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Reflective Parenting

With special guest:

  • Dr Alistair Cooper
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

“She has a mind of her own” is something we hear often enough when parents are talking about the challenges they face in trying to relate with their children. Yet if parents accepted this as fact and tried to find out what was going on inside this other mind the world would become a lot less complicated for both parent and child. With co-author Dr Sheila Redfern our guest today Dr Alistair Cooper has written a new book Reflective Parenting: A Guide to Understanding What’s Going on in Your Child’s Mind showing how to read your child’s mind and use this knowledge to improve your relationship. If you follow the principles of reflective parenting in everyday interactions it will help your child achieve her full potential and save your sanity.

The book is filled with practical advice and real life situations based on Ali’s extensive clinical experience and in some cases drawing on his experience with his own children to show us the possibilities.

When a child is throwing a tantrum in a supermarket it is hard to know what to do. Dr Cooper tells us not only what you should be doing to regain control but also how to turn this into an opportunity to improve your relationship with your child and make it less likely to happen again. Dr Cooper steers us away from reacting with shouts or smacks which might have an immediate effect but are likely to damage the relationship. Instead he shows us that if we try to see things from the child’s perspective the nonsensical behaviour suddenly appears reasonable.

Dr Cooper presents us with examples that we are all too familiar with, “it’s not fair”, “surely Johnny knows that what he is doing is upsetting me”, and parents saying “Time out” and gives us a whole new perspective. Listen in to hear what Dr Cooper means by the Parent Map and the Parent APP. We also hear how to adopt what he calls a two-handed approach.

This discussion about how to apply reflective parenting is based on the latest scientific evidence and presented in a practical way. It is something everyone who is entrusted with looking after children should listen to. And it applies equally for children in care, children on the autism spectrum and children of all ages.

Dr Alistair Cooper

Dr Alistair Cooper is a clinical psychologist and consultant with the United Kingdom National Implementation Service at the Michael Rutter Centre and based at the Maudsley Hospital in London. The Michael Rutter Centre specialises in the treatment of youngsters with mental health issues. Alistair is co-author of the brilliant book Reflective Parenting: A Guide to Understanding What’s Going on in Your Child’s Mindwhere he takes an evidence-based approach to developing parenting programmes for children. Ali Cooper lives in London with his wife and two young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

Song selection by our guest: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel

Note: This program is an encore presentation of the one aired on 23 June 2016

Listen Now (mp3)

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