“I wish I had a pool, a larger room, and a castle lego set like my friends have.“ (Cody, Age 8)
Cody’s parents commumicated that, while, Cody was aware of the recent devastation of fires and homes being lost in California, he still focussed on what he didn’t have. They were worried that he had his priorities mixed up.
Cody entered session eager to discuss his need for requesting from his family members (this holiday season) exactly all that he had wanted. He expressed how his parents were yelling at him, making faces, and seeming annoyed by his words but he was confused at why, plus their upset made him even more uncomfortable.
To Cody, asking for his holiday gifts was very important and scary because he knew that some people didn’t have things and he was afraid “what if this means I will never have them or that I get my stuff burned.” Having his wish list was even more important and meaningful know that he knew things could be destroyed and disappear.
The therapeutic session provided a place to explore Cody’s fears and to support his parents to look past the words and to focus on his emotional requests – Will I have what makes me happy? Will I BE happy? Will everything be the same as I’ve been told & experienced so far?
We worked collaboratively with his parents to role play how to understand the subtext to “re-Cognize,” reframe, what we had been thinking; to see how the pleading and repeating of wants could also look like a yearning, a plea for safety and happiness. We role played repeating sounds, and movements. Cody enjoyed the comfort of asking for a movement and seeing that his parents would do what he asked and he could follow his parents ideas too. He was validated that he was fortunate to be safe in his home, and his wishes could come true for this holiday season (“in reason ;)”).
Do you know of a child who could use support? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them improve communication and well-being. 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.