Guest speaker on Birmingham’s Unity Radio

On Tuesday 8th December, Rachel Pardoe (child psychotherapist and AiMH Bristol Hub lead) was invited to be a guest speaker on Birmingham’s Unity Radio ‘parenting hour’ programme. The weekly feature is hosted by Kathleen Roche-Nagi (Managing Director of Approachable Parenting and AiMH Birmingham and West Midlands Hub lead). Rachel Pardoe invited Rachel Allender (child psychotherapist and AiMH Bristol Hub member) to join her on the show.

What followed was a lively discussion around infant mental health, parenting during the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting parents and children within the local, largely Muslim, community. Listeners were able to call in, one of whom was a therapist working on the Approachable Parenting programme.

Thoughts were given to cultural roles and expectations, how able parents feel to ask for help when they are struggling, and what professionals can do to support families, particularly at the moment when services and resources are sadly so limited. We discussed some of the ways parents can help to connect to and interact with their children. These included ‘being with’ in child-led play, watching, waiting and wondering – showing curiosity about what their child might be doing, thinking and feeling and being emotionally and physically present. We emphasised that there is no such thing as ‘perfect parenting’, and that human contact is more important than toys – a message which is particularly important given the financial pressures on parents as a result of Covid-19.

This was a really enjoyable experience, and it was fantastic to hear about some of the wonderful parent-infant work taking place in the West Midlands.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 13th December.

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