Here With You Parenting is an approach to parenting that can help children to feel calmer, more content, confident and cooperative. It focuses on the sense of connection that children experience with their parents, and is supported by research in the fields of child development, attachment and interpersonal neurobiology.
This approach to parenting does not employ rewards or punishment to shape children’s behaviour, instead finding effective ways to meet children’s legitimate needs, for example, for emotional safety, connection, autonomy, self-expression and healing. There is also a strong emphasis on supporting parents to find ways to meet their own precious needs in this most challenging role.
A cornerstone of this approach to parenting is play; which is one of the most powerful ways of boosting our children’s sense of connection and emotional safety with us. This approach also acknowledges that, in the context of a safe and supportive relationship, crying is a natural stress-release mechanism for people of all ages. Thus, listening to children’s feelings with empathy and reassurance is another important aspect.
Overall, this is more than just a set of tools to achieve desired behaviours from children. The emphasis is on the relationship, supporting parents to foster a secure attachment with their children, which provides them with an invaluable sense of safety, value and trust. This is a true gift that lays a blueprint for easeful and enjoyable emotional, intellectual and relational experiences throughout children’s lives.
Here With You Parenting is primarily informed by the work of Aletha Solter (Aware Parenting), Patty Wipfler (Hand in Hand Parenting/Parenting by Connection) and Lawrence Cohen (Playful Parenting). This is interwoven with an understanding of the nervous system, in particular, the work of Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) and Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory).