Iris Brighton

Iris Brighton

Parent/Child Interaction Work

At IRIS we use a model known as the Parent/Child game, or can tailor this to offer bespoke parent and child interaction work for you and your family. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Bringing up children is a highly rewarding role, but can also be one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Most parents could do with some support from time to time, both in considering how to deal with practical issues and tasks in regard to their parenting (for example managing challenging behaviour, and knowing when and how to use boundaries) but also in developing their relationships with their children. Loving and showing love may seem to be instinctive skills, but they can also be worked on and improved; it is now established that parenting is not necessarily an innate talent, but is something that can be learned.

Research indicates that the quality of parent-child relationships is of huge importance for a child or teenager’s long-term well-being and mental health. The effects of good parenting skills have long term benefits as they will be absorbed by the next generation. Just as with couple relationships, a parent and child relationship can get stuck in patterns of conflict or alienation. When things are going wrong there are steps that can be taken to mend a relationship that otherwise could easily move from bad to worse. The relationship can be transformed to one of healthy attachment, enjoyment and mutual respect for each other. Parents do not need to feel frustrated, guilty or useless, nor children to feel ignored, misunderstood or unloved.

We can help you change behaviour and heal your relationships!

The Parent/Child Game

This is an increasingly well-known method, which offers both assessment and intervention, and can be very helpful when parents are experiencing difficulties in their relationships with their children, or are lacking confidence in their abilities.

The Parent/Child game aims to develop the parents’ ability to:

  • Create a warm nurturing relationship with their child
  • Provide age-appropriate play and stimulation
  • Obtain the child’s compliance and cooperation, without resort to punitive measures such as smacking

At the start of the work we observe the parent playing with the child. This can be done by being in the same room, but is normally done by watching from an adjoining room on a ‘live’ screen. Over a ten minute period a ‘baseline score’ is made of the parents’ behaviours. This is broken down into child centred behaviours (such as smiling, praising etc) and child directive behaviours (such as commands, and saying ‘no’).
These are added up to give an overall ratio of one to the other. You need a blend of both for good parenting. Just like baking a loaf of bread, you need salt, flour, yeast and other ingredients, but if the proportions are wrong it won’t work. We can help you to achieve the correct blend to get your parenting recipe right.

How do we do this? Over the course of an agreed number of sessions we will coach you, in ten or fifteen minute blocks, while you interact and play with your child. You wear an earpiece that enables us to do this from an adjoining room. We point out what you are doing well, and give advice and support where you might be able to do things differently. At the end of the agreed number of sessions (usually six) we keep a score again, just like the first session, which shows changes in parenting style and interaction. In addition, we meet with you each week for a discussion about parenting, and the wider issues that might impact on your situation, to help progress matters in a way that best helps you and your child (ren).

It’s not as scary as it sounds! In fact after a few early nerves most parents actively enjoy it, and children do too. The feedback is that almost everyone finds it helpful to them. We explain everything to you in an initial meeting, and tailor the sessions to run at a pace you and your child feel comfortable with. Don’t be shy - give it a try!

To find out more please contact us.