How you make sense of your own childhood experiences has profound effect on how you parent your own children.
Children need to be enjoyed and valued, not managed. When we are too busy doing things for our children, we forget how important it is to simply be with them.
Becoming a parent, we have the opportunity to make sense of our childhood experiences and grow. By making sense of our own childhoods, we have the opportunity to bring choice to our daily interactions with our children.
Children need to feel that life is a safe place to explore and that, starts at home in relationship with parents and significant people in their lives. This will help them bond and attach securely and continue feeling secure in their relationships throughout their lives.
Children need to feel valued and good enough. This starts at home and at school in relationships with parents, teachers and other significant people in their lives. This will help them develop a sense of esteem and will carry the positive self esteem throughout their lives.
Children often cannot talk about their experiences, but will express their thoughts and feelings through their drawings.
I often use art therapy and play therapy with children and adolescents. It creates a lighter atmosphere for them in the session than just talking. Through playing and creating art, not only they communicate their thoughts and feelings, and release their more difficult emotions but also they have the opportunity to see their own perspective in a concrete way and outside themselves, and new solutions to their problem may arise.
Art therapy is action oriented, engaging and a pleasurable activity for most children and teenagers. They can express themselves freely in a symbolic and metaphoric way.
"Little children often express their traumas in a painting the moment a brush is put into their hand." Alice Miller
It needs a trained professional to interpret, acknowledge and validate children's experiences and help them heal.
Sharing the joy of living is at the heart of a rewarding parent-child relationship.
"When we are preoccupied with the past or worried about the future, we are physically present with our children but are mentally absent."Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
Parenting starts with working on our own issues.