Through the Child’s Eyes: 6 Part Workshop Series – 2012/2013

The 2012/2013 Series

We are thrilled to present the following six workshops in our 2012/2013 launch of the “Through the Child’s Eyes” series:

Part 1 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Knowing & Trusting

The treasure of knowing that you are “being held in mind” brings with it an incredible amount of trust for the young child in their big person. Imagine knowing that your big person so understood you, so cared for you, so had your back, and so wanted to do right by you that you could just sit back, relax, and trust your development to unfold in the manner nature intended! This is what we want for our growing children. We don’t want young children to have to up the ante to have their developmental needs met. This leads to unnecessary challenges and a foundational disruption for the child who is simply trying to grow up. How then do we instill in our children that sense that they are being held in mind? Knowing and Trusting is a workshop that offers big people different ways to think about and approach gifting a child the treasure of being known and of “being held in mind.” This will include understanding key concepts foundational to the relationship between the child and their special big people, as well as a year-by-year developmental understanding from birth through 8 of how a child’s special big people can connect with them in meaningful ways.

Part 2 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Playing & Growing

Jean Piaget, renowned expert and theorist regarding child development is often famously quoted as having decreed that “play is the child’s work.” And while Piaget was perhaps trying to communicate that children need to be allowed to be utterly absorbed with those things that are “meant to be” as part of the developmental process, including the incredibly powerful role of play, our current culture of pressing our children into learning and performing earlier and earlier seems to have distorted this message. Play is such a cherished part of growing for a child. However, for play to truly have the role that nature intended in the growing up of children, it needs to be play that is born of a restful spirit and not play focused on producing outcomes and results. Playing and Growing is a workshop that debunks some of the myths about play for our children and refocuses our attention on the true play that our growing children need room for in their lives. Included will be a discussion about how to differentiate play born of rest from performance driven play, and how to facilitate conditions in your child’s world so this kind of restful play has room to grow and blossom.

Part 3 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Resistance & Tantrums

Why is it that our children can so resist our direction? Why is it that sometimes the simplest request can lead to meltdowns and angry tears? And how is a parent meant to bring their child back into line in the face of such resistance? Especially when the parent is under the scornful, scrutinizing gaze of everyone else standing in the check-out line at the grocery store?! Perhaps surprisingly, the answers to these questions have nothing to do with discipline strategies and “parenting” techniques. Indeed, in some situations, such strategies and techniques actually end up either causing the resistance to increase and/or leading to other more troublesome challenges. Instead, the answer to understanding resistance in our children lays in understanding the relationship they have with us as their big people and further, in understanding how we can bring our children in for “soft” landings as they must cope with all those things in life that simply cannot be – the toy or treat or extended bedtime that they want but cannot have. In Resistance and Tantrums we will discuss ways of understanding and responding to our children’s resistance and upset that do not make the situation worse, but instead have us leading the way for our children to grow and develop into truly mature human beings.

Part 4 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Adapting & Thriving

Why is it that some children can be faced with adversity and challenge and yet are somehow able to develop and grow in the most amazing way, while others who may face even less adversity do not? Why is it that some children appear to adults to be spoiled, inflexible, reactive, and intolerant, while others appear to be well-rounded, amenable, confident, and resilient? Although the answers to these questions are, in part, found by considering temperament, circumstance, and other individual characteristics/factors, there is also much to be understood about how adaptation supports the growth and development of children in the most ideal way, allowing them to thrive. What is an adult’s role in supporting the adaptive process in children? This workshop focuses on supporting adults in their nurturance of adaptation for the children they are growing up. We will discuss the key components of the adaptive process, as well as the necessary “pre-requisites” that must be in place for adaptation to be primed. Our end goal will be to explore and discover how every child who is understood and championed by one or more caring adults has the limitless capacity to adapt and thrive.

Part 5 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Worries & Wonders

The prevalence of anxiety in our children has perhaps never been more prominent than it is currently. What has happened that our children are so full of worry? And what shifts need to occur for us as adults to be able to turn worry about the uncontrollable into wonder about the possibilities? As parents, teachers, and other ‘big people’ become increasingly concerned about their children and the functional daily impact of anxiety, our efforts can turn almost frantic as we try to glean helpful, supportive information from the unmanageable amounts available online and elsewhere. Too often this results in ‘quick fix’ approaches to ‘solving’ anxiety, rather than inviting a gentle, contemplative approach that is informed by the science of child development. This workshop will focus on making sense of the world of anxiety for children as they experience it. We will discuss the roots of anxiety and use our understanding of such to inform knowledgeable responses and supports for the children we are growing up who might be struggling with too much worry. The goal will be to provide participants with a developmentally sensitive approach to understanding worry and transforming it into wonder.

Part 6 of a 6 Part Series: Through the Child’s Eyes: Sense & Sensitivity

For some of our children, the world is simply too much. There is too much noise, bright lights, intense emotions…too much, too much, too much!! It is as though one or more parts of their sensory systems have been born with no protection. Sometimes it is a sensitivity in terms of emotions, sometimes a sensitivity with one or more specific sensory systems (e.g. tactile, taste, smell, etc.). Regardless, it often leads to a child who appears easily overwhelmed, who can have interesting and challenging behaviours, who may withdraw or tune out, and who may begin to experience anxiety and frustration. In this workshop we will work to understand the experience of the sensitive child. We will discuss the underlying causes of sensitivity, the developmental risk that presents for the sensitive child, and ultimately, ways to support and respond to the needs of the sensitive child. Participants can expect to leave with a clearer understanding of how to make sense of sensitivity.