Parenting the strong willed child

All of us as parents (and I mean all) need encouragement and support from time to time.

Parenting the strong willed child

Starting Monday 23rd October 9.45 – 12 noon in the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre. Phone 074 9148551 to book a place.

The aim of the programme is to provide straightforward suggestions of things to do. It is not intended to answer questions as to why a particular child might act in a particular way at a particular time. Truth is, no one may ever know for sure. The reassuring part about that is that we don’t need to know why in order to do something constructive.

These methods have been tried and tested and seem to work in most cases. They will require some consistent practice for short periods of time (mostly ten minutes in any one day) and follow a logical order. They are designed to be achievable within the busy lifestyles of most parents today.

 The five week programme for dealing with strong willed behaviour consists of five parenting skills to be learned one at a time. The skills build on one another, so it is important to master the first skill before moving on to the next one. Mastering a skill involves more than simply understanding the skill and knowing what to do; you must actually practice using the skill on a daily basis. This is why you learn one skill each week. Once you have mastered the first skill you move on to the next skill, however you do not move on to the next skill until you have mastered the first skill, this is the strength of the programme and it involves actual behaviour change in both the parent and the child.

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books ( and also on  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from

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