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Filial Play Mentoring
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Filial Play Mentoring

Play is not a break from learning. It is endless, delightful, deep, engaging, practical learning. It's the doorway into the child's heart! Play is the language of children. Have you spoken it to them lately?
Vince Gowmon

Filial Play Mentoring is a new method for improving relationships between parents/carers and children. It is suitable for caregivers of children aged 18 months to 15 years with mild emotional or behavioural problems. This approach involves parents to act as an 'agent of change' to improve their child's emotional state and behaviour through non-directive play. The role of filial mentoring is primarily preventative because it is applied in the early stages of emotional, behavioural and relational problems rather than at a crisis stage. The aim is to support the caregiver to build a relationship through play which positively influences the fundamental cause of problems. If your child has experienced play therapy filial mentoring will complement the work of the Play Therapist. The caregiver keeps a log of their sessions and is offered support and guidance by the filial mentor. As it is non-directive approach, the child takes the lead and the caregiver offers acceptance rather than correction. The child is only corrected when boundaries are broken. Each referral will be different but will be roughly 12 weekly sessions of 50-60 minutes. Some of the sessions will require the child attending, as the filial mentor will observe a 20 minute play session with the caregiver and child.

What can caregivers expect by engaging in Filial mentoring?

  • It can be in either in a group or individual setting with training from a qualified filial mentor.
  • Follow up telephone mentoring and support is available during (and for a short time after) the course.
  • Talking through feelings about your child, yourself and other family members (but not in a personal therapy capacity).
  • Focusing on the future-what the child is capable of being, not what s/he has done in the past.
  • Experientially based - learning by doing.
  • Practising new skills to change behaviour.

What is required from the caregiver?
No special equipment is needed, although it is hoped the caregiver can set aside 10 minutes five days a weeks and with the child together create a 'box' of art materials and toys for use specifically during these interactive sessions. Aims of the mentoring To help build a relationship which positively impacts on the underlying causes of problems. This might include:

  • Changing perceptions of the parent/carer-child relationship. Behaviour change can flow from new perceptions
  • Increasing listening skills
  • Learning to look through the child's eyes
  • Improving parental confidence to respond
  • Improving your self-perception
  • Better understanding of the relationship with your child
  • Allowing the child to develop inner control
  • Introducing a special set of play materials to encourage expression of the child's feelings, needs and experiences
  • Enhancing emotional literacy.
  • These skills can then be shared with other family members to help deal with the frustrations of family life.
If you are interested in engaging with filial mentoring to help support you and your child please contact me.

Safari Philosophy

Safari's ultimate goal: All our work directs your child towards enhanced:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-worth
  • Self-confidence
  • Positive mental health