychological diagnosis (esp. social-emotional development of a child) and, in some cases, neuropsychological diagnosis and psychological evaluation.

The place fills the gap in the psychological and intervention fields of work especially with children and youth. The Center cooperates permanently with kindergartens, family assistants and other institutions creating a system model of cooperation.
The Center employs highly qualified staff. Those interested in the Center’s offer can book a consultation with a specialist by a telephone appointment.

PREVENTION in The Land of the Fireflies.

The Land of the Fireflies is an innovative prevention and education project. The experts of the Association invite kindergarteners and preschoolers to join the amazing journey through the mysterious Land of the Fireflies. Kids not only meet the main characters of the tale: The Fairy, The Pompon or The Ciuciurupek but also help them to solve problems, explore the incredible world of emotions, they learn to recognize and express emotions, to cope with more difficult ones. The aim of the project is not only the emotional education but also the acquisition of new skills by children. The unique feature of this program, besides the creation of safe and fascinating fairy tale environment that stimulates children’s imagination, is the focus on development of children’s skills and trust that even in the most difficult situation they can find some solutions, for example they can look for help.
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The Land of the Fireflies project got wide recognition and generated high interest. It received great reviews not only in Poland where it got the best prevention project award and was recommended by the Ministry of the Interior but also on the international level winning recognition of the European Forum for Urban Security and European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN).
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The project’s activities are also aimed at parents and professionals working with children. The expanded beyond prevention activities reflect the need to develop a complex system of prevention and support for children, their families and caregivers. Therefore the Association’s specialists invite parents to workshops where they also play with children and to many other events: fests, outdoor events, conferences.

The campaign is implemented by The Power of Support Association
in cooperation with the town of Czeladź with financial support of the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.

© Copyright 2017 The Power of Support: moc-wsparcia.pl
All rights reserved.
Website design and creation: cinetic.pl

The campaign is implemented by The Power of Support Association
in cooperation with the town of Czeladź with financial support of the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.

© Copyright 2017 The Power of Support: moc-wsparcia.pl
All rights reserved.
Website design and creation: cinetic.pl