“It’s nothing serious“
I thought I should talk about this particular topic just to branch off from the overwhelming information you got about play therapy. I have been approached by a few parents (usually the mother, nothing against the male counterpart) who seem very keen to get their child or themselves to do a few sessions or just speak about their specific problems or get some tips. Unfortunately, they never get back to me. So I have been thinking that maybe this word “problem” scares people away. So along with this newsletter, a mother wrote a letter to share her “problem” and perspective of Play Therapy.
I was asked by Natacha and was willing to share with others my experience as well as my children’s experience in Play Therapy.
It was at the beginning of the year that my eldest of eight years seemed a little anxious or stressed about going to school and I didn’t know how to handle it. As for my second youngest, a girl of four years old, she was the total opposite: fiery, stroppy and bossy.
I had heard about Play Therapy and explored it before passing on the information to my very conservative and private husband. As soon as he heard the word “therapy” he had disillusioned ideas of our children and us being crazy or having “problems”.
We attended to see for ourselves and saw it wasn’t so bad. It is relaxed, we were not being “diagnosed” and we were able to interact with each child on a totally different level, only with a third party to add the fun and toys. At the same time, we benefited from Play Therapy by gaining a few tips and methods on how to assist my son regarding his anxiety and to set boundaries with my four-year-old.
Now my kids are managing and my husband and I have less stress to deal with. We are now, as a family, able to communicate effectively with one another and make plans.
A happy parent,
As you can see I am not there to get you trapped into 14 sessions or more but am willing to provide you with information, guidance, tips and alternatives to your NEEDS.
Yes, the “problem” could be related to the developmental age of the child or maybe just a few bad days in a row, (or maybe it will pass, is what you say). But if only you had known what to do when the temper was flaring and the voices were raised and the spit was flying and all you needed was to hear if what you were doing was ok or if there was another way to approach it.
Play therapy can show you practical methods on how to handle the situation or behaviour differently (and also lend an ear).
Problem (as defined in the Oxford Dictionary, 2006): a thing that is difficult to deal with or understand.
Whoa, hold your horses! That’s why “problem” is such a difficult word to accept because no-one wants to admit to something being difficult especially if it might be a reflection on themselves (“I can’t!”), failure, weak, bad or ugly. It is a negative association- understandable.
But, the most admirable thing to do is to admit to needing a little bit of guidance, in order to improve or better your self and others around you ie: your children.
It is like teaching them to say sorry, does it make them weaker?
Are you teaching them that it is ok to seek help especially when needed, that it is ok to go to someone when they are feeling bullied or pressurised to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing or being able to talk to you when they feeling blue?
Teach them that it is ok to talk to someone; it is ok to get some ideas to make things a little easier. This definitely doesn’t make your child a weaker person but a more protected and aware one. And then, in turn, a confident child who is aware of his Self.
So next time observe carefully and re-examine what you see as a “problem”, it may just be beneficial to admit that you just need a little self-nurturing or social/emotional pampering. Like a good day at the spa.