it is rather a joy to work with kids. i had not thought it possible. when i worked with children in my internship, i felt like an overpaid baby-sitter, most of the time . but in my private practice it has been a different experience. perhaps because it is my own space. anyhow, i get a chance to hang out with the child and play, often i can allow my own inner child to come out and play with my client. i always also stay aware from a therapist perspective, noticing what they say and do and how they do that and also what they are not saying etc.
giving them the freedom to express themselves while maintaining certain boundaries is liberating for the both of us. encouraging them while instilling good values is quite a fulfilling task.
i find when i am present with the child and giving them all my attention they engage in very little acting out behaviors. they feel seen and heard and accepted and they can relax and engage in the activities that we undertake.
i am also relaxing my judgments about the parents. earlier i operated form the belief that the parents were to blame for any issues the child was facing. their parenting skills were lacking and instead of changing themselves they bring the child to the therapist to be fixed. now i understand they are doing the best they can. often times the issues occur due to uncontrollable circumstances. sometimes the parents know they messed up and come to the therapist with that awareness.
in any case blame does not help. taking responsibility does. what is the difference? it is not just semantics. with blame there is a sense of shame, it is definitely a judgment. in taking responsibility one acknowledges the error and focuses on the repair and the learning for any future occurrences.
children are inherently pure, innocent and joyous. their emotions are transient. they can be crying one moment and the next they get up, brush themselves and move on. one does not have to analyze each emotion and feeling, just accept them and love them and they are happy.
they can be taught certain skills and resources to handle their feelings better, a price we all pay for socialization. and giving them a chance to practice it more and more, they get accomplished at the skill. just like learning to ride a bicycle or to swim. once they know it they have it forever. they might get rusty here and there but just brushing up on it brings it right back.
i find it a delight to work with children and enjoy the freshness and charm they bring to my diverse practice.