It’s the mistakes and the mis-connections that offer opportunity for repair and learning…. and this is so very important to our child’s ability to calm and regulate themselves.
In reality…. parenting is a messy business. We are bringing together two grown-ups who have each been parented differently, and then add in a tiny, completely dependent human being with individual needs and differences, that are mixed together in a way like no other.
It is this messiness that offers us opportunities to reinforce to our child that we will hang in there and work through the distress…. the disconnection….
It also offers reassurance to our child that all is not lost when there is a mismatch between us… they get to learn that all will be well and that the sense of safety in the relationship will return. When this happens again and again they can then experience the disconnection knowing that it will not last …. you will return .. you will work through whatever it is with them, and your nervous system with act to calm that of your child’s.
In a world where there is so much emphasis upon ‘getting it right’…. the pain a parent feels when they do not get it right ….or their child cannot get it right ….. is overwhelming.
We have expectations of ourselves and of our child and these can become our firmly held to guides.
The challenge is …to step back and allow your child to show you what they need at any given moment in time, rather than what you believe they need.
As you do this there will not necessarily be a beautiful and harmonious dance of communications between you and your child, but rather a series of moments of connection and disconnection. These back and forth exchanges can occur every 3 to 5 seconds sometimes …. and what they do is reinforce the message to your child that you are there and together you can repair the gaps … the mismatches.
These exchanges are part of every day and when your child experiences the world differently to many of their peers, this back and forth flow of connection can be so easily impacted by our own anxieties, needs and pain.
Having worked as an occupational therapist with children and families, for more than 35 years now, I have come to learn that synchrony, joy, grief and wonder are just some of the many shared experiences available to us when we journey within ourselves in order to see and connect with our child….. over and over again.
To learn more please register to attend the 4 session Workshop series commencing Monday 30th August 2021, or the Information Night for this Workshop series on Monday 23rd August 2021.