This summer I felt perpetually uneasy. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve been second guessing myself, worrying more than normal… just simply out of sorts. I want to do what is right for my family, what is right for Lily’s development, what is right for my career, what is right for my community, and what is right for me. However, it has felt like someone erased my map and pointed all the street signs in the wrong direction.
Then, a couple weeks ago, I participated in a focus group at our local Children’s hospital. It was eye opening. One minute I was talking about the challenges we faced with their summer camp constraint therapy program, and the next minute my words got caught in my throat as I choked back tears. The more I talked, the more I understood about why I’ve been so off kilter.
The lessons I learned while talking about therapy & goal setting:
- I am holding onto a lot of guilt over Lily not meeting the goals we set for her at the beginning of the summer. There is a perpetual voice in the back of my head saying, “If you’d just done a bit more…”
- I’m not being fair to myself. I did everything that could be reasonably expected plus more.
- The goals we set were too aggressive.
- It was the wrong therapy protocol for her age & for our life.
- Never underestimate the strength of a strong willed child.
- Therapists need better ways to illustrate the progress a child makes, especially when goals are not fully met. It feels awful to put in so much effort and then learn it wasn’t enough.
- It WAS weird that she had different therapists at each appointment.
- I have limits, and should respect them. Working parents who only have about 3 hours a day with their kids on weekdays should NOT commit to doing 3 hours of intensive therapy every day with their 3 year old for 3 weeks. That’s a lot of threes.
- I still believe in constraint therapy… just need to tweak it for our life.
- I need to start believing that what I do is enough.
So… I am looking at #10 squarely in the eye and realizing I have some pretty clear marching orders for this next school year. How was your summer?