Ashalina comes to our play sessions with her daughter Ameera. Ashalina’s friend had been attending the group for a while and recommended the sessions to her. It was clear from their first session at the project, that Ameera was a lively, energetic and confident child who enjoyed the attention of adults. Ameera loved song time and would dance around the room joining in with all the actions. Ameera’s energy and confidence seemed at times to be exhausting for her mother who admitted to struggling with Ameera at home. Ameera could be quite challenging during the play sessions, finding sharing a real struggle, often responding to other children with physical aggression. Ashalina struggled to deal with these situations and often did not intervene.
Slowly, the project staff used positive reinforcement with Ameera to highlight appropriate behaviours and responses. Ameera received lots of praise and encouragement from staff and was encouraged to take on responsibilities such as handing out the toast at snack time or choosing a song during song time. Ameera responded well to this approach and slowly staff began to see more positive behaviour within the sessions.
The project staff also worked with Ashalina to encourage her to respond to Ameera’s challenging behaviours and try to identify the triggers. Ashalina adopted the approaches used by the staff and was soon giving lots of praise and encouragement to Ameera. Slowly staff began to observe a difference in the mother’s demeanour. There were more smiles, more enthusiasm and she began to make friends with other parents. Overall the staff could see that both mother and child appeared happier, with an evidently stronger relationship.
Ashalina recognised the impact the project had on their relationship:
“I have been impressed by the project. It has made a vast improvement in my girl’s life. The best thing about the project has been how they have managed her behaviour and the way things have been organised.
I have noticed a big change in Ameera’s behaviour. She plays and communicates with other children. I have learned that Ameera loves painting. She is a happy child now who has built up lots of confidence and self-esteem. Ameera used to be a moody and angry child. Bringing her here has made a difference in her behaviour. My relationship with my child has changed. It has become friendlier, she helps me around the house. She tidies her things and puts them away in their proper place. Overall she listens to me. Now we have a friendly relationship.
The project has helped me with my time keeping. I have built my own confidence and self-esteem by communicating with other mothers. I have improved in my English as well.”