“Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”
– Misty Copeland
But nobody promised it would be easy.
Let’s face it. Kids don’t come with an instruction manual.
And while parenting books are amazing resources, sometimes it’s helpful to talk with someone who can support your unique circumstances.
Individual and family sessions offer you, your child, or your teen the chance to focus on specific needs and create attainable goals for your family.
But can you truly help us?
While Child Life Specialists can help in many ways, Thriving Play specializes in four different stressors.
- We help families struggling with a chronic diagnosis – for any member: child, teen, parent, grandparent, or even a beloved pet! We’ll clear up any misconceptions and equip your family with the best and most appropriate coping techniques.
- We also help overcome anxiety or fear from a stressful or scary experience – for example, a child having difficulty going to school without crying or showing fear for an upcoming dental visit. If you’ve scheduled your child for a surgery or medical test, we help prepare you both for what will happen. Your child will thank you.
- We help guide teens into adulthood by specifically teaching them how to advocate for themselves at school, work, or the doctor’s office. And we also help them understand the world of adult healthcare.
- Finally, we help new parents navigate the surprises and stressors of developmental milestones. You can certainly find dozens of textbooks and research articles that describe what “normal development” looks like, but we live in the real world. Each infant, child, and teen develops at her or his own rate. We give you the tools and peace of mind to support your child through that process.
Great, but what does working with a Child Life Specialist look like?
First, we initiate
We’ll complete an initial assessment, but don’t worry. You won’t be filling out lots of forms and answering question after question.
Instead, our assessments take a conversational approach.
We’ll talk about the stressors you’re facing, your child or teen’s current developmental stage, and your family’s everyday stress and coping levels.
And we validate
Next, we will figure out what’s already working because – believe it or not – you’re already on the right track.
We’ll also discuss de-escalation techniques and the development of empathy and compassion for yourself.
One of my favorite reminders to caregivers is, “You’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on before putting on anyone else’s”
Then, we educate
Before we can find a solution, we’ve got to learn about the issue.
If you’ve come for help with a medical issue, we’ll discuss what’s happening with the body and what your health care team is doing.
But relax! I promise it won’t feel like a college anatomy course.
Through the use of developmentally appropriate play and education techniques, we will make sure you and your family fully understands what is going on.
If your focus is on normal development, we’ll tailor your education to how the brain and body develop normally and what you can do to support them.
And, as always, we’ll include education on age-appropriate coping techniques.
Finally, we create
Stress is a necessary part of life. The key is how you handle it. At this stage, we’ll take time to create your family’s plan of care. Together, we’ll select the most specific, appropriate, and best coping techniques and also identify how you and your family can advocate for your needs.
For parents looking for additional discipline support, we’ll customize a plan that includes boundaries to keep your family dynamics as level as possible.
If your family also needs pain management support, we’ll make sure to add appropriate techniques, as well. Together, we’ll tailor strategies to individual needs, thereby allowing you and your family to handle the stress life better throws at you.
Who needs a manual – when you can have a mentor?
These four simple steps will guide you toward healthy, orderly, and joyful parenting.
“I was very impressed with the information that Sarah provided. It was validating to hear that I was already on the right track,
and I appreciated her suggestion on how to support my children.”