bond with baby

About Dr Wendy Vlismas

 

Dr Wendy Vlismas

Combining my professional and parenting experiences that span over 25 years, the past decade has been dedicated to working with new parents: to assist and support the challenges they face during the first year with Baby and in researching how to enhance parents' interactions that are vital for babies' wellbeing and a happy parent-baby relationship.

From the results of this research, which have been published and presented to both Australian and international audiences has come the Bond With Baby information and music resources, proven to help parents gain knowledge and skills that boosts happiness and the loving partnership with Baby.

I originally trained as a teacher and after working with children and their families in early childhood settings in Australia, and having my own children, I merged into tertiary training and consultancy in early childhood education. As part of this professional role was my passion to inspire children and early childhood professionals in the creative and communicative use of music and movement, storytelling and drama. And now, this passion continues as I combine research and skills in educating new parents how to incorporate music, movement/dance, reading and storytelling into the soothe (relaxation) and groove (playtime) of caring for Baby and creating an environment that stimulates development and learning.

Beyond this, my role as a parent has been my greatest achievement. Becoming a mother was the one thing in my life that I felt most unprepared for ... and it was not about learning how to care for my baby. My role as a new mother was so much more. It was about adapting to changes and coping with the challenges. I went from knowing who I thought I was and 'being in control' to realising I had only experienced a small proportion of what I thought was a full and satisfying life. Becoming a mother taught me about needing to take small steps and appreciating where these steps would lead me.

With my two sons, who are now young adults, we look back and share memories of the 'growing years'. Best of all we can laugh together about things that once seemed overwhelming and consuming, and know that these experiences paved the way for the next episodes of life. From my children I have learned so much for which I will be forever grateful.

I have also learned that as a society we need to value the role of a parent and promote ways to ensure it can be rewarding - for both mothers and fathers and for their developing children.

Qualifications

My formal qualifications include:

  • PhD in Psychology (University of Western Sydney)
  • Master of Early Childhood (The Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Macquarie University) majoring in Education and Behavioural Sciences
  • Diploma of Education (Macquarie University).

I have also trained in classical piano and have studied Eurhythmics, and Improvisation and Aural Perception Techniques for Music Educators (Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

Publications

Vlismas, W., Malloch, S. and Burnham, D. (2012). The effects of music and movement on mother-infant interactions. Early Child Development and Care. DOI:10.1080/03004430.2012.746968.

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2012.746968

Vlismas, W. (2007). The effects of music and movement on mother-infant interactions. Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. University of Western Sydney.

Vlismas, W. and Malloch, S. (2006). The effects of a music and movement program on mother-infant interactions. Infant Mental Health Journal (Supplement), 27(3A).

Vlismas, W., Malloch, S. and Burnham, D. (2002). Enhancing mother-infant interactions using music and movement. In C.Stevens, D.Burnham, G.McPherson, E.Schubert, and J.Renwick (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. Adelaide: Causal Publications. (ISBN 1876346396).

Vlismas, W. and Bowes, J. (1999). Mothers' use of music and movement with their young infants: The impact of a teaching program. Early Child Development and Care, 159, 43-51.

Vlismas, W., Bowes, J. and Suthers, L. (1999). Development of a music and movement program for first-time mothers of young infants. In M.S. Barrett, G. McPherson and R. Smith (Eds.), Children and Music: Developmental Perspectives, (pp.317-322). Launceston: University of Tasmania. ISBN: 085901318.

Conference Presentations

2006 10th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

2002 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition.

1999 International Music Education Research Symposium.