Konner and Kruz recently received some sunflower seeds to plant and they have started growing in a pot on the front porch. It has been really good for Konner because he has been taking care to make sure that they are watered and growing. They have been going for about a month now.
Yesterday he came in to the house, ran to our bedroom and said, “Dad, our flowers have grown so much.” He was so excited that he has seen so much progress on something that he has worked so hard to grow.
In almost the same breath though, strangely, he said in a frustrated tone, “They will never get really big.” His patience is about to get the best of him.
“No matter how much sunlight, no matter how much I water them, no matter how much I talk to it (he has read that if you talk to them they will grow so he talks to them), they will never get bigger,” he continued. “It’s going to take three months!”
He wants them to be ten feet tall tomorrow. He doesn’t quite understand yet that things take time, and as long as you take your time, and nurture them they will continue to grow until they reach at potential.
The funny part is that I see this in the parents that I work with some times. They feel like their child is not progressing fast enough. They want so much more.
One thing I ask for when trying to determine where a child is in school or with therapies is testing. I want to see all of the testing they have had through the years. The more the better for me. I want to compare where they have been from the beginning, and see how it stands up to where they are on the most recent. As long as there is an upward slope on those scores then there is progress, no matter how small.
The problem is that parents want everything to happen overnight. I get it. I was, and am, the same way. I want my some to progress as quickly as possible. The thought becomes, “If he gets therapy twice a week for 30 minutes, and it is working then I want him to get it four or five times a week. That will make things happen faster right?”
The answer is, most likely no. In fact, a couple things happen. The child is most likely going to get burnt out on constant therapy, the parent is going to get tired as well, and the child will shut off to learning new things.
That’s really not the way therapy is designed. It’s actually supposed to be something that a therapist works on, plant a seed in the child’s head, and then the parent should be asking questions and using those techniques at home and in real life settings to help the child develop outside of the therapy setting.
The therapy is the seed, the parents are the water and sunlight. If you take care and nurture them, you will see progress. Don’t forget, that no matter how little, any progress is still progress. As long as they are not regressing then you are headed in the right direction.