A few friends had mentioned this program to me as had my sister for my new little nephew, and I must say, it sounds quite valuable! The SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children’s Education) Program is a program designed to equip particularly first-time mothers with the tools to facilitate their children’s learning in the home. In addition to this, it functions to provide a network of like-minded people in a similar stage of life with which to ‘share the load’ as well as aiding the transition of babies to a Play Centre.
The SPACE program is operating in many of the major towns in NZ and runs for 30-40 weeks through your child’s first year of life. And if you’re worried about it being daunting meeting all these new people, or competitive in terms of babies’ development then fret not – the environment is relaxed and friendly where the focus is on stimulating your bub through music, books and play while you can unwind and chat to other mums about the ups-and-downs of fresh parenthood.
Each week of the program, there are discussion topics on a range of things such as sleeping, understanding sign language and crying, becoming a parent, establishing an attachment with your baby, the brain development and reflective parenting. From my own observations lately from my sister and my best friend who both struggled with breastfeeding and their babies putting on weight, a forum to ask and share was a welcome solace.
There are some things that are never discussed or occur contrarily to books published on ‘the perfect baby’ (which first-time-mums consume whole). This is where a ‘support group’ as cliché as the term is, is of utmost importance whether it is a Plunket Group or a program such as this. Here there are qualified facilitators who are a fountain of knowledge and can offer a much-needed embrace I’m sure!
Please visit http://www.space.org.nz for more information
Nicola is a radiography student who lives in Christchurch in an all-boy household with her husband, husky puppy and cat. She is interested in all things creative, loves living near the beach and writes for a The Baby View among other commercial blogs.