Postpartum Mood Disorders
Children are often our greatest sources of joy, but also our most stirring sources of confusion and frustration!
In the midst of yet another tantrum or power struggle, we have all asked ourselves:
- Why is she acting like this?
- What am I doing wrong?
- How do I make it stop?
- Is there something wrong with him?
But perhaps we should be asking different questions:
- How can I improve my relationship with my child?
- What is her behavior telling me?
What we first see as an annoying bid for attention reveals itself to be a need for connection. Children’s behavior is a form communication, and is driven by the need for emotional connection. Children need an emotional connection with their parent to have a secure base to go and explore the world, and they also need a safe haven to come back to when things get overwhelming, confusing, and/or difficult.
Is it possible to control your child’s behavior with reward and punishment? For a short time, yes! But the thing that truly transforms your child’s behavior is a felt sense of your presence and your unconditional love.
Love is not just some fluffy feeling and it does not mean giving in. We must also be bigger, stronger, wiser, and kind. We must set limits with our children, and also take time to help our children understand their internal emotional world.
This is rarely easy, and we all need support!
That is why I am offering a Circle of Security group to caregivers of children ages 0-5. This eight-session group will be part educational, and part self-reflection. Together with a group of no more that seven other caregivers, we will explore the basics of over 50 years of attachment research via videotape and rich discussion and gain some guidance in navigating our relationship with our children.