Relationship Health is a simple idea, yet we don't talk about it enough and there is also a lot to learn. Each parent or carer and each professional starts the exploration of questions about relationship health from a different starting point.
One key step in Relationship Health Practice is being able to identify what is happening and what the needs are right now.
Here is question to ask yourself straight away: Which of the following best describes you? Which group of site visitors do you think you are in?
To make it visual - let's use the image of a sweet jar. We all like sweets!
Group 1 - Interested in Everyday Awareness and Wanting Ideas on Prevention: You are here because you are interested in learning a few ideas that will help you support a child who is quite typical with no major concerns or has some potential needs that present a risk of difficulties happening and/or you want to prevent those difficulties developing. (We sometimes refer to Group 1 Relationships as Smooth Apple Chews or as Sherbet Bonbons - these are tasty with some interesting moments)
Group 2. Interested because of Raised Concerns or Longer Term Needs and Wanting Effective Early Intervention Responses: You are here because you already have some moderately raised concerns about a child and are you are interested in learning more because you want to stop things getting worse and/or you know your child has some longer term needs (We sometimes refer to Group 2 Relationships as Sticky Toffees - Sticky Toffees are delicious but they can sometimes get stuck in your teeth and so take a bit more concentration)
Group 3. Interested Because of Escalated Concerns and Wanting to know What Effective De-escalation Actions to Take You are interested because things at home or in your work situation are really escalated or hot right now with some serious or alarming situations happening and you want to know what steps you can take to help move things to a safer place (We sometimes refer to Group 3 Relationships as Chilli Peppers. Chilli Peppers - well they are hot and they keep your attention!)
Then there are the Empty Sweet Wrapper relationships - those that used to be good but have been neglected and maybe need some work.
How you answer this question is important.
If your interests are those of Group 1 Relationships Everyday Awareness (the Smooth Apple Chews or Sherbet Bonbons) then you will be likely interested in developing Everyday Awareness and Everyday Parenting and Caring Skills. This site aims to offer you some helpful starting points for deepening your understanding and enjoyment of your important role. You can check out the PARENT ISSUES Section which will provide lots of ideas
If your interests are those of Group 2 Relationships ie Raised Concerns or Longer Term Needs (the sticky toffees), then the key priority for you will involve developing some Advanced Parenting and Caring Skills. This involves a longer term process. For this reason, the PARENT ISSUES sections and FREE ASSESSMENT and PARENT SELF ASSESSMENT information will be able to get you started but we recommend that you start to think very seriously about what steps you will need to take to deepen your own understanding and skills over the next months.
You may be interested in the I MATTER INTENSIVE OR EXTENDED JOURNEY These provides a systematic way of thinking about improving your confidence with your child. However please be aware that the I Matter Journey is primarily designed to be supported by locally I Matter trained professionals so places on this training are limited until you have a locally trained professional network. You can click here for ideas on how to engage local interest.
If your interests are those mainly of Group 3 Relationships (the hot chilli peppers),the most important thing that you can do is to start to talk to local professionals who have appropriate training about what is happening at home or in your setting. A key point however is that when you understand relationship health at a deeper level you will discover that the ideas and skills that are important and relevant to Everyday Awareness are also central and relevant to Advanced Parenting and Caring Skills. And these are both very important when it comes to resolving highly escalated Chilli Pepper situations or even the Empty Sweet Wrapper Relationships
You may know already which group you are in.
If you would like to learn more about how to identify relationship difficulties then
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IDENTIFYING RELATIONSHIP HEALTH DIFFICULTIES AND WHAT STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
As a clinical psychologist with extensive experience of working in CAMHS and Child Psychology services, the important message that I want you to take hold of right away is that your understanding and your skills really matter - You have a very key role to play in finding the way forward to help your child.
However this is a longer term process so do start thinking carefully about the support you are going to need.
GET REALLY CLEAR:
Your Role and Your Understanding
and Skills are Key for Your
Child's Healthy Development.
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The Five Steps To Success with Anxious or Challenging Children!
Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher, Parent
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