Supporting Your Child’s Development — A Brief Overview of The Key Elements
Parenting isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to know when to lead and when to follow, when to step in and when to step back. It is a journey filled with moments of joy, surprise, confusion, and challenges.
This article expands on the PACE model (https://ddpnetwork.org/resources/library/subjects/pace/) of parenting, often used in attachment-based therapy or Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (https://ddpnetwork.org/about-ddp/). Hopefully, it will help you embrace the roles of being a playful participant, a patient guide, an accepting companion, a curious explorer, a creative problem-solver, and an empathetic listener.
Playfulness is about the light-hearted and spontaneous interactions we strive to share with our children. Aim to create a joyful, stress-free environment, where your child feels at ease to express themselves and explore the world around them. Not everything needs to be dead serious.
Patience, though often tested by our children, is key to understanding and supporting your child’s unique pace of learning and development. Remember to give them the necessary time and space to comprehend their surroundings. Be hopeful that it will work, given time.
Acceptance means wholeheartedly embracing your child’s emotions, wishes, and individuality, without judgment or criticism. This acceptance fosters an atmosphere of understanding, making your child feel safe, accepted, and worthy, which in turn will help them to open up to you about their struggles.
Curiosity is about maintaining an open mind and genuine interest in your child’s perspective. Instead of assuming or interrogating, ask open-ended questions, aiming to truly understand their perspectives, thoughts and feelings better. This opens up a dialogue with your child, helping you understand their experiences and connect.
Creativity brings forth imaginative approaches to parenting and interaction. Creative activities and play stimulate your child’s thinking and imagination. Tailoring these creative strategies to your child’s needs and interests can significantly boost their resilience and their ability to problem-solve.
Empathy, the last element in my expansion of the PACE model, involves recognising, understanding, and reflecting back your child’s emotions. Empathising with your child’s experiences, validating their feelings, and building a deep emotional connection is crucial. Think back to your own childhood; what would you have needed from your parents when you were your child’s age? Understanding your own experiences can offer invaluable insights into empathising with your child.
In essence, the PPACCE model recognises the dynamic nature of parenting. It underscores the importance of positive interaction, understanding, patience, and creativity in allowing your child to grow at their own pace. By adopting these principles, you’ll be able to nurture your child in a supportive, loving, and understanding environment that caters to their individual needs and celebrates their unique personalities.
Remember, parenting is not about striving for perfection, but about continuous learning and growth alongside your child. Embrace these key elements, adjust as needed, and enjoy this journey with your child.
If you would like to discuss any of the above further, please contact me. I am here to support you as you navigate the journey of parenthood.
Please see the linked resources for further information on the original PACE model in DDP.
Lukas Dressler (he/him)
Counselling Psychologist (MSc.)
HCPC Registered No. PYL041915
Integrative Psychotherapist (MBACP)