“I’m the worst…did you see how I messed that up? (Brittney age 10)

Do you ever get caught up in the content of what a child says? We have learned to honor words and take them literally. We support child(ren) that “no” means “NO!”  But what if there is more to it? What if we are missing the nonverbal clues?

Brittney, often compared herself to others. She communicated how much she messed up and, accurately so, adults responded by pointing out to her…that she was OK, that she was perfect, beautiful and her thinking of being flawed was incorrect. Yet, these responses only increased her errors and upsets. Why was it not working?

When a child speaks, I listen to the words and then as if I’m watching a foreign film, I look for the subtitles…the emotional theme and meaning underneath the words – I look at the body & the child(ren)’s movements!

When Brittney spoke she followed her parents with her eyes like she was searching and pleading for accuracy and congruence in her thinking. Her feet turned away from them when they complimented her. She increased her movement and became more agitated, putting her fingers to her mouth, twisting her sweatshirt, and holding her breath. However, when I explored the themes of messing up – she smiled, she turned towards me and slowed her breathing into a playful exchange.

In my experience with her, the messing up felt comfortable and allowed her to be unique and special. Her need was to be valued as her truth, her reality and not to be told otherwise. By supporting her parents to read the nonverbal cues and to stay in the here/now, (reading her statements as her truth) she was then able turn the language button to English, her body shifted to a relaxed state and together with her parents they all spoke the same dialect.

Everyday, I work with children of all ages and their families to support their communication styles, movement choices, and beautiful connections! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com.

Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.

Copyright 2017-2021. Dr. Lori Baudino, BC-DMT. All Rights Reserved

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