“As we start 2018, what can you look back and recognize you did to support, connect, and enjoy your children?“ (Dr Lori Baudino).
Starting the New Year, the tradition is typically to write out what you want to do better. This year, I have met with families to review all the successful moments.
In 2017, Patty’s parents reported that their daughter (8 years old) got into fights with her brother on a daily basis over her toys. Her parents communicated how these moments of play became so distressing that the two kids would be screaming, pulling hair and even hitting. The parents were feeling they needed to take the toys away from the house. Obviously, this was met with more heartbreak and upset.
In session, I supported the family and Patty to understand her ideas. Why space was needed for building…Why she got excited to be out in the main room with all her toys…Why she ‘bragged’ to her brother (looking at her tone of voice, posture, mannerisms)… and her reason for flipping out.
She wanted praise for her skills while having fears about messing up, losing pieces, or her brother taking over. These feelings brought about stress which ultimately created her fighting patterns. The therapeutic setting took days of upsets and simplified them for a solution that (with practice) worked for everyone.
She decided what her brother could do to join her verses telling him “No!”. We created organization around the set up of the activity, the space, and even broke the tasks down to make them more managable and rewarding (vs. while wanting to play felt too unstructured and overwhelming).
Patty recognized that she could play cooperatively with her brother and any toys. That she could re-affirm that talking it out and having a plan allowed her to calm down vs. the threats of taking the toys away which stirred up more fears. She resonated that figuring this out meant not only playing more but building a relationship with her brother and making the family home less combative/upsetting. (*and her parents acknowledged that this meant toys could stay!).
Do you know of a child who could use support? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them play, learn and connect. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
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.