Does your child struggle at home and at school?
Does your child’s struggle impact how you interact with them?
Does this have a detrimental effect on the whole family?
All children develop and grow differently, at different speeds and in different ways. No matter how they do it though, there are certain milestones that have to be hit. If your child never masters them, it can affect their ability to reach their full potential as adults.
This week's show on Be You Parenting, Maxine Haller, OTR/L shared how she helped her son through his own struggles in life and what parents need to be aware of so that their child doesn’t struggle needlessly.
I found the information that Maxine shared on the show to very informative and applicable for parents with children of all ages. I encourage you to listen to the replay and see what information you gleam from it that may apply to your child. Here are a few highlights:
- After Maxine became aware of some quirky behavior from her son, she began to work with him and developed an OT method called the Haller Method, that is being used successfully today throughout the world. Some of the quirky behaviors were; refusing to eat certain foods, not moving his head to the left, unwilling to poop in his diaper and tantrums that eventually lasted 4 hours!
- Maxine shared with us some common signs to watch for that many parents may think that their child will just outgrow: Do things seem to hurt too much – like brushing hair, or hugging, to bumps?Do they have issues with clothing-too tight, too loose? Do sounds bother their ears? Do they get car sick or nauseous with movement? And she offered some ideas of how these might show up, for example if you have to warn your child that you are going to turn on the blender because they are sensitive to the sound. And then extreme tantrums and difficulty changing tasks, or completing tasks are definite signs of being wired for struggle.
- There are many things a parent can do to assist their child through these types of struggles. Here are a few suggestions that Maxine recommends: Encourage curiosity – this means offering things that get the child to move physically towards an object. This also means limiting screen time as this does not promote movement that is so vital to continued development at every age (even us adults!). .if you can keep curiosity you have developed tools for getting around many of the behavioral issues later.
The next thing is to get them out of the containers – car seats etc and into nature where risk management becomes the child’s responsibility – allow some minimally unsafe natural consequences to be part of life.
- As you listen to the replay you will also learn what stress rituals and love rituals are, as well as why Maxine adheres to the mantra, "Choice within safety." I can't wait to establish a love ritual with my granddaughter!
Maxine has a free questionnaire on her website: KidsBrainTreeFoCo.com that parents can use to see what may be of concern to them and what they can do with their child that will help them. It is a wonderful place to start, if you aren't sure whether to your child's achieving the milestones that will ensure strong development. She also offers a free 20 minute consultation.
I feel so fortunate to have met Maxine and appreciate how passionate she is about the helping kids and parents move beyond struggle that is due to mis-wiring.
Finally, one last comment on struggle. As parents, we can be afraid to let our children struggle. Some struggle is beneficial for development, like figuring out how their bodies work, what natural consequences are, and leaning how to be in the world. It is when their is an overload or intense reaction to their environment that indicates their struggle may be due to neurological or developmental issues.
Picture credit to Pixabay