My Life With ToddlersBy Kate Reardon CEIS, LICSW
December 21, 2007
Playing with toddlers is a multisensory experience. In this article Kate Reardon, CEIS, LICSW discusses how Inner Bonding has influenced her clinical practice with young children with various levels of ability.
Joey has helped me increase my creativity during play. I have learned through my experience with him how to be a partner in his world. At the same time he is being supported in all areas of his development. He is so excited by each new experience. He has just learned how to clap and sit up with the support of his team (I am one of three other professionals plus his mother and father.) He’s getting ready to crawl and this is HUGE! We delight in each one of his milestones, no matter how big or small.
It’s my responsibility as Joey’s provider to be open, connected and present during each one of my visits with him (and all my other kiddos.) My essence is out and about and I sing silly songs, put small toys on my head and pretend to sneeze them off, (by they way lots of toddlers think this is just HILAROIUS!) I bang on kiddy musical toys and make silly sounds. I engage with sight, sound, touch, verbal language, gestures and toddler sign language. Joey is as much my teacher as I am his. I am deeply honored to share in and experience his joy and creativity; he is such a loving little boy.
Step one of Inner Bonding asks us to go inside and tune into and be present with our own feelings. Margaret suggests getting to know your essence so you may enter into play with the toddlers in your life. A great way to do this is to get out the playdough, crayons, stickers, bubbles, jacks, Candyland, Uno cards, whatever makes you feel good and brings in those happy childhood memories. If happy childhood memories are hard to find, create new memories, here and now. There is no time like the present!
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Depression is often your inner child/inner guidance's way of letting you know that you are abandoning yourself. Rather than numb it out with addictions or medication, open to learning with your inner child about how you are abandoning yourself, and open to learning with your Guidance about what the loving action is. You will discover that as soon as you take the loving action, you will feel relief.
By Dr. Margaret Paul