• Problems are opportunities for interaction. They open the door to your child or the other person, so you can find out, what HE is thinking or feeling.
  • Problems are not ‘bad’ or ‘a problem’. Or something to send you into a panic. They are not ‘your fault’ or something you’ve done ‘wrong’.
  • Problems are just something that happened. They are part of life. And a very important part, that we must welcome and cherish.
  • In fact ‘shared problem solving’ is the key to communication, thinking and personality development. For your child and for yourself.
  • Aim for 20+ back-and-forth ‘circles of communication’ (or more) with your child in equal measure. Resist the urge to take over or to ‘teach’.
  • Enjoy the PROCESS of negotiating and LISTENING and RESPONDING to each other. Be CREATIVE and have FUN with each other about the topic/‘problem’.
  • Show that you are really INTERESTED in what is in your child’s (or the other person’s) mind. You’ll find some unexpected TREASURES if you’re open to it!
  • The fact that what the child thinks is often DIFFERENT from what you have in mind means that you’ll LEARN something, and that you
  • allow the child to feel that they can GIVE YOU something from their own heart or mind.
  • Celebrate ‘problems’ as opportunities to practice FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE, which is essential for growing up and living a good life.
  • Some useful techniques are
    • MAKING SPACE for a different response or perspective than what you thought or expected
    • USING A LOW AND CALM TONE OF VOICE (rather than excited or chivvying or reprimanding)
    • allowing yourself to BE SURPRISED
    • to enjoy the MIRACLE OF THE MIND, yours and the child’s
    • MIRRORING (remember mirrors reflect back, but don’t ask questions!)

16 Key Strategies for DIRFloortime Play

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