Parent-Therapist Collaboration Part 2: Finding the Time
On our previous post, The Need for Parent-Therapist Collaboration, we discussed the importance of parent-therapist collaboration, challenges that may arise, and suggested practicals. Here are more tips to help parents and therapists work together, specifically how to help parents find time in their busy schedule.
As parents, we all feel we don’t have enough time to work with our children after a long day’s work. It’s understandable. After all, not only do you have to follow up with your child’s treatment, you also have to work, clean, cook, feed, plan for their future, and hopefully take care of yourself in the process. Let your child’s therapist help you learn how to integrate techniques into your normal routine. The keys to success are communication with your therapist and managing expectations—don’t expect to address everything. Instead, steadily build week to week.
It is all about priorities. Set at least 15-30 minutes a day to spend with your child to do “therapeutic” activities; you will start seeing results in a couple of weeks. Setting aside time will reduce your stress and build your confidence and skills. Trust me; some of the activities are not that hard. Remember, you know your child better than anyone and you can make the most impact on your child.
You can also try using appropriate rewards that you and your therapist agree on to motivate your child’s participation. I have not seen anything better than well deserved rewards. Let’s face it, we all work for rewards, right?:) If you have expectations for your child to work well with you, your child will learn to work well outside the home. Don’t forget, you are your child’s most important teacher. I have seen a drastic improvement when parents start collaborating with their therapists and teachers and carry over their activities at home.
With the help of your therapist brainstorm how to integrate your child’s goals and activities during your normal routine.
Play dates and parties
When you go to the park
When you are driving with your kids
There are multiple ways you can incorporate therapeutic activities during your day. After talking to your child’s therapist see what works best for you. If you cannot follow through on an activity don’t just treat it as failure but as a sign that a new approach is needed. Too many parents over commit themselves to at-home treatments but are unable to follow through, leaving the practitioner to assume the intervention plan may or may not be working. If you can’t complete the activities then make sure you communicate the difficulties you are having.
*If you are a parent and need help brainstorming activities during your normal routine, send us a message or comment below.