“A Gentle Beginning” is a pioneering approach to parent support in the first 18 months of a child’s life, inspired by the Pikler Approach.
“A Gentle Beginning” helps parents find confidence and joy in their growing and changing relationship with their baby/infant. This is easier when, on the one hand, there is time to get to know who their baby is, and on the other, when there is an understanding of what babies and infants naturally need- universally, as well as individually- in order to thrive.
Running “A Gentle Beginning” groups keeps me in touch with babies, mothers and the challenges and joys of the first 18 months of life. Here I learn so much.
My approach is guided by these streams of understanding:
The profound insights of Rudolf Steiner into the subtle and spiritual nature of the human being provide a neglected but crucially important wisdom filled understanding of what is appropriate and not appropriate to bring to a child in the first years of life.
The rich and well documented experiences of observing and caring for young children at the world renowned Pikler Institute in Budapest, and its USA offspring - Infant Educarers (RIE)- in the USA. The Pikler approach offers a clear picture on the one hand of how a joyful, co-operative bond can be developed between parent/carer and child from the earliest weeks and months , and on the other hand why infants need the freedom to come into standing through their own initiative.
Psychoanalysis, neuroscience and child development research provide further insight into many aspects of parent support work including the importance of the parent-baby bond, and the benefits of group support.
Counselling skills and a natural warmth and ease ensure that the session space is safe and nurturing.
Venue: York Steiner School, York YO10 4PB
Days and times
Thursday 10.30-12, 1.30-3pm
Sessions last 1 ½ hours
- There are a maximum of 8 mums/dads and their babies/infants
Mum/ Dad sit on the floor and the baby/infant is placed on their back in front of them
Mum or Dad are given a welcoming drink and homemade cake
We observe the children move and play – in silence – enjoying their development, week on week.
- We sing nursery rhymes and interactive songs together
In addition there is:
A closed facebook page for all former and present participants where I and others post articles and events of interest.
Parents evenings for questions and friendly discussion
The sessions are £7 in advance payable in half termly blocks.
The first session is FREE.
- Parents usually stay with me for a year, until their children are toddling. Parents form a strong supportive group which outlast the formal sessions.
“Learning your ethos towards babies and children has been so helpful. Observing the children quietly and learning that you don’t need to constantly interact with or entertain your baby. I have been very influenced by these ideas and I feel that it has supported and encouraged some of my 'natural inclinations'."
Two articles written for Kindling Steiner Early Years Magazine about Gentle Beginnings
Article written by a parent about Gentle Beginnings
A Mother's Journey with Gentle Beginnings (pdf)
A Personal View by Dorothy Marlen
Parent and Infant Groups informed by the Pikler Approach (pdf)