Prague parent-child program: laying the foundation for social behavior through play

"A child takes us on the most beautiful journey of our lives." this saying, which loving parents are happy to sign, hangs in the checkroom of elke beierlieb in gerach, where she has been offering courses in the prague parent-child program (pekip) for babies and their parents for 16 years.
Eight young women gathered in the cozy warm play and exercise room. They sit relaxed behind their naked babies and watch curiously how their darlings behave toward other children. The pekip concept is designed for group work of parents with their children in the first year of life.

Tenderness and "power struggles"

Mila, Felix, Henri and Jonathan, all around six to nine months old, lie with their chests on a red pneumatic tire, look at each other, look for toys lying in the tire, and grab those that are handed to them.
It is noticeable that the babies are all affectionate with each other, look at each other, sometimes even touch each other tenderly. But also "small power struggles can be seen when one of them wants to take a toy from the other, as felix is trying to do with mila at the moment. Her mother behind them and course instructor elke beierlieb, who is sitting in the middle of the nude ice skates, are watching with amusement. The mothers have time to talk in a relaxed atmosphere, to relax for an hour and a half, as their offspring occupy themselves or are occupied by elke beierlieb. She devotes herself to the children, plays age-appropriate games with them and sings for them with their parents. She says that she could not reconcile her former job with her own children. "That's when i found pekip and visited such a group with my youngest daughter." she liked it so much that she decided to get the relevant training.

Group work: what is it about?

Bianca Krauthofer from Gerach with her child. The young mother comes with her bundle of joy because she is convinced that this course is a playful way to lay the foundation for social behavior. "Besides, you get tips from elke that you don't get from the pediatrician", she says. They heard about the program from their cousin and signed up with their child.
On the soft and warm mat, there are children, little creatures, who are allowed to behave differently than their parents might have been allowed to do. Play, movement and sensory stimulation for children – that's what group work according to pekip is all about, explains elke beierlieb. Parents play with their children together. The group leader accompanies the togetherness with conversations and inquires about how the parents are doing in the first time with the baby.
Ilona elflein from unterpreppach is also in the group with her son felix. She was referred to elke beierlieb by a friend. "That was a really good tip", says the young mother, who is thrilled with the way beierlieb handles the children. She thinks it's good that children of the same age are together. "Whether they understand each other?", wonders the underpreppacher.
Prerequisite for being allowed to offer the pekip program is a pedagogical profession. It took three quarters of a year for elke beierlieb to obtain the additional training, after which she first had to observe in a pekip group. Typically, babies in pekip meetings are completely naked, which makes the room very warm.

Elke beierlieb offers a rough selection of play materials to arouse children's curiosity. She picks up a bottle with balls rattling in it. The children's eyes are immediately drawn to this play apparatus. Little hands reach out for it. Elke beierlieb says that the uniqueness of each baby is still fascinating for her. "It is also exciting to experience how women who have become mothers change, what a child does to them", says the instructor.

New insights for parents

the hour of practice flies by. Most of the time, the little ones are already exhausted afterwards, because they are playfully challenged and challenged in the altersgemab course. The course also brings new insights for the parents. They recognize the play behavior of their children and their personal abilities.
"Sometimes women sign up when they already know they are pregnant", reports elke beierlieb. And if a dad, grandma or grandpa is there and it gets too warm in the class room, elke beierlieb's friendly father-in-law will entertain them in front of the house or invite them to the "beierlieb party room" a.


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