Oct 3rd 2016

Babies in Mind: Why the Parent's Mind Matters (FutureLearn)

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Find out how parents and caregivers influence children’s minds, from conception through infancy, with this free online course. This course will explore how the mind of the parent influences the developing mind of the child, from conception through infancy and into later life. We will take you on a journey that begins in pregnancy, exploring the importance of the ability of the mother-to-be to think about her baby while still in utero, alongside the impact of emotions such as anxiety and depression.

We will then explore what the research tells us about the way in which the parent’s emotional and cognitive mind, can shape the interactional context of the baby during the first two years of life, and the impact of this interaction on the baby’s developing mind. This will include, for example, thinking about the parent’s ability to be ‘mind-minded’ in terms of being able to treat their baby as an individual with a mind of their own.

Throughout, we’ll seek to answer questions such as:

- How does a parent’s mind influence the development of a baby before he or she is born?

- What processes take place in the post-natal period that influence the baby’s developing mind?

- What can we do during pregnancy and the post-natal period to support parents who are experiencing difficulties?

You will get the chance to hear from expert academics and clinicians working in infant mental health, and share your views with other parents and caregivers around the world.