It's been a while since my initial post on going into joint therapy with PK. I am happy to report that the therapy has been going extremely well. We started in November 2011, and it's still ongoing. I have to admit that therapy days are tough because I need to get both of us to the clinic on time, and that involves getting PK dressed, fed, and teeth brushed before we leave. The hubby helps out as much before he leaves for work, but since our season doesn't start until later in the morning, I still end up doing a lot of the getting ready work. I'm just happy that the hubby can help out.
Since our session starts later in the morning, PK and I do some arts abd crafts before we leave, to kill some time. She really a enjoys this, and it's sometimes hard to get her out the door when she's too much into her artwork.
Once we make it out the door, I end up having to carry her to the subway station and then from the station to the clinic. This is no small feat when it involves carrying a growing child, my big-ass backpack, and hers.
Still, we manage, and the sessions are very enjoyable. We spend about 30 minutes playing, and then the last 30 minutes are spent talking to the child psychologist about things that stood out during playtime. Playtime is led by PK, and I have to admit that following someone's lead can be challenging. Still, it's a great learning experience. PK is a wonderful teacher, and I am amazed by the creativity that she displays when we're in that room. There are tons if different toys in the room, though she always likes to focus on a few toys, playing a lot of the same games.
I must confess that I usually cringe when she wants to play "Mommy Daddy", the game whereby she pretends to be the mommy taking care of several babies. I am usually the daddy. Or the big sister.
During our initial sessions, I often found myself bored out of my mind, and vet sleepy. It wasn't until I started reading a book called "1-2-3 Magic", which was recommended by my sister, that things really started to turn around.
He premise of this book is that there are start behaviors and stop behaviors. Stop behaviors are countered with counting. Count the child to three, waiting 5 seconds between counts. If the child doesn't stop misbehaving at three, give the child a time out. The trick is to be consistent, and to be calm. Don't utter threats in-between counts. Don't get mad. Leave the child alone during their time-out.
The one thing that really hit things home for me was when the author described patents losing their cool on their child( as being nothing more than an adult tantrum. Wow. What an eye-opener. As soon as I read that and stated employing the 1-2-3, things took a turn for the better. I was more patient. And I was swifter with my punishments without losing my cool. I went from evil lady who was always on PK's case to someone that was much more pleasant to be around. It changed things a lot. Not just my relationship to PK, but also my other relationships.
As a result, our therapy sessions finally started to bring me clarity. I was finally able to reap the full benefits of my sessions with PK. I was able to get more into the playing. I worried less about things. We started having fun together and started enjoying each other's company. For the first time since PK was born, I didn't feel jealousy toward the hubby over how much PK preferred his company over mine.
Our therapy is ongoing, and as the child psychiatrist put it, now that my big hurdles with PK have been overcome, we can finally focus on healing. I am grateful that I am finally able to right my relationship with PK, even if it took me almost 4 years. Better late than never.