Tangles, Knots & Child TherapyPosted: August 10, 2012
What do many family struggles hinge upon? Parent/young-child misunderstandings that leave families feeling tangled up in knots.
Consider the young child: Development unfolds every minute, changing the landscape of what he or she can perceive, understand, attempt and accomplish. Growth springs forth while slower-maturing abilities hold a young one back. Intense emotions swell long before emotional control comes online. Kids are frustrated with inner and outer limits and grown-ups who don’t understand them.
Consider the grown-ups: Parents can be frustrated with children whose mystify. Rapid development makes youngsters seem capable of much more than they actually are. Child reactions can seem illogical. Youngsters seem “manipulative,” demanding and unreasonably attention-seeking. Frustrated and desperate, out of answers and energy, parents arrive at my door are hoping for answers “yesterday.”
A strong a parent-provider team in child therapy and good old-fashioned time can unravel such knots. Some believe child evaluation is just like looking under the hood of a car. If so, the “engine” has to trust the mechanic before revealing how its parts work. My job is to discover what it feels like to be Michael, Michaela, David, Danielle. Progress will wait until we all glimpse life through the child’s eyes. And when we do, parental cries of “OH, that child!” evolve into sighs of “Ohhhh … now I see.” Until that moment, basic behavior modification efforts often fail, and spectacularly so. Child therapy that involves parents closely in the process can help folks achieve elusive turn-arounds in family life.
Through this blog, I share my learning experience as a child therapist. Parents, teachers, caregivers, and pediatric professionals may find insights into kids in their care by coming along with me. Join me each entry to see what I’ve learned from A Child In Mind that week.