It’s no doubt that being a parent or caregiver is one of the most challenging roles in the world. You are on call 24/7 – the nurse, the counsellor, the friend, the taxi, the bank, the maid, the chef, the problem solver – going above and beyond to try to meet your child’s needs and care for them. No matter what role you adopt for your child, at the end of the day the relationship with your child is what matters most.
Children experience their environment as relationships, with the parent/caregiver-child relationship being the most influential on development. It is through this relationship that physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of a child is nurtured. The constant give-and-take or ‘serve and return’ interactions between child and parent/caregiver allows the child to learn about the world and themselves within it. It’s as if the brain development that is taking place is forming templates that they will use for the rest of their life.
Through personalised, responsive and interactive experiences, parents or caregivers can act as a secure base from which children can explore the world and a safe haven to return for comfort. Therefore, this relationship is a unique bond that moulds and shapes the foundations of the person your child will become.
Some tips to nurture your relationship with your child:
-Constantly express love and warmth
-Give them time and attention, especially in play
-Develop structure and guidance through rules and routines
-Validate their emotions, empathise with them
-Problem solve with them
For the unique challenges of parenting children on the ASD spectrum and/or with ADHD, Sarah Hindle has some compassionate words here: https://www.effectiveliving.com.au/adapting-and-thriving-at-home-with-your-neuro-diverse-learner/
Jessica Buster (M Clin Psych, Grad Dip Prof Psych, BA Psych Hons) is passionate about creating a caring and safe space to promote effective working relationships. Jessica applies evidence-based interventions in a client focused and collaborative manner to assist children, young people and their families move towards their goals of growth and wellbeing.
Jessica’s clinical training and experience has equipped her with skills in the assessment and treatment for mental health issues. She has gained experience working in roles across non-profit, hospital and private settings. This has included working as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist and roles at Guardian Youth Care, Headspace, Westmead Children’s Hospital Psycho-Oncology, and Healthy Minds Happy Kids.
Across all her roles, Jessica has pursued her interest in working with children, adolescents and their families experiencing a range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties, social difficulties, and disability. She has been able to promote understanding and engagement with these clients by integrating a sense of fun and creativity into treatment.