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Roots and Wings: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health


Roots and Wings: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Angela M. Tomlin, Ph.D., HSPP Riley Child Development Center LEND IAITMH Early Childhood Mental Health ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Roots and Wings: Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Roots and WingsInfant and Early Childhood
Mental Health
  • Angela M. Tomlin, Ph.D., HSPP
  • Riley Child Development Center LEND

Early Childhood Mental Health DefinitionZERO TO
THREE (2002)
  • The childs developing capacity to
  • Form close and secure interpersonal
  • Experience, regulate and express emotions
  • Explore the environment and learn
  • All within the context of family, community, and
    cultural expectations

Stages of Attachment (Bowlby)
  • Limited discrimination (0-2 mos.)
  • Discrimination with limited preference (2-7 mos.)
  • Preferred attachment (7-12 mos.)
  • Secure base/Safe Haven (12-18 mos.)
  • Goal corrected partnership (18 mos.- 4 yrs.)

What do we mean by Social and Emotional Skills in
young children?
  • Forming close relationships with others
  • Self-soothing
  • Sympathy and empathy toward others
  • Self-control/inhibition
  • Following instructions
  • Cooperation
  • Sharing
  • Theory of Mind skills

Ghosts and Angels in the Nursery
  • Early childhood mental health specialists refer
    to challenging relationships as ghosts in the
  • More recently, it has been acknowledged that
    positive past experiences also exert influences.
    These relationships have been termed angels in
    the nursery

How this worksInternal Working Models
  • Over time, your experience of being cared for
    creates expectations about
  • how relationships work,
  • how you expect to be treated,
  • and about yourself (sense of self)
  • These cognitive sets are called IWM
  • Once set, the IWM guides, interprets new

Internal Working Models
  • If you had an insecure early relationship
  • Chances are you will
  • View new relationships through that lens
  • Tend to misinterpret others behavior, intentions
    with a bias toward insecurity
  • Try to shape new relationships to fit your model

Earned Security
  • Some people have continuous security from infancy
    through adulthood
  • Some adults who were raised in adverse situations
    nevertheless have secure states of minds as
    adults, attained by intact self-reflection skills
    or through a process of experiencing a positive
  • Adults who overcome adversity to become secure as
    said to have earned security

Parent-Provider Relationships
  • Understand parent behaviorIt hurts to give that
    what you did not receive (Circle of Security)
  • Use your relationship to helpCorrective
    Attachment Experience (Lieberman)
  • Recognize and understand your own reactions

Parent-Provider RelationshipsParallel Process
  • Model an appropriate relationship
  • Be consistent and reliable
  • Provide emotional support/contain emotions
  • Set boundaries as needed
  • Be attentivelisten and observe well
  • Avoid judgment
  • Match your response to where the parent is
  • Hold the parent in mind

Use Reflective Methods
  • Wonder about the childs thoughts, feelings, and
  • Wonder about the parents experiences
  • Be aware of your own feelings and
    responsesrecognize and manage
  • Promote the parents reflective capacity by
    asking the right questions

Highlight Strengths
  • Helping parents see what they do well improves
    their sense of self-efficacy
  • Parents who feel more effective are more
    responsive to their babies
  • Pointing out mistakes is unlikely to motivate
    people to change
  • Many parents also need help to accurately see
    their babys response to them

How Highlighting Strengths Helps You in Your Work
  • Hearing positives increases the parents interest
    in working with you (think positive
  • Parent will be more willing to accept and ask for
    your help when you are positive
  • Finding strengths leads you to solutions to

Materials to Use and Share
  • See our Announcements and Reflections
  • Check out the NTI, Policy Center, and more
  • CSEFEL http//
  • Handouts, curriculum and videos
  • Handouts, curriculum

Indiana Endorsement
  • IAITMH is offering endorsement to all infant
    toddler providers
  • Endorsement is a way to show your competence in
    working with the social and emotional needs of
    very young children
  • Endorsement information can be found on our

Questions Discussion
  • Contact info
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