Be the magnet: a great way to think about your role in your child’s development

By Alive & Well

Last week I met someone who completely changed the way I think about how I interact with Mr 9 in the playroom.

First, a quick recap: his play-based Son-Rise development program has two main parts:

  1. Bonding through love and acceptance – we want Mr 9 to know that we love him as he is, and we love what he loves. We want him to experience the best that humans can offer, without the judgments and impatience.
  2. Inspiring growth through his own motivations – believing in him, wanting him to learn and develop but without any pressure to do so. We want to be playfully persistent with him when he reaches a place of discomfort and isn’t sure if he wants to take a step towards it, in order to grow a new skill.

When I think about my role during those ‘inspiring growth’ times, I’ve been thinking of it like a hand on his back, keeping a firm pressure to both support and encourage him.

In those moments when he’s not sure whether he wants to grow his flexibility, allow my idea, give me a turn, share a moment with me, or allow my hard-won point in the game, I’ve kept my hand – metaphorically – on his back.

And then I met someone who gave me a totally different perspective

Aaron Deland (right)Aaron Deland is an autism expert from the U.S. He’s an energetic, thoughtful, loving man with an incredible affinity with kids on the Spectrum.

Last week, he worked with Mr 9 – and me. And I had a real ‘aha’ moment when he explained how he does what he does.

“I want to entice kids towards me like a magnet,” he said. “I’m in front of them, showing them that it’s awesome out here.”

I watched him play with Mr 9, encouraging him to walk towards his discomforts and challenges – and he did, because he loved the pay-off, which was being able to have more fun with Aaron.

I love this idea. Less like a pushy mum, more like a magnet. I’m going to give it a shot.


What about you? Does this resonate for you?