Have you ever felt that no-one was looking out for you?
Have you ever felt upset or resentful about that?
Or have you just given up asking for your child and others to take you into account?
Of course you matter! And because you matter, it is important not to just hope that your children and others will one day take you into account.
SOMEONE needs to be determined to look out for YOU, and though it would be nice if this was your child or someone else, you mustn't leave it to chance or wishful thinking. Here is why not:
1. Attachment relationships are important for you and for any child's well-being. It is easier for a child to attach to and take a lead from someone who seems strong and confident and with good well-being themselves. Would you feel safe and reassured around someone who seemed stressed out and anxious?Probably not.
2. As an adult figure - you are a role model. Through your actions, and not just what you say, you are sending out messages to your child and others about your own value in the world. Your child will learn how to treat you and others by watching and copying how you treat you. So if you let yourself be trampled on, then it is much more likely that your child and others will just come to see this is normal and carry on with these same patterns towards you without taking you into account.
3. Your ability to think clearly and sensitively is vital to your long-term well-being and that of your child and others. If you or your child or others has additional complex needs or challenging behaviour, what is needed most is an adult who is willing to watch and wait and wonder about challenging behaviour and why it is happening - with a view to helping that child find a way to come through and overcome their challenges. You will quickly find yourself unable to do this if you do not invest time in caring for and developing yourself and your own skills
4. The time you spend with your child is important - you have a challenging but key role to play. Few other people will spend as much time with your child or have the longer relationship with your child that you will have. This relationship is not going to go away. So it is important to take a long view - investing in working for a good relationship right now will be an investment in your own future well-being as well as your child's.
5. In order for your child's brain to mature and develop healthily, your child needs experiences of learning good relationship skills with you. Brains develop - they are not fixed and it is never too later to make important changes. To develop improved social skills so that they can learn to manage relationships more easily, your child needs to have good experiences in relationships with adult figures who are caring and thoughtful. It would be nice sometimes to pass that responsibility onto someone else but when you invest in good relationships with yourself and with your child and your team this will translate into more healthy relationship experiences for your child. This will help improve behaviour and reduce challenges.
And that is what you want!
So what can you do?
1. Decide 'I Matter'
2. Put some time aside for caring actions towards yourself that help you refuel
3. Insist that your child and others treat you and others with respect and consideration
4. Ask determinedly for what you want and put effective limits on what you don't want
5. Invest time in your team and in your community - you cannot help a complex child on your own
6. Decide to include something new in your life that is important to you.
Or look into one of our courses
All Rights Reserved Copyright CBetoin
Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher and Parent
I Matter Parent Blog
There is nothing more powerful than a parent who takes the trouble to care