Parenting a hurt child is hard work. They test you, they hit you, they spit at you, they scream obscenities but at the end of the day it is YOUR hard work that makes them feel safe, loved, and valuable.
My 4 year old and I go to therapy together each week. We have an amazing therapist that has helped us a lot already. We are doing attachment/Theraplay therapy. It is fun, fast paced, and great to do at home too.
I wanted to touch on some of the creative things I do to encourage my girls first, and then go into some of the Theraplay activities.
First, getting out of bed for school can be so much work for a young child. Heck, most days I just want to stay in bed. Our 6 year old wakes up ready to rumble, whereas our 4 year old just wants to lie in bed until I get frustrated enough to pick her up and dress her. Well, NOT ANYMORE!
Every morning, I get up, shower, wake up my 6 yr old, wake up my 4 year old, and I tell my 4 year old, “It’s time for you to help Mommy blow dry her hair”. She springs out of bed and heads for the bathroom. I flip over my head and she blow dries my hair. When she is finished, she goes into her room while I flat iron my hair. I say, “Show Mommy how fast you are at getting dressed”, and she announces every piece as she puts it on herself. “Mommy, I put on my panties”! It has made my morning much more fun and enjoyable.
The next thing we do to encourage them is we just let them HELP! My girls take so much pride in what they do! Letting them help (although rarely does it meet my “standard”) makes them feel special. My 4 year old can cook her own corn-dog in the microwave, my 6 year old knows how to make a sandwich, pour drinks, etc.
They love to mop/sweep my floors, hauling all of the laundry to the basement, filling the dishwasher, filling the dog food bowls.
We don’t call it a “chore” because chore rhymes with “bore” and I don’t want them to think of it as a boring chore. I want them to see it as a way to be in, and help their family.
In an effort to keep this blog a little less cluttered. I am going to post our Theraplay activities in their own entry.