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A step-by-step approach for nurturing a secure relationship with your child

Circle of Security Parenting (COSP)

Circle of Security Parenting provides a roadmap for understanding your child’s emotional needs and how to meet them. Through videos, discussions, observing your relationship between the sessions and experimenting with ideas covered in the course, Circle of Security Parenting can help you enhance your ability to respond to your child in a way that deepens your relationship security.

After 60 years of research we know that the more secure children are, the more they are able to:

  • Enjoy more happiness with their parents

  • Feel less anger at their parents

  • Turn to their parents for help when in trouble

  • Solve problems on their own

  • Get along better with friends

  • Have lasting friendships

  • Solve problems with friends

  • Have better relationships with brothers and sisters

  • Have higher self-esteem

  • Know that most problems will have an answer

  • Trust that good things will come their way

  • Trust the people they love

  • Know how to be kind to those around them

 

(Cooper, Hoffman and Powell; Circle of Security International, 2018)

"The Circle of Security Parenting course was very supportive. It felt like meeting up with an old friend who helped me to find my own answers to some of my own worries around parenting. I found that it had a good balance of resources and space to think and feel. The course was both reassuring and helpful. I will be thinking about the content far into the future, as it is helping me to be the kind of parent I want to be for my daughter."

Modules

We can group the modules into three overlapping categories: understanding your child, yourself and your relationship.

Understanding your child
  • Circle of Security helps you understand what your child might need at each moment. It removes the guesswork and makes showing up as their secure base easier. 

  • Practising observation skills. We often look for answers to our parenting questions online or in parenting books. Circle of Security is different because it encourages us to turn to our children for those answers. Practising some simple observation skills will help you do that. 

Understanding yourself
  • Being a secure base and safe haven for your child - we all do it in our way, the course will give you space to explore what kind of hands you want to be for your child. 

  • Supporting your child’s exploration and welcoming your child in for comfort and reassurance - are two complementary skills that will help your children to both feel confident in their autonomy as well as comfortable with closeness. 

  • Finding the balance between following your child’s needs and taking charge, in other words - how to make space for your child's personality without it taking over your home. 

  • Who are the hands holding you? We’ll look at what support you already have and what support you might want or need to help you be the hands for your child. 

  • Understanding which needs on the circle can trigger your vulnerability and how you can look after yourself in those moments so that you can continue to be the hands on the circle.   

Understanding your relationship
  • Being-with: helping your child co-regulate their emotions within the container of your relationship.

  •  Cues and miscues - sometimes children express their needs directly, and sometimes we need to do a little detective work. Understanding cues and miscues can help us see which need your child might be experiencing when it is not immediately apparent. 

  • One of the biggest parenting challenges - taking charge in a kind way.

  • Choosing to be the hands when you really, really don’t feel like it. 

  • Recognising ruptures in your relationship and three steps to repair them. Relationship repair is a crucial skill in nurturing a long-term relationship or friendship, and you can teach it to your child by modelling it. 

  • Putting it all together and making it your own. 

121 course details

Circle of Security Parenting is a 6 or 12 months experience designed to support you in nurturing your relationship with your child. Both options have the same number of sessions, the difference is whether we meet weekly or fortnightly. 

Participants: you can do this course 121, join with a family member or a friend or form your own group

 

Course length: 24 one-hour weekly or fortnightly term-time sessions

 

Support in between the sessions: course workbook and email and voice message support

 

Location: online

 

Fee: 

 

If you would like to explore how Circle of Security Parenting can help you, book an initial consultation.

Group course details

Circle of Security Parenting group takes place over 12 one-hour weekly term-time sessions.

Participants: up to 5 parents/couples

 

Time and dates: 1-2 pm on Wednesdays, Feb 21 - May 22, 2024, with a break on April 3 and 10

 

Support in between the sessions: course workbook 

 

Location: online

 

Fee: one payment of £350 

 

If you would like to explore how Circle of Security Parenting can help you or would like to book a place, please visit my bookings page.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the 121 course delivered over 24 sessions?

While every relationship is unique, research shows that, on average, it takes about six months of committed effort to shift attachment patterns. Doing the course over 24 sessions allows this process to unfold organically. You can observe your relationship and get clear about where you would like to show up differently. Then you can experiment with it and find a way that feels comfortable and aligned with how you want to parent your child. It takes some time for your child to notice and respond to the change. They might push for a while to check if this change will stay. It takes some back and forth between you and your child until it becomes your new normal. You are supported every step of the way when we do the course over 24 sessions. 

 

What happens during the sessions?

There are three parts to each session:

  • Checking in about your week, your observations, reflections, wins and challenges.

  • Studying the course material: each session covers an essential piece of information about developing secure relationships. The content is delivered in a highly interactive and relatable way through videos of parents and their children, graphics and plenty of time for reflection and discussions that will help you to weave your insights into your day-to-day parenting.

  • Reflecting on the session offers the opportunity to decide what you would like to take away from the session and explore further during the coming week.

Do I need to do anything between sessions?

The most important thing is to keep your insights from the previous session in your awareness as you go about your day-to-day parenting. It’s not about doing more; it’s about doing differently. 

If you would like to explore how Circle of Security Parenting can help you, book an initial consultation.

By doing your own personal inner work and earning a secure attachment, you break the cycle of insecure attachment and improve the lives of generations who follow you. 

Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson

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