Partnership with parents. This is the term that is bandied around in our training. But what does this actual look and feel like?
Isn’t it just jargon, unless we really ask ourselves that question? Isn’t it just about heart to heart connection and relationship? Isn’t it about love, about feeling the results of our care, of our kindness?
Love, care, and kindness are the key ingredients for establishing trusting relationships.
They are what creates the “nest”, the safe container from which the child can emerge and grow. When the child starts at your centre or home, it is the start of a new Partnership. A Partnership between the parents and the caregiver, and a Partnership between the child and the caregiver. As the parents embark on a new Partnership, with the caregiver, it is important this Partnership is strong and healthy as it influences the child's experience at the centre/home.
If the relationship between centre/home and parent is strong and positive, chances are the child feels safe, and is more likely to be willing to move out into the world to explore. To move from feeling safe in the family to feeling safe in the big world out there, children have to gain new skills of finding their way, dealing with their emotions. A working Partnership between child, parent and centre/home based on respect and kindness is the foundation, so the child is free to communicate her needs and follow her strengths.
The parents are trusting you with their most precious Taonga, their treasure. They need to know we have what it takes to LOVE unconditionally. They need to feel the love, the care and the kindness before they even start. The parent is the “safety” container for the child, and if the parent does not feel safe, nurtured and free and equal in the partnership, the child’s safety container is not filling the needs of the child. The children need to see, and feel the trust the parents have in us and be transferred from the confident trusting arms of the parent to the loving and confident arms of the caregiver. Only then, when a child knows and feels that their family trust us, can the settling start. This is 99% of our journey!
Start in the heart and invest in the settling.
The foundation of a healthy Partnership is trust and emotional safety. Our parents deserve our full attention. As the parents are the keeper of the safety container for the child, it is important they feel comfortable and welcome. Be a primary caregiver to the family first! Create a space where parents feel welcome, safe, nurtured, part of a Partnership and part of a community.
The family come as a unit and they should be experiencing "a unit", a team that is knitted together by love and a cohesive approach to support their treasure to unfold!