2014 has been an exciting time for beginning my blog, Parental Intelligence. Writing about child development, a wide range of parenting topics, and mental health has been challenging and invigorating. I’m grateful to my readers for their positive feedback especially about my concept of Parental Intelligence.
Parental Intelligence is a concept I created when working with parents in my private practice who learned how to “read” non-verbal as well as verbal communication and enjoy open dialogue. These parents learned that behavior has meaning that is not always apparent.
In fact. behavior is often a communication that the child hasn’t been able to put into words. Unexpected behaviors can be a catalyst to change and a vehicle for positive growth.
The Five Steps of Parental Intelligence are a guide for the parent who faces both ordinary misbehaviors, as well as, baffling behaviors. These behaviors are demonstrated by kids who are either generally forthcoming with their feelings, as well as, those who are harder to reach, including those with special needs.
The Five Steps of Parental Intelligence
1. Stepping back helps a parent to review what has happened.
2. Self-reflecting encourages parents to understand their reactions and revisit the ghosts from the past that influence their responses to behaviors
3. Understanding your child’s mind opens windows onto the child’s world with its own particular point of view.
4. Understanding your child’s development clarifies what to expect cognitively and socially from your individual child.
5. Problem solving will lead to long-lasting solutions to the pressing problems that seem, at first, to have no possible resolution. Often the initial misbehavior is just a clue to the overarching problems that the child is struggling to communicate.
In the coming year, I will be writing more about how parents unlock their Parental Intelligence by strengthening their ability to understand their reactions to their child’s behavior while empathizing with their child’s struggles.
I will be emphasizing how parents need to empathize with each other and give each other lots of recognition as they try their best to be compassionate caregivers. Parenting is a joyful yet stressful, high stakes occupation with life-long r ewards.
Congratulations for being devoted to your children during 2014 to help them develop into youngsters with growing hearts and minds.
Best Wishes for the New Year, Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.