But there's more to life than being appropriate. And there's so much more to being fully human.
Stanley Greenspan, creator of the "Floortime" approach to autism therapy, says it beautifully on one of his weekly podcasts:
But how do we help a child become engaged? Now we are talking about pleasure and joy and excitement. We’re basically asking the question, “What makes our child happy?” Too long and too often, parents are told, mistakenly so, that the goals to get the child to do a specific behavior – to sit still or to put pegs in a board or to put this puzzle together or to repeat a certain sound or to imitate a certain word – but this is not the best advice. The best advice is, first and foremost, before you’re trying to “teach your child specific skills” is help your child learn to fall in love with the world; to become engaged with you; to not just love his caregivers but be able to demonstrate that love by coming up and giving mommy a hug and a kiss; by wanting to be with his caregivers. That’s going to help the child become a very good learner.If our goal as parents is to help our children to become as fully human as they possibly can be, Greenspan has it right. Our job is to help our kids to fall in love with the world.
No one falls in love with rules, "life skills," "reinforcers" or "mands."
But everyone has the ability to fall in love.
What will bring the joy into your child's eye? What will help her to "fall in love with the world?"