Shaping Ourselves and Our Children

An update from Lifestart on the SOOC project

Shaping Ourselves and Our Children (SOOC) – One Year On!

We have just completed our first year of ‘Shaping Ourselves and Our Children – SOOC.  And we want to share with you what parents, grandparents and people who have children in their lives think of SOOC. 650 people have completed SOOC and 99% would recommend this course to anyone who is a mum, dad, grandparent or simply anyone who wants to know how to support children.  SOOC is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and was developed by the Lifestart Foundation and its partners – Lifestart Services CGL, Sligo Family Support Centre, the Dunluce Family Centre, Barnardos Strabane and The Junction.

“Everything we say and do shapes our kids, doing this course has made me realise many things that I would never even thought of” was the feedback from one parent.  This is the main overriding message we get from those who have completed SOOC.   We help parents understand how a child’s self-esteem and confidence is shaped at home.  We look at how the language parents and grandparents use impacts on how a child sees himself and others in our communities.  Many parents believe that SOOC has been hugely beneficial to them.  As one parent remarked “This course was a big eye opener for me!”

Happy children make happy homes!  And happy homes make happy communities.  SOOC enables groups to talk about parenting issues that are important to them.  SOOC also provides tuition and amazing resources on key topics around communication, empathy, behaviour, play and diversity.  Run over 4 days where parents get support with babysitting costs and lunch or supper depending on the time of the course.  Most agree this is not just a wonderful course but it is a great opportunity to meet other mums, dads and grandparents!

SOOC will continue for another two years and we know that you won’t regret doing SOOC.  If you are a group, for example breast feeding, parent and toddlers, dads support groups, Men’s Shed etc., we would love to hear from you.  This course is FREE and available to anyone who has a child in their life.  Keep an eye out for our September SOOCs or contact Mary on 087 210 7496 or email mary.holmes@lifestartfoundation.org for more information.

Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Best Wishes from the Lifestart Foundation Head Office.
Kind Regards

Pauline McClenaghan

___________________________
Dr. Pauline McClenaghan
Lifestart Executive Director
Email: pauline@lifestartfoundation.org
Tel: +44 (0) 2871 365363
Fax:+44 (0) 2871 365334
www.lifestartfoundation.org
Lifestart – educating parents, developing children

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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 (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  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 www.mychild.ie 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 www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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