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What do parents need to thrive

Introduction to ‘What parents need to thrive’

In this sprint you will develop the following knowledge: 

  • I understand about the importance of mental and physical health of parents for their own wellbeing as well as its potential impact on the wellbeing and development of the infant.  
  • I can talk to parents about the importance of their own mental and physical wellbeing including containment and emotional support; rest and sleep; nutrition; supportive relationships and social networks. 
  • I can help parents to notice and respond in an attuned way to an infant’s communication (e.g. mirroring a smile). 

Good mental health is crucial for both parenting and children for several reasons which are shown in the document below: 

In summary, good mental health in parents is integral to creating a positive and nurturing family environment, fostering healthy parent-child relationships, and promoting the overall wellbeing and development of children. 

Develop your understanding of ‘What parents need to thrive’

We’ll now look at how the mental and physical health of parents has a potential impact on the wellbeing and development of children.

Read section D in the extract below from the Helping Parents to parent report.
Make some notes about how mental health can affect parenting. This section refers to a range of other literature. You might want to read some of the other literature cited.


Reflect upon ‘What parents need to thrive’

In this section we’ll explore in more detail the ways in which parents can support their own mental and physical wellbeing.


Watch the video below. What are the 5 ways to wellbeing? Make notes about some of the things you might suggest to parents. 


“Emotional containment” in the context of parenting refers to the ability of parents to manage and regulate their own emotions while also helping their children understand and regulate theirs. It involves creating a safe and supportive environment for children to express their feelings and learn how to cope with them in a healthy way.

How might you support a parent with emotional containment? Use the information in the document below to make notes about the type of advice you could give to parents. 


Remember that emotional containment is an ongoing process that evolves as you child grows. By providing a supportive and empathetic environment, you can help your child develop essential emotional regulation skills and build a strong foundation for their overall wellbeing.