If you’re experiencing domestic violence, use this information to make a plan that works for you.
Healing program for mums and toddlers
An 8-week pilot program for mothers and infants exposed to domestic violence has just been added to our program offering.
The mother and infant group comes from the creators of the Peek-a-Boo Club, an initiative of the Royal Children’s Hospital Integrated Mental Health Program. This early intervention therapeutic program is based on the premise that family violence can prevent a mother from forming a healthy attachment to her child. The program started in mid-March and six children and four mothers are taking part.
In a typical session mums and bubs sit on the floor so they are all on the same level and we start with a welcome song. With colourful cushions, toys, soft balls, dolls and scarves dotted around the room, the aim is to create a safe and non-judgmental space for mums and their kids to engage with each other and the toys.
Children often look for another child or adult in the room to engage with. For example, throwing, rolling or passing a ball to someone is often seen as an invitation to play, be with another and to have an experience of ‘relationship’ with another.
Through these group interactions, themes that we will explore over the weeks include how mothers can take care of themselves, what kind of parent they would like to be, how they can regain trust in their parenting and what and how much they should say in front of their children.
By encouraging healthy mother/infant relationships and assisting mothers to regain a sense of self, the overall aim of the program is to break the cycle of intergenerational violence.