The Parent is the Key – Circle of Security International

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The Parent is the Key

  • Post category:Facilitators

A mother asks me if her five year old having ?accidents? was a struggle on the top of the Circle or on the bottom of the Circle. She shares how awful she feels for her son because it happens 3-4 times a week, and he feels so embarrassed.

?I try to help him by reminding him and checking with him before going anywhere. I?m always asking him if he needs to go. But it doesn?t help. It only makes him mad.?

I ask this mother if, when her son wets himself, he is exploring on the top of the Circle or needing connection on the bottom of the Circle.

She says,? ?He?s on the bottom of the Circle. He seems to be really anxious and worried about the bathroom.? We go on to talk about how these check-in questions are examples of ways to support his exploration on the top of the Circle.

But if she believes he is on the bottom of the Circle what does he need from her? She picks ?organize my feelings.? We talk about what that looks like. ?I need to stop worrying so much,” she says. “My anxiety, I think, is making him anxious.?

The next week, this mother shares with the group that she has tried to relax and stop obsessing about her son wetting himself. She also stopped asking him about using the bathroom. ?She proudly reports that her son had only one accident that week. And the following week she reports no accidents.

When parents change the way they respond to their child?s needs for care and confidence, a struggling child can be transformed.

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