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Supporting children and families through our 'early matters' families program

Relationships Australia Victoria
11:33am Thursday, 9 January 2020


Client story: Sandra and Peter – Tuning in to their kids

Sandra* was referred to 'early matters' by her maternal child and health nurse after moving from overseas with her husband Peter*, 11-month old daughter Kylie*, and three-and-a-half-year-old son Oliver*, who is bilingual. Sandra was concerned about Oliver’s increased defiant behaviour, and his frustrations in communicating and being understood.

Through the Tuning in to Kids program, Sandra gained increased knowledge of emotional intelligence and connection. She created a book of emotions with labelled photos showing Oliver expressing different emotions, which helped Oliver to identify and calmly convey how he was feeling.

During the program, Sandra came to recognise that Oliver’s frustrations were often exacerbated by the relationship dynamics between him and his parents, and that he was reluctant to have his father care for him at home, resulting in the family using the 'early matters' home visiting service.

Our practitioner provided coaching around behaviour expectations and developmental stages, and strategies for responding to behaviour, such as using praise, ignoring certain behaviours and enjoying activities as a family.

With an understanding that they had very different parenting styles, Sandra and Peter began using these strategies so that they could ‘be on the same page’ and present a united parenting front. By their next appointment, they reported that Oliver was much more settled, was calmly responding to instructions and requests the first time they were given, and that Peter was now able to settle Oliver at bed time.

Sandra and Peter say that while their journey with 'early matters' has not finished, the program has already changed the trajectory of their lives.


* Names have been changed. Image is for illustrative purposes only.


Find out more

Learn more about our 'early matters' program by clicking here, or read about our work with children and families in 2018/19 on page 13 of our latest Annual Report.

To view upcoming child and parenting groups including Tuning in to Kids, click here.

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