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Mothers who have been affected by FDV, childhood trauma and poverty invariably have long histories of resilience, despite significant adversity. A position of curiosity can create space for examples of resilience and connectiveness between mothers and children, as well as the strategies that women have used to protect their children.21 Practitioners taking a relational stance characterised by curiosity and respect are more likely to listen and enquire about skills, strengths and know-how that mothers have drawn on in responding to the hardships they have been facing. This practitioner curiosity is possible even where parents are behaving in ways that make their children feel scared or insecure. Once stories of skills, strengths and know-how are available to parents they can be replicated, and a blueprint for safe and nurturing care of children can be developed. These stories can contain rich descriptions of how parents and children have overcome adversity and practitioners can therefore become interested not only about intergenerational disadvantage, but intergenerational capacity and contribution. Parents can feel less trapped in their current circumstances and less limited in what might be possible for the care and wellbeing of their children. These conversations can challenge fatalistic perceptions of children’s circumstances for both parents and practitioners.
2 July 2019