We believe that every member of a family needs to be supported, cared for and respected. When this is done families can flourish and provide a fertile environment for fostering the development of healthy, content and fulfilled human beings.
Values regarding babies and children:
- All babies and children need to be cared for physically, mentally and emotionally by adult caregiver/s whom they can develop a healthy attachment with.
- Every child is a complete human being who deserves to be treated with respect. Respect does not depend on developmental stage, cognitive ability, communication skill or independence. Respecting a baby or child means allowing self-determination and innate preferences at any age.
- The primary drive of babies, infants, children and adults is to connect with other human beings. The way babies, infants and children have this need met (or attempt to have this need met) becomes the way they seek to have it met as an adult.
- We believe that children are agents in their own lives, with unique perspectives and experiences that influence their own choices and responses.
- Childhood behaviours need to be understood, not merely extinguished.
- Children need to be treated with love and compassion, not isolated, when they are struggling.
- Children, like all human beings, are not to be the subject of violence. No one who is associated with the GPN can suggest or endorse violence towards children or the use of humiliation or shame, with children in any way when associated with the group or representing this group.
Values regarding parents and adult caregivers:
- All parents need support. We see support as having four components; emotional, informational, tangible and esteem.
- Support helps us to re-evaluate our own behaviours and attitudes, however to do this with others involves trust and accountability, which we will endeavour to provide. Support is not directive, demanding or instructive.
- Self care is an essential priority for caregivers to be able to offer good care to others. Supporting parents includes supporting their development of self care practices and healthy boundaries.
- The most powerful mechanism for raising children is modelling.
- Adult caregivers who have enough support to remain calm during challenges and stress are more likely to understand the cause of a situation, problem solve, and role model healthy relationship functioning.
- A caregiver-child relationship founded on connection and maintained with ongoing connection activities facilitated by the parent is the ideal environment for the nurturing of child as the child ages.
- Punishment is often a technique used when parents are unsupported in the knowledge of respectful relationships with children. We do not promote the use of punishment.
Values regarding families and community:
- All people deserve to be treated with respect and humanity. We have a socially inclusive mandate. Families comprise of people who chose and commit to care for each other and, in this case, parent children together, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
- Communities have a role to play in facilitating the development of healthy families. We intend to be a part the Galway community for this purpose.
- Children have a role in communities, not only as future adults but also as valuable participants now.
- People use different methods to access support at different times. We will be respectful of this, and conscious of barriers that may prevent them from accessing support at any time.
- People must always chose to be supported, there will never be any element of mandatory involvement with the GPN.
- We value evidence based information and information provision as a key approach to counteract traditional / hearsay practices that do not support the development of physical or mental health.