MPC recently hosted a Circle of Security Parent Information Evening facilitated by Melissa Clark, who is a Circle of Security facilitator, kindergarten teacher and mum with heaps of ‘street cred’. Melissa provided core information about some Circle of Security elements which are aligned with our beliefs at MPC. Melissa explained that Circle of Security is based on Attachment Theory. Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and place. (Bowlby and Ainsworth 1992 accessed at www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachment/online/inge_origins.pdf)
Circle of Security is a relationship-based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children or, as one parent said, “Parenting is really tricky and what Melissa was saying about attachment really resonated so much with me. It’s about what little children need!”
Through Circle of Security graphics, Melissa shared some relationship tools in helping to understand each child’s needs and the importance of ‘being with’ a child feeling big emotions while they go through them.
At this point of the evening, many parents were doing what parents do and critique their responses and abilities harshly. As one parent said, “Oh my gosh, I know I’ve done that. I could have done so much better”. Melissa immediately put parents at ease with the research summarised in a short animation Good enough which is definitely worth watching. www.circleofsecurityinternational.com/animations If we aim for meeting our child’s emotional needs 30% of the time, children could still develop into caring, thoughtful, reflective and secure people.
Another significant ‘aha’ moment for same parents was the shark music. Everybody has their own shark music which is our history of negative experiences. Shark music could be assuming the worst, child not listening, child perceived by others as being disrespectful, crying and not ‘manning up’, trouble seeing the positives and a multitude of other thoughts. Our past plays into our present and often influences how we respond. Thinking about, acknowledging what really pushes our buttons and taking a breath can sometimes provide enough time to calm enough to make a response you are happier with. More comments from parents:
“I would have liked to have heard about it a long time ago!”
“I’m so going to have my husband come along if you run the program!”
“Bigger, stronger, wiser and kind is now my new mantra when all I want to do is yell at my kids.”
The Circle of Security blog and resources www.circleofsecurityinternational.com/resources are certainly worth a look. Many parents who are eager for more practical information are also keen to have Melissa back to run the program. Thank you Melissa and watch this space!