Have you heard such an expression: so big, but do you believe in fairy tales? That’s what I sometimes hear. I guess I still believe in fairy tales. Or rather, not in fairy tales, but miracles. And what you believe in – that happens, and it’s so pleasing!
A young couple turned to me, about 30 for both (each, not for two). We have known each other for a long time, since our student days, we have been married for about 4 years. They have a 2.5-year-old baby. Everything, they say, was fine until there was a child, and now they have ceased to understand each other. Quarrels insults…
She is all in disheveled feelings, cries, says almost nothing. He tells his version of the situation. Outwardly calm, but it is clear that it is not easy for him. Those few remarks that she inserts into his monologue clearly show that they don’t hear each other, and, as a result, they don’t understand. This is where we started.
The second meeting – and these are completely different people. They smile, they talk. The process started, something began to clear up. Well, let’s move on…
The couple came to the third meeting with the baby. And for an hour and a half, while the session lasted, the child calmly mastered the space of the office, since there are enough toys there. He rolled cars, looked at outlandish figures on the shelves, calmly moving from one parent to another, and was a full participant in what was happening.
And now, when we had almost completed the work, a question was raised that was directly related to the child: he does not fall asleep well, is naughty – is this normal, what to do about it?
And really, what to do with it? Yes, this is already being done! The parents came to mend their relationship before they were seriously concerned about the problems of the child. Yes, and this is not a problem yet, but so, the first bells: something is wrong in the family system, something needs to be changed.
Child and adolescent psychotherapists are most depressing when parents bring their child with a request to “fix” what is broken in him. And find a button to turn on and off the modes they need. They are extremely reluctant to participate in the process or even completely sabotage. But children themselves do not break, they only reflect the troubles of the family system. It is possible to “repair” a child, but he will not survive in an unfavorable environment, he will “break” even more. This is perhaps the biggest problem in child psychotherapy.
The fact that the parents themselves came to “repair” is my little joy. They will carry out prophylaxis – and there will be no further problems for them and their child. And if they do, they will surely find a way to cope – on their own or with the help of a specialist.
It is difficult to predict the future, but I am almost sure that this kid will form a reliable attachment, adequate self-esteem, and if he turns to a psychotherapist in the future, it will not be to work out childhood traumas. Though…