We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all worry. We all wish we had a redo button.
Being a child therapist adds another layer of complication. I know what I should be doing. I know what constitutes good parenting and what does not. I know the early signs and symptoms of every childhood mental health disorder. One might think that all that knowledge would be a gift as a parent, but often in my day to day life it is more of a curse!
When my toddler starts to line things up, refuses to poop, won’t wear socks – I can conjure up hundreds of children I have worked with who have been immobilized by those very behaviors. It is harder for me to take a more relaxed, “wait and see” approach with issues that explode in my head. It doesn’t help that all three of my children suffer from some form of anxiety. We are genetically cursed.
Luckily I have a sane, laid back, non-mental health professional as a husband, who will often ask me, “What’s the big deal?” It is nice to be reined in once and awhile. We all need those anchors in our lives – the naivety of a spouse who is not gifted with a curse of knowing exactly what the “big deal” could actually be down the road.
Parenting is a yet another issue. I can hear my own advice reverberating in my head as my mouth shouts the wrong words to my children. Who hasn’t done that, right? The harder part is when you give parenting advice for a living. It feels like hypocrisy ten fold. But the truth is no one can be a perfect parent all of the time – not you, not me – no one. I have to remind myself of that sometimes.
I am child therapist, not super-human. I am allowed to make mistakes – even if I have the insight to know better. I am allowed to worry – even if I know it is irrational or too early to worry. I am allowed to be imperfectly perfect like the rest of you. So, to show my support as a mom I have decided to add a category to my site called Confessions of a Child Therapist. I will share my own parental mishaps, struggles and laughs.
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