[Olga Peskova – Dallas] There are different views on what to advise parents outside the living room, that is, in everyday life. Many suggest taking more time to relax, and devoting time to oneself as well, in order to better cope with all the difficulties. What would you say?
For sure. We discuss this not just during therapy sessions, but in the support groups as well. What strikes a keynote is the thoughts and feelings of the parents, particularly of the child’s mother. Consider how she perceives her child, and how much time she judges necessary just for herself.
Together we discuss daily schedules, try to give time frames to activities, to see whether there is a period that the mother can devote to her own agenda. The time needed for daily chores matters, too.
Having suggested a certain strategy, in the next meeting we see how effective it proved to be. For example, you could try to secure a time in the afternoon when you can drink tea or enjoy a book, with the children not immediately by your side. A support group meeting is finalized with a ‘do something for yourself’ home assignment. Every group member says what they are planning, and in the next meeting they recount whether they were successful or not. Not everything can be achieved in one attempt, but for stay-at-home mothers this matters very much, and proves beneficial.
[Jana Frey_Berlin] How can this topic be presented best; do you teach it to experts? Which seminars do you conduct?
We organize various seeminars for experts and parents: communication, advocacy for self and child, and work on self-image. The duration of one such seminar is around 6-8 hours over one or two days. The groups can be around 12 large. Attention is also given to family counseling regarding relations between the parents, because this also impacts the child, whether hearing-impaired or not.