What seems like a lifetime ago I went to a workshop with Gary Landreth all about Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT). It was fantastic and I utilized a lot of Landreth's work both in my therapy practice and in my coaching. I recently stumbled across his book and decided to browse through it a bit. I saw these three quotes that he states are his are his "rules of thumb" for CPRT work. As I read them I was just driven to share them with you. 1) "Focus on the donut not the hole" . Essentially this means focus on the whole child not just the problem. I can't ell you enough how important this is and how easy it is to get focused on the problem. Our children are so much more than just one issue, challenge, or problem. They are whole beings. Focusing on the whole child will allow us to focus in their strengths and their needs, and to be in a better place to assist them with working through their challenges.It also allows us to avoid getting caught in defining our child by one challenging behavior (which in turn can lead us to have some negative views of our child). 2) "Be a thermostat, not the thermometer" I love this analogy for what we should be as parents. This one is really pertinent to those moments when our child is having a hard time. It is so important that we respond (reflect) rather than react to our child. Thermometers react to the the temperature (the temperature goes up then the thermometer goes up). Thermostats, on the other hand, kick when the temperature stats to rise to quickly respond and help the room come back to a more comfortable temperature. When our children struggle to regulate themselves we must remain calm and help them come back to a "comfortable temperature". 3) "What's most important may not be what you do, but what you do after what you did". I love this quote because it highlights the fact that we as parents make mistakes. How we respond to the mistakes we make may be more important than our mistake. What a great concept to keep in mind. Sometimes we don't respond the way we hoped we would (or thought we should) and we can correct this after the fact. It is important to remember that we can recover from mistakes and that how we manage our mistakes matters as well.
Claudia Glassman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and Parenting Coach who offers one on one coaching services. Claudia is passionate about helping parents find joy and gain confidence in their parenting abilities. Her vision is to share her knowledge and bring awareness to the importance of the relationship that we have with our children.