So what are the key messages……?

This week I attended a workshop that I had been invited to, along with a range of local authority representatives, to identify the key messages for parents regarding Baby Brain development.  I must admit to initially feeling like a bit of an ‘imposter’ as I was there in a voluntary capacity having spent the last 19 years working for another local authority.  I also found it very hard to keep quiet especially after the opening introductions when I discovered at least one other PBs buddy so felt safer to make as many links as possible with the PBs process. I had  taken along some resources to share including The Northampton Baby Room Project materials, Pennie Brownlee’s wonderful book ‘Dance With Me In Your Heart’, the Baby Strengths Cards and my latest creation, “Buggy Buddy” keyrings for babies & parents with black and white images on one side and, believe it or not, key messages all babies would like parents to know on the other, (thank you so much Heather for being the clipart and laminating queen).  They were all well received and a number of attendees were interested in knowing where to get hold of them – I’m also looking into how to import Pennie’s book, so if you’re reading this and want one, let me know.  Below are some pictures of the keyrings attached – great example of the PBs strategy of  ‘theme reinforcement’.  I also discovered a wonderful story book called ‘Baby Brains: The Smartest Baby in the Whole World’ written by Simon James, which is a great example of the strategy of  ‘one-step removed’ in action.

So, to cut a long story short, we spent between 3 & 4 hours free-thinking ideas, identifying likely ‘network people’ and even daring to talk about potential pitfalls that might occur when embarking on a project that could be seen as telling adults how to parent.  And on reflection I came away feeling even more positive and excited about the work I’m currently doing as it reinforced how much we can all do to make a difference and amazingly it might just involve ‘tweaking’ what we’re already doing!

And if you were asked what were the 5 key messages (akin to the 5-a-day fruit and veg campaign) that we all need to know about how to help develop a baby’s brain, what would you say?  Being me, I’m not able to resist the urge to say: “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”, so having got that out of my system, here are my thoughts about what all babies would want all human beings to sign up to:

Everyday experiences shape my brain, so Every Day….

Talk with me; Learn with me; Laugh with me; Help me to feel safe, Respect me

because YOU make a difference!

So, go on, show me yours ………… 😀