Sunday, 8 March 2009

"Feel-good-about-myself time"

The sky's the limit - Norfolk, by Susie Mallett 2009

Home or away?

I was with my “Walk in the woods” boy for two weeks, working in his home. Last year he came to the conductive centre, travelling two hours every day with his Grandma. It was a long day for both of them.

After discussions with his Mum we decided to try two weeks of conductive upbringing in the family home. There are many “pros”: actually nearly everything about this work is positive. There are, however, a few “cons” and there are also many “pros” for working with children in a conductive group.

The parents who ask me to work with their child at home always seem to know that this will fit well into the family routine and that the child will be motivated to work, rest and play with me around all the time.

I have never worked in a home where I have felt uncomfortable. I have always had 100% support from the parents and extended families. Maybe I have had a lot of luck, maybe I have been able to make wise decisions as to where I choose to work. I don’t know but, whatever the reason, the work has always been enjoyable and successful. The past two weeks have been no exception.

Lots of successes this week. I even got a pat on the back!

Going it alone: a good feeling for a lad

“My boy” as I shall call him here, walked down two flights of winding stairs alone. I don’t mean without my hands or my voice assisting him. I mean without my presence. This was a tremendous achievement for him, having overcome many problems during the past two weeks, including working out where to place his hands and his feet. There is only one hand-rail in his home and the stairs go round two tight curves, making this quite a complicated action.

We worked for two weeks on this goal. We did lots of creative stuff each day in a room on the top floor of the house.

His learning to do this was doubly important, as the family is about to move to a new house with the bedrooms all upstairs. My boy can now come and go as he pleases, without having to wait for assistance, moral support or reassurance. He knows that he can “go it alone”.

Made to feel good about myself

Just as "my Boy" got to the bottom of the stairs on his own, motivated by a waiting school friend, Dad happened to be passing, he realised immediately what had just been achieved and was all smiles. He said a general well-done, then again, this time directly to me, accompanied by a pat on my back. That was a very much appreciated acknowledgement.

This pat on the back was a rare and valued present for me as a conductor. Yes, I receive many letters of thanks and hugs and emails, but this was so spontaneous and straight from the heart, it was somehow different. I could see in that moment what a difference this achievement was going to make to the life of this family in the new home.

“Feel-good-about-myself” experiences

For everyone this had been a successful “home” work, but I have learnt something very important while doing it that will help me decide on other occasions whetherI work at home or in the conductive group.

I will try whenever possible to work with zickig (irritable) teenagers in need of some “feel-good-about-myself time” in our conductive groups. On the other hand this was definitely time for the complete family to have some seelische Unterstutzung (moral support, soul healing).

The whole family had been feeling responsible in some way for this young teenager's difficulties. He wasn’t walking alone any more, he was afraid to. It has been a long, cold, snowy winter, so not easy to walk outside. The family was busy building a house, there had been little time to walk far or even to practise at home. This teenager was also growing long and lanky and getting more uncoordinated, just like so many young lads of his age.

This conductive upbringing did everyone good, parents, siblings, grandparents and child. They all saw there had been no permanent "damage" done, new goals have been achieved and others re-learnt. The confidence of everyone received a boost during thss two weeks of “feel-good- about-myself” experiences.

But...

Next time it is back in the conductive group for this young lad, for a bit of peer-group pressure and support.

Notes

“Pros and cons” – fors and againsts

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