As I got on the tube out on the water I told them to "hit it", the boat started going fast with me dragged behind it. I held my arms straight it didn't feel right, but that's what I was told to do, so I stood up and leaned back...and immediately flipped over into the water. Hmmmm, what was I not doing right? I was told I was the first to end up in the water that day. Determined I tried again - this time I listened a bit more to my body and I held on for a little bit, but when I was feeling confident again I held out my arms and leaned back and again I flipped immediately. While the water was refreshing, my ego was bruised. How could I not do what all of the kids were easily doing? I decided to take a break, watch the others and learn from the pros.
As I watched my young nieces take turns managing the jet ski tube with little effort and enjoying the ride, I realized that no one was leaning back or keeping their arms straight. Instead they were all paying attention to what works for them, balancing, and rebalancing accordingly. I decided to give it another shot without worrying about the rules of how I was told to do it. I got out on the water, experimented and listened to my own body, and low and behold - it was as easy as everyone had told me. I stood doing what was right for me, leaning a bit forward with my arms pulled in at my side. I never flipped once and it was awesomely exhilarating.
As I sat on the boat afterwards contemplating my journey, I realized how similar it is to running a home therapy program. Many parents come to me worried that they are not running their program "right." They want to hear the perfect techniques to get their child to engage and grow. I was very much like this when I started my training, I was very frustrated that my teachers would not just tell me the "right" way to do things. I now know that what they were trying to teach me all those years ago was to simply trust myself, experiment, and pay attention to what works best. I wish they would have just told me what I am now telling you. If you take the techniques you read here, or from going to programs, or reading books and you are using them and they don't feel comfortable to you, It may be because you are trying too hard to do the "right" thing.
Growing a trusting, inspiring relationship with your child cannot just be taught from books or other peoples rules. It is also about trusting yourself, that you are an expert on your child and what works best for your family. No one is watching you (unless you want to book a video feedback), so relax, have fun, pay attention to what works with you and your child - balance, rebalance and enjoy the ride!