[Liubov_Osnabrück] Joanna, many parents I know think they don’t spend enough time teaching and rehabilitating their child. What would your advice be?
This is not an easy one. Of course, each of these families would have their own explanation for why they have this perception. What matters is not just the quantity of time spent with the child, but its quality – what was done and how. Many mothers must return to work [after their maternity leave] and they can’t spend what evenings they have teaching the child. I think it’s important to not just teach the child, but to be with the child, to be earnestly attentive to them, to listen in, to understand their needs.
On the other hand, the expert will create a home activity plan for the parents, and some time will have to be devoted to implementing it. Provide for this activity in your schedule, but you can make it 15 minutes or half an hour, not more.
However, you will inevitably have to deny yourself certain things, in favor of working with your child. I don’t mean the time for yourself, but from my perception, perfect order in your home is not as important as teaching the child.
The time you have must be shared among members of the family, and the husband should be included too. The fathers are often out of home more, and their contact with the child is weaker. Let him have as much contact as possible, even if it just playing a game together.
[Olga Peskova – Dallas] Joanna, many parents are in the grip of guilt, specially in Russia, where society isn’t ready to accept special needs children yet.
This is a complex therapeutical question. First we must determine the source of the guilt, and which event might have caused it. When we’ve understood that, we will try to nullify the guilt, to turn the tide, so to speak. But the solution is situation-dependent. Self-confidence of parents is so important, and working in this direction can help foster it.
In support group meetings, this topic can be processed very well. The advantage is, this is a meeting of people with similar problems but different ways of solving them. When I see people solve a problem that is alike to mine, it gives me the possibility to change something in my own life.
[Lilit Abrahamyan – Yerevan] Do you provide remote seminars for parents living in other countries?
Monika: We know the answer to this question is a ‘no’, but let’s address it to Joanna directly.
Would you consider holding such seminars remotely to be useful?
In Poland we have a psychologist who provides remote classes if the parents live far away and can’t visit. I need to think about how to make it happen.