How often do parents feel that they have to choose between a happy child and a smart child? When should we stop the hugs and pull out the book? Why do we seem to feel like there’s never enough time?
Dr. Greenspan’s research and experience showed him that the key is in valuing and treasuring our relationships. Taking the time to emotionally engage within our relationships actually increases both happiness and intelligence. Having a child be both happy and smart is possible because these flow from emotionally invested relationships with caregivers.
Learn more about helping children be both smart and happy at Floortime U!
Dr. Greenspan knew that the emotional experiences of children drive their developmental processes, encouraging or discouraging their further interaction with the world. Emotional experiences and emotional perceptions help all of us organize and integrate the various parts of our brain in a way that provides us with a true understanding of the environment around us.
The most important thing is we should value and treasure our relationships. That’s critical. That’s first and foremost.
Protect those relationships. Protect your time with your children. Make that your top priority. Make sure that the adults have time with one another.
So this hurried on the run society that we have needs to regroup and change its basic philosophy of commitment. That’s probably the single most important thing we can do. Treasure those sweet subtle relaxed emotional moments with all the relationships we have.
Once we do that, then we’ll naturally begin doing some of these other things. We’ll have longer and longer interactive sequences with our children, which will be building their intelligence as well as their self-esteem. So if we realize that it’s not that we hug our children to make them feel good, and then we read them a book to make them smart.
Those same experiences that make children feel good can also make them smart. If we go from the hugs and cuddles to the interactive little dialogues and then to the pretend play and then to the debates, we have both a happy child a child who feels I could do things and a child who’s very very bright and intelligent.Dr. Stanley Greenspan
Learn more about Dr. Stanley Greenspan and the Greenspan Floortime approach. If you are new, we have a background and introduction to Greenspan Floortime including how it helps special needs children. We also have Greenspan Floortime training courses at Floortime U. specifically designed for parents and professionals including the Floortime Manual.