We also need to pay attention to our emotional world in ourselves as caregivers, as families, as family members, as therapists. What are our natural strengths and weaknesses? What do we do easily? What is hard? Are we a high energy person and great for kids who are under-reactive and need lots of energizing and wooing, but we have a hard time soothing? Or are we great soothers and very good with hyper-sensitive children who need a lot of calmness, but we have a hard time energizing up for the child who is under-reactive?
Do we take the child’s avoidance as a personal rejection and shut down and not try as hard? Or does the child’s avoidance make us intrusive, not paying attention to his pleasure but grabbing him and forcing him to pay attention to us rather than wooing him into a relationship?
So we have to think about our own personalities and family patterns. As therapists, we need to examine our therapeutic skills and strategies. Which kind of child is easier or harder for us? When we ask these difficult questions, we can fine tune our strategies to meet the child’s individual differences and create the most beneficial learning interactions.
Once we really know our emotional world, then we will know how we have to stretch to work with a particular child as we enter their world and tailor our interactions to their nervous system.
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.