Trusting What You Know About Your Child

“Can you help me?  My son needs to be in some therapy, like a therapy group.  Can you recommend one for him?”

I was at the bank, and my favorite banker was doing some last-minute paperwork for me, before my move to another state.  She knows I have worked as a child and family therapist for years, and, was lamenting the fact that I would be moving my practice out of state.

“How old is he?”  I asked.

“Eighteen months!” 

“What’s up?  What’s going on that makes you look for therapy for him?”  I asked.

She looked worried and slightly embarrassed. 

“He won’t sleep by himself, and I’m exhausted.  I stay in his bed until he falls asleep, and usually, when I get up, he wakes up and cries.  If he doesn’t wake up then, he wakes up at two in the morning, screaming and crying for me.  He’s a mama’s boy and he’s mad at me a lot of the...

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What do your kids know?

 

I had a skype session recently with a 7-year old boy and his father.  The boy had been getting into trouble at school and at home, and his dad was at his wits’ end!  He didn’t know what to do anymore. He was exhausted.

The two of them were together in a room, sitting in chairs next to each other, behind a table. Or rather, the Dad was sitting upright in his chair and the boy was upside down in his … legs and feet waving in the air, head nowhere to be seen!  The Dad said to him in a part-stern part-begging voice … “Joey, you need to sit up … you’re not being polite.”

I quickly reassured the Dad that it was fine with me for his son to choose how to sit in the session. His dad looked relieved.  A little arm appeared and waved at me!

I asked Dad what was going on, and, as he told me about his son’s behaviors, the legs and arm continued to flail in the air.

Then, I asked the boy if I could ask him a...

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