Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Claiming Behaviors

I am learning so much in our therapy sessions.

Parts of my brain that have been murky and cluttered and bewildered are lighting up and pinging and clearing space and making room for new recognition and improvement. That's the scientifically accurate, highly technical explanation for what's taking place in the previously dark corners of my mind. No, not really. But I don't know what I'm supposed to call the mental shift or the recognition that's beginning to occur. It's like when you read something remarkable someone has written where it's almost as though they were able to put an exact finger on your very pulse and articulate the emotions you were feeling but were unable to find the words for. It's a sense of relief. A deep breath out. A warming comfort in realizing the connection you have with others who have shared in your experience and know your plight as their own.

I have to hand it to the guy, our therapist is really adept. What I like almost as much as the validation I'm receiving are the practical keys and behavioral modifications I can make in my parenting to both alleviate my personal stress and promote change.

Now, you'll have to forgive me if I blunder terminology and if you're a therapist yourself you might want to opt out of reading this all together in case my novice layman's errors cause your eyeballs to pop out of your head and steam to rise from your ears. But I want to share some of what we are learning for a couple of reasons. 1) Just in case it may help someone else & 2) So I may refer back to it later when I will undoubtedly forget and backslide. 

One little thing from our most recent session that I feel like most of us sort of instinctively know, but I loved formally learning -- There are 3 main ways people attach. 

1) Arousal/Relaxation
Baby or child has a need, they become aware of that need (aroused) the need is met by a parent, they relax. Baby/child learns to trust parent, they rely on them to get needs met, they learn they are important and worth attending to, they attach to parent.

2) Positive Interaction Cycle
Activities together, playing games, joking around, having conversation, engaging in positive interaction and pleasurable activity, baby/child attaches to parent.

3) Claiming Behaviors
Putting pictures of the children up in your home, helping baby/child identify as a member of the family, gives a sense of belonging, baby/child attaches to parent. 

Talking with the kids last night about #3, we thought through some characteristics that identify us as members of the Deutsch family. Each child came up with at least one thing that the Deutsches do.

Here is our We are the Deutsch Family list -- The Deutsches:
- are a big family
- eat healthy food
- work to be physically fit
- like to be outside
- homestead with gardening, chickens and honey bees
- read books aloud
- sit together for supper
- like to have family time
- are homeschooled
- have responsibilities and chores
- clean house
- are never bored 

And clearly, the Deutsches plank together.

Because the family that planks together is never board...

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