Sunday, May 3, 2009

Doing the best we can do

Hello! This post has moved to our website. 

You can find it here:

See you there!


Annie said...

Years ago I read that any given time everyone is doing the best they can.

That's kind of a hard one, though...that philosophy really helps me be understanding and forgiving. But, we need to be striving to be better; and some things are absolutely wrong. So, you can understand someone, maybe, but you have to hope for something better.

For example, your little guy couldn't control his meltdown. Well, that's understandable. But when my foster son has a meltdown and is yelling obscenities and damaging property, I can figure he may be doing the best he can do - but it isn't good enough! He HAS to learn to be more regulated or he won't be able to live with us any longer, as it terrifies my younger children.

I don't know where to go with this....expect maybe to understand...and then LATER, try to help the other person move to healing.

Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT said...

It is a paradox, isn't it? But the way out is through being present with our child in that moment. That connection is what will regulate the child at a deep, cellular level, so that he'll be able to do better. If you believe in that moment that your child is doing something on purpose or that he can do better but is choosing not to do better, you will remain where you are in that stuck place.

I know it is scary and I know I'm asking you to do something that is really difficult on many levels. But this is the path to freedom for everyone. He must learn to regulate before he can make better choices when he's upset.

Yes, understand, connect... put yourself into his shoes. How bad would it have to get for you to act the way he is acting? How awful must this be for him? Have you ever had something really awful happen to you and maybe not handle it so well? Connect with him and his pain. And later, when everyone is regulated, help him connect with himself. Help him to recognize his early signs of dysregulation so that he can start to make different choices before he reaches the point of no return.

When he can do better, he will do better. I truly believe that. I've seen it and experienced it in my own house with my older son. The healing is just amazing. Hold the vision.