Saturday, October 24, 2009

Child's Play (continued): Balancing

If you don't know about Dr Jim from Communicating Partners, take the time to "meet" Dr Jim. I have had the privilege to see him present in person. He chats on a yahoo group called "communicating" and offers insight similar to the way Dr Gutstein of RDI(r) did a few years ago.

I like to know the "why bother", the reason I am asked to do something a particular way with my child, and Dr Gutstein has been the source of the "why bother" and the "what to do" for me for the last five years.

What I appreciate about Dr Jim is his way of explaining the "what to do" in a new way, one that rich in simplicity and word pictures that enhance what I already know. Check out Dr Jim's thoughts on "balancing". It reinforces for me the idea that finding peers who offer that "balance" for my daughter is important.

"Make balancing an habitual way of life............

Balancing simply means two persons having a give and take in play or communication where each person does about as much as the other and each waits enough for the partner to create and carry out a response.

The more you balance with your child, the more he or she will get to learn and practice communication.

Be sure you exchange actions as well as communications.

Two powerful things happen when you balance with your child. First you give you child time to figure out what he can do, he often needs more time than you do to get a response together.

Second, balancing allows you to do something that he can model and learn from.

Balance means 'give and take' communication , successful communication requires two people doing something together and giving each other waiting time to both initiate and respond.

We need to start defining 'communication' not as what you or your child does but as a two way exchange. We need to define successful communication in terms of what two persons do together. Communication is like a marriage, it cannot be defined by what one person does alone.

Of course there will be many times when you or your child will do most in an interaction.

But our over 30 years of clinical research shows strongly that it is rare to see a balance in adult child communication, that is exchanges where each person does about the same amount with each other. And it shows little waiting on the part of the child or adult.

Try to practice in your regular routines to balance and you will learn more of what your child can and wants to do and he or she will have more a chance to learn what to do from you.

Make balance a way of life, even with other people in your life and you will find a more effective and enjoyable communicative life.


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