One of the titles I have earned for myself is ‘Attachment Play Specialist’. I support parents to form better attachments and build better relationships with their children through child-led play. As with counselling sessions, parents set aside time to follow their child in play and though this sounds really simple it can be harder than you think! Being a Mother, a counsellor and an attachment worker has helped me to see the fun ways we can re-connect with our children when we get stuck in negative patterns through the pressures life and parenting put on us as parents.
14 years ago I set aside 15 minutes a day to do ‘special time’ with one of my children. I had five children, so this meant setting aside 15 minutes every day of the week. Fifteen minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time and I didn’t think it could make much difference but it was regular and each child chose what we would do each time it was their turn to have my undivided attention. Over a few months I started to see my children as individuals, I learned what they each liked and didn’t like. I learned how they enjoyed relating and talking to me and how much my listening for just 15 minutes a week meant to them. We extended ‘special time’ to include a half an hour session all together on a Sunday. I provided a craft box which was our ‘Special Time Only’ box.
We all started to get to know each other better and this helped me to relate to each of my children in healthier ways that I found improved their sense of security and made for more communication outside of our ‘special time’. I also noticed they were relating to each other better and although bickering and fighting amongst siblings was not completely eradicated, it was definitely lessened somewhat. I learned new strategies which helped me to think about how to set age-appropriate boundaries with my children/teenagers. Of course none of these things I did removed all of the challenges that parenting brings but I believe it all helped me to retain some sanity!
My children are all over 18 years of age now, but I continue learning. Many of the parents I have worked with have found some of the knowledge I shared useful and some not so useful, but we do not know what we do not know until we know it! My aim is to set up a group where we can all share our knowledge and experiences to find ways of improving our relationships with ourselves as parents/carers, with our young and with each other!
I have attended many conferences and trainings and am passionate about parents/carers, professionals and children finding time to have fun together when the pressures of life can drive us all into a rut. This way of building better relationships and sharing can cost next to nothing and is time-limited so can be fitted in around your busy time-tables.
If you would be interested in attending a weekly group (Parents like us) to learn more you can register your interest via email to RenettaFake@amind2play.uk