We as parents need to create and preserve a context of connection between our children and ourselves. This gives us the natural power required to fulfill our responsibilities, and interact in ways that support healthy development.
All children have defenses, but the child requires a soft heart to grow-up. What is needed is a relationship that offers the child the promise of safety, warmth, and dependence, and practices to soften the heart within the safety of this relationship.
Rest from pursuit of proximity
We know instinctively a child is not yet mature, they are still growing up. We need to make compensation for this immaturity. Three practices are offered that impart values, and allow a child to engage in society where they may otherwise not be able to.
We cannot cause a child to grow up any more than we can cause a plant to grow. However we can cultivate a place for this to happen. We'll look at three practices to invite the emergent and adaptive process, and prime emotional and social maturity.
Each session contains about 40 minutes of instructional video by Kent and Jen Morgan, along with slides and additional reading.
Session 1 - Collecting our Children and Students
Introduced is a three-pronged approach for working with children. Since a child requires a context of attachment within which to work, cultivating a working relationship should be our number one priority. We must begin by engaging a child’s attachment instincts. How to do this is the subject of this session.
Session 2 - Maintaining a healthy working relationship
Children won’t hold on to us unless we hold on to them. Maintaining a healthy working relationship involves bridging anything that could divide. Many children aren’t usually receptive to forming relationships cold. Using existing attachments to beget the attachments a child needs, is key to matchmaking.
Session 3 - Work arounds for defendedness
Battling against the symptoms of bad behavior is futile. Before we can get children unstuck, we must find a work around for the behavioral symptoms that exist. Six ways of doing this are presented and discussed.
Session 4 - Softening the Defenses
When children get their tender feelings back, attachments deepen and maturation unfolds rather spontaneously. Reversing defendedness should therefore be our ultimate yearning. This session focuses on natural ways to help make this happen.
Session 5 - Priming the Maturing Processes
The course concludes with three powerful catalysts for growth that can also double as effective substitutes for conventional discipline. These instruments of maturation are relatively easy to use and can bring deep and lasting results.
This material is an adaptation from Neufeld Institute Intensive I: Making Sense of Kids course.