Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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REDUCING ANXIETY
There is a group called First Eleven Months (FEM) that generally meets in conjunction with pediatric clinics. Their goal is to enable new parents to feel less anxious. As a general rule, they have found that parents today are well educated in child development. What seems to be the main issue is what the FEM group calls “leading preoccupations”. These preoccupations may be products of experiences the parent had as a child, of guilt trips we put on ourselves because both parents are working, or of adult stresses from our marriages, our jobs, or other issues. Another perspective also has to do with current social issues. In some cycles, we’re prone to give the child extra space, but in other time periods, we’re more disciplined or hovering in our parenting style.

Becoming a parent has a powerful effect on any person. It suddenly places you in an entirely different role, no longer simply responsible for yourself. Marriages must be totally redefined, shifting from maintaining the status quo to a richer commitment to the new life you have created. It’s such a massive responsibility that in our deepest selves we become scared and angry when the least little thing seems to thwart our efforts.

A part of the FEM group’s process is videotaping parents with their child before the beginning of their series of meetings. Parents might be appalled at their observed behavior with their child. We see it at the school in a constant “picking” at the child over inconsequential issues, in a failure to discipline appropriately, or in a lack of bonding. From the videotape, mothers and fathers in the FEM group help each other realize their preoccupations. You can watch yourself in your mind’s eye to understand how you are behaving with your child.

Group leaders of the FEM groups emphasize a baby’s effort to regulate herself. Every baby comes into the world with different levels of impulse, different sensitivities, and different abilities to regulate their state. A child’s way of making sure his needs are met raises powerful responses in the parent. This is nature’s way of making sure the baby survives. If we can recognize the child’s need and simply respond to it, a lot of the power struggle goes away. It seems to be a form of communication, where the child can express “I need to feel in control”, or “I need to feel secure”. In each case, the parent can find ways to help the child understand “I am recognized and appreciated”, “I can renew myself”, “I am able to influence what happens to me”, and “I can assert myself so I feel safe”. When the baby’s deepest needs are being met and the parent is confident of being able to parent this new life, the unique way that little children have fun with their parents begins to emerge, anxiety is reduced, and lots of joy is available to the whole family.

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