Importance of relationships May 03 2021
2020 is a year that reminds us of the importance of relationships. Like each individual, each relationship is unique. In the first video, listen to Dr. Ann Masten, a leading expert in resilience research from the Child Development Institute at the University of Minnesota, highlight individual differences in terms of how people react to stress. Although interviewed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, her messages are especially relevant at this time.
The second video shows a mother playing with her baby, then soothing her to sleep. Just as it is important for parents to provide nurturing and responsive care - to pick up on their babies’ cues and offer support - relationships are important to people of all ages. Think about people in your family or community. What are some creative and innovative ways people are using to keep connected and be supportive during times of social distancing?
Caregiving practicies - baby wraps & mossbags December 17 2019
Early development is shaped by minute-by-minute, day-by-day sensory input: the seeing, tasting, touching and being touched, the sounds and smells of daily life. Much of this happens through daily caregiving routines.
There is a wide variety of caregiving practices around the world, often rooted in cultural traditions and beliefs. In some North American Indigenous communities adults used moss bags and cradleboards so that a baby could be placed on a mother’s back, carried in a parent’s arms, or propped up near family members. In Africa, baby wraps were used by adults, usually mothers, to wrap and carry a baby in order to keep the baby close throughout the day. Many parents and communities still honour and promote these traditions.
The ‘baby wraps’ video is a brief collage of mothers in Mozambique, carrying and interacting with their closely wrapped babies. In the second video, Audrey Fourre, a Family Literacy Facilitator with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, talks about moss bags and their important role in caregiving.
What do you see as the functions or benefits of such practices? Are there similar practices in your family or community? How can you value and respect these and other practices that support the caregiver-child relationship that is so crucial to early development?