When our children are having a hard time (and when our children are having a hard time, the family is having a hard time) here’s one question most parents forget to ask, and can’t even answer themselves…
What’s RIGHT with my child?
We must remember, even in crisis times, when it looks like there is no good at all left, to see what’s right.
We must look under the “problems”, issues and challenges, to the deeper process of unfolding and we must have support for ourselves as parents to assist in this unfolding in productive ways.
Why focus on RIGHT and not WRONG?
What we know about growth, change and learning in human beings thanks to neuroscience, is that what works, is attention on the positive.
An endless stream of studies have shown that people do not learn from correction or criticism as effectively as they learn from reinforcement of what’s already working or being done well—the brain is wired to do more of what it’s reinforced about (as we all know from when we are “working” on a habit or problem with a child or young person (or ourselves) it often gets worse instead of better and we often all find ourselves so frustrated that things aren’t changing…)
Being positive is NOT “rewarding” a young person for negative behavior, being positive is giving them the resources they need to please you—and even an ornery teen does, truly want to please you—they just want to do it in their time and in their way.
Will this work for my child?
Lexi worked in public mental health—both on the ground as a therapist and care coordinator for children and families and as a manager working at the program development and supervisory level for over 10 years—abuse, neglect, addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, psychosis, suicide attempts and self harm and were all part of her regular scope of work.
Today Lexi works with families in the private sector supporting and providing concrete tools for moving away from trouble and towards the kind of connection, ease, and success we all long for for our children.
The family meeting is an evidence based practice Lexi has adapted to serve families and their wider community when crisis hits—it is a powerful, youth centered tool for working with complex situations.
What does family work look like? What can I expect?
Parent coaching is Lexi’s preferred mode of assisting families and children in hard times—teaching those closest to the youth to be effective advocates and truly empathize with the situation is a more effective tool than placing youth in their own therapy.
This work provides families and young people with several specific skill sets for moving out of challenging times:
• A reframe of who the young person is underneath the troubles
• A specific set of tools for youth and family to work with to change communication and understanding within the family dynamic
• A plan for working with and uniting the community around the youth (includes involving schools, caregivers, close friends)
• Help determining positive relationships and supports for youth; typically chosen by the youth themselves (again, this is not rewarding the youth, this is empowering them to make the changes they desire to by giving them tools to work with towards positive change)
• Direct support for parents in working with young person(s), in upholding the young person’s essential nature, in creating better communication and rhythm within the household