Having a child is an opportunity for a new beginning new relationships, new goals and new dreams. However, despite the excitement, research shows that within three years of the birth of a child, approximately twothirds of couples will experience a significant drop in relationship quality. There will be a dramatic increase in conflict and hostility. The inevitable changes becoming parents has for a couple may extend beyond their relationship and often leads to compromised parenting and a decrease in the quality of interaction with their child.
The couple’s emotional connection is the real foundation for a baby’s development. Parental conflict or withdrawal can have a negative impact and it is critical that this be addressed. Parents must find ways to maintain the quality of their relationship while building a strong and healthy family.
The Bringing Baby Home Program helps by providing a roadmap. It is a researchbased, researchtested, psychoeducational intervention. The program teaches couples how to strengthen their friendship, increase intimacy, and regulate conflict. Couples learn how to coparent with their partner, and discover ways to keep both parents involved. This program teaches sensitive and responsive parenting. It promotes the development of healthier infants and assists children in their emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development. When parents learn the skills necessary for coping constructively with the myriad of changes, they can also increase the satisfaction of their relationship thereby improving their wellbeing and that of their child(ren).
The Bringing Baby Home program is based on a 6 year study from the Gottman Institute. The program is designed to be a 12 hour workshop completed over the course of a two day weekend. However, it may be divided into 6 stand alone segments. The segments are as follows:
● The Transition to Parenthood : The purpose of this segment is to describe the common changes during the transition to parenthood and learn ways to address the challenges.
● Children and Parents: A Delicate Relationship: The purpose of this segment is to describe the causal effect between the couple’s relationship to the health and wellbeing of a child. It teaches couples how to identify trouble in its early stages and strategies for relationship success.
● Emotional Communication and Children: The purpose of this segment to introduce Emotion Coaching, which is a style of parenting. There are five steps in listening, empathizing and helping a child with reactions to situations.
● Managing Stress and Conflict Regulation: The purpose of this segment is to learn how to maintain relationship satisfaction and understand how fighting impacts children. It also teaches couples how to help a child understand conflicts in a family.
● Making the Magic Last After Becoming Parents: The purpose of this segment is to learn ways of maintaining intimacy after having a child. Ten top challenges and how to avoid or address them are detailed.
● Creating a Shared Family Legacy: The purpose of this segment is to reflect on the impact of one’s past on parenting and describe how to create one’s own family philosophy. This will help in making life’s choices and identify goals, roles, and values.
Tina Godinger, LCSW
Certified Bringing Baby Home Educator
41-51 East 11th Street- 4th Floor
NY, NY 10009