Overview 1: About Professor Jennifer McIntosh
Jennifer (better known as Jenn) is a clinical child psychologist, family therapist and research consultant. She is the director of Children Beyond Dispute. Jenn has a high profile in international training and conference forums, in the mental health, welfare and legal sectors, and is a pioneer of Child Inclusive Mediation.
Overview 2: About YCIDS
This topic tells you a little about YCIDS; who is it for, and how can it be used.
Topic 1: YCIDS Early Foundations
What’s so BIG about the little years: Babies and brain growth.
This topic takes you through the latest science on babies and brain development, in a user friendly way. We’ll talk about the unique vulnerability of young children under four years, as they move through one of the most incredible periods of brain growth ever. We’ll look at what separated parents can do to help this massive hard wiring act along, like keeping the stress low in young children’s lives, so they can get on with the big business of early development.
Topic 2: YCIDS Good Enough Parenting
Being “good-enough” parents after separation
Next YCIDS looks at the idea of “good enough” parenting, applied to separated co-parents. This includes the extra importance of parental warmth, and staying connected with and responsive to your young child. We’ll talk about building secure attachment relationships and trust across two homes. YCIDS takes a realistic look at the challenges of doing that as separated parents, when grief, anger, disappointment and worry clutter up parents’ minds. YCIDS gives you some great ideas for really tuning into your pre-schooler. You’ll learn to make more of the time you have together, taking time for delight, and for play. That’s got to be good, for everyone.
Topic 3: YCIDS Parenting Plan Principles
Young children and overnight care
Many parents are confused about what sort of parenting time arrangements will work best for their young child. There’s a lot of popular press out there by lobby groups on this topic, which adds to the confusion about what science really says about it. YCIDS simplifies it all. This unit supports you to think about the types of care schedules that might support children of various ages, and how you could best custom fit this to your child, in your own unique circumstances. It also helps you to see how a very young child might use their behaviour to say, “Things feel hard for me”, and what you could do to help them out. You can also try using a new interactive tool, “Charting overnights decisions for infants and toddlers”, to help you weigh things up in your own circumstances.
Topic 4: Young Children Need a Village
Deepening other ties that matter
Parents are usually the centre of their child’s world, but there’s more going on around the baby that’s also critical for their development. This unit is all about growing an open care-giving world for your child, where both parents are actively involved to the best of their abilities, and extended family are factored into plans, when that’s possible. We talk a little too about avoiding gate-keeping, and keeping the fences and gates around your child’s village working well, so they are open to the right people, at the right time.
Topic 5: YCIDS Facts about Conflict
Sorting out the conflict
Finally, YCIDS talks you through the difficult territory of parents’ conflict and its effects on very young children. Active or passive, heated or cold, too much of the wrong kind of conflict is bad news for early development. YCIDS gives realistic ideas for managing conflict and for thinking like co-parents, instead of competitors. You’ll get a chance to explore the “Baby bridges”, consider which one your baby is on now, and how that could be changed over time. You’ll answer a series of questions that summarise all the thinking we do together in YCIDS. Your own answers will provide a great guide for where to next with a parenting plan.
Topic 6: Looking Forward
This final topic helps you to look forward through the years. You’ll reflect on an important question: when they are older, what do you want your child to be able to say about you as their parent, and about how you handled the separation?