Having worked thirty plus years with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, on up through the early elementary grades, i found myself to basically be filling in for a working parent, inotherwords, substitute parenting. My role is as 'educarer,' a combination of caring for and educating. My intention is to foster the well-being of the child/ren i am in the presence of, be that in a household, pre-school, day care center.
Every child is different. At the same time, there are some universal likenesses, which are indicative of all humans. The focus of being around an infant is to perceive its needs, which are unspoken, yet conveyed somehow. And so it is as the child grows, gains language and independent movement. So too the thought process develops. As does the personality and Ego evolve. Being in tune, connected, is how a parent picks up the baby's cues. Trial and error is also a part of finding out if this is what the child is 'saying' or meaning. This is applicable for adults as well, "am i understaning, hearing you correctly?"
Children do not grow and arrive. They are constantly changing and moving forward. Just as we as parents sense we have caught on to what was recently new, the child is further morphing into another premier stage, without warning or any signs that might serve as our preparation. Knowing the average sequence of stages in one's mind, intellectually, does not touch what the actual experience brings.
Typically anyone can give birth to a baby which automatically makes one a parent. To parent, 24/7 for years and years, is quite a different phenomenon. All kinds of unimagined, unexpected challenges arise, for both parent and child.
My passion is the understanding of both parent and child. Helping to bridge the apparent gaps, the unreasonable human responses that arise for both parties is what i thrive on engaging with.
It is well known that parents are the first teachers of a child. It is also a realization that our children are our teachers. The child i was closest to in my work with children once said to me around age four, "you are my teacher and i am your teacher." Wise little guy. . . . . i had been in awe of his skills at the time of meeting him at age eleven months. Play was his work. He was constantly experiencing his sense of purpose through his play.
Regarding the challenges: it is said we get the parents we need to be with. So too, we get the child/ren we are meant to be with. Children and parents present one another with many joys and many tests and much new territory within oneself to embark on. The same can be said for partners. Once the honeymoon is over, the real work begins.
My role is to make sense of both the parent and the child's worlds, realities, needs, emotions. A large part of the process is to be in touch with oneself, a kind of inner communication. To then communicate with the other. The two of you, child and parent, can then make sense out of what initially was stuck, conflicted, overwhelming, frustrating, foreign, etc. i am here as a bridge to help close the gap, to support parents to pick up dropped stitches, to support the mendiing of holes that we inherit culturally and ancestrally.