Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

I recommend RDI as a starting point. It’s a process which coaches parents to help their child with:Kids paper craft.

  • Dynamic Appraisal
  • Creative Thinking
  • Self-awareness
  • Experience Sharing
  • Episodic Memory

This may sound intimidating, but it’s actually hope-building, fun and helps design activities that weave into family life.

Part of the process involves helping parents to organise their time and home environment to facilitate optimal growth for their child. This might include creating an uncluttered therapy space and a weekly schedule that allocates time to therapy. This is also a process of self-reflection where parents are encouraged to think about barriers that might prevent them from committing to the process.

RDI introduces parents to role frameworks they can use to design activities for their child like, ‘serve and return’ and concepts like ‘just noticeable differences’ so parents are better able to expose their children to stressors and promote brain development to cope in the world.

Parents take videos of activities with their child to better understand how their child is reacting to experiences and their surrounding environment. With the support of a consultant, parents are coached to notice ways they are supporting or hindering development.

Parents are taught about the benefits of using declarative language i.e. commenting and experience sharing with their child, rather than questioning, to reduce stress and improve natural conversations and curiosity.

Families are encouraged to slow down, live more mindfully and take time to record and celebrate their progress.

The RDI website has a number of videos that further explain these ideas and link you with an online community of support.

Resource List

“The RDI Book”, Steven E. Gutstein

“No Drama Discipline,” Daniel Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson

“Parenting From the Inside Out”, Daniel Siegal and Mary Hartzell

“The Whole Brain Child”, Daniel Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson

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