Engaging Families, Intervention Visits

If You Could Say One Thing To Families, What Would It Be?

One of the greatest parts about being an early interventionist is the opportunity to touch the lives of so many children and families. Another wonder of this work is the way families touch our lives too. Relationships are developed and mutual respect is established as we get to know families, problem-solve with them about struggles and strategies, and celebrate successes together. Conversations and sharing are an integral part of the work as we share what we know about development and families share information about their lives. You never know when something you say could be something that a parent will keep and remember forever. When you work with a family of a young child with a new diagnosis or a delay, you could be providing support and advice that could be carried much beyond the brief time the family spends in early intervention. This is powerful and requires that we are mindful of what we say and how we say it because you just never know when what you say could make an impression on someone’s life.

If you could say anything, if you had a message to families, what would it be? Can you sum it up in a few sentences? What would you say? 

I would tell families this:  One of the best way to encourage your child to be happy, grow well, and behave as you want him to is to treat your child with kindness and respect. Enjoy your child and find ways to have fun with him everyday. Set firm limits and reasonably high expectations. Every child is full of potential, regardless of delay or diagnosis, and every child has something amazing inside of him. Everything you do plants a seed in your child’s heart and mind so be mindful of the influence your words and actions have.  Know that you are the person who has the greatest influence on your child’s life, moreso than any of us who come to support you. Celebrate your child’s strengths, no matter how small they might seem or how different from other children his age. Be purposeful in interacting with your child in ways that enhance his development, but give yourself permission, too, to sit back and simply enjoy him. Be a family first and love your child greater than all the stars in the sky.

If you could say one thing to families, what would it be?

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The idea for this blog came from a post in the Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Developmental Delay group on Linked in. If you are a member of Linked in or of that group, check out that post to read other responses to a similar question.

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