Happy New Year to each of you! I do not know about you, but I have been doing some reflecting! That could be good or bad, right? Thinking about making some changes that hopefully help my days run a little smoother, provide me with more free time, maybe a little more revenue if I find someone to work with me. There is my hiring pitch right there! Who is in? 10-15 hours a week? In all seriousness, I am hoping to hire an SLP or 2. I have been solo for 8 years now and like I said in this post, us older folks need younger folks.
Anywho… In the New Year, I have been thinking about my relationships too. Why? Relationships are really a large part of the foundation of our being and existence, right? The relationships we have with the coffee barista (I am a fan of coffee!); the cashier at the local gas station, our family, our co-workers, ourselves. And, for me and many of you, the relationships we have with the families and the children that we provide therapy for. Two of my previous bosses were Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (mentioned in Social Emotional: An SLP Perspective) as are 2 of my friends. I have learned a lot from these amazing ladies. I think it is important to take into account the social emotional component of each family unit that we come across. Just as I think the same is important in our personal lives.
I love my family and regularly wish I had more time to spend with them. Not too mention trying to be present when we do have time together. Life gets busy. Life happens for each of us. In the past couple of years I have been putting more family time into my life, more fun into my life and have used my suitcase more! It is not necessarily a resolution, it is a mindset and thinking about ways to give myself more time with people. This means energy level too which needs to be factored in. The introvert needs alone time to regroup so he or she does not combust. Ha! Trust me! (Here is a book I have read which includes a section on parenting an introvert or extroverted child and other resources on this topic.).
Who has Amazon Prime? Raise your hand! I know. I am behind the times. First thing on my docket this past week. (Proof of my first purchase!) Why? When I need items for therapy or a personal item, then I am not driving all around when that is what my job already entails. Which gives more time to think about my job, and decreases stress. Next on my docket…Hiring someone. Why? The extra revenue would be nice but so would having another SLP to bounce ideas off of. I was having dinner with friends the other night and it was interesting to have the idea put to me like this… We should be sharing our knowledge with others otherwise it is useless and the knowledge goes nowhere; it stops with us. Interesting how an idea can be presented and it just makes sense in that moment.
I do my best to share what I know and learn with my families. It is our job especially in early intervention. Sharing with other professionals is a bit more challenging as we travel from home to home and often play phone tag. I work at a clinic 3 hours a week which breaks it up a bit for me. This allows me an opportunity for increased networking and learning from and sharing with other professionals.
We form relationships with our kids we see too. It is not always about talking. For many of my kids, initially I put less emphasis on talking and more on building that trust; building that relationship. Why? Because, if you want that child to do speech tasks that are difficult, his performance will increase if he trusts you. If you have reinforcing items that child is more likely to approach you or to figure out how to ask for more of something. And, often times that boils down to being consistent so the child knows what to expect from you. Build the trust, build the foundation, build in the fun. From there the communication and/or interaction will come in whatever form that child may be capable of.
The same goes for our families. Their needs to be a level of trust in that relationship too. We are working with their children! Sometimes my therapy sessions are not about doing anything with the child. My SLP hat might be put aside to listen to a parent. I might be helping that parent to work with their child. We need to figure out ways for parents to work with their children within their daily routine. Life gets busy.
My challenge to parents reading this… Has your SLP (or another therapist) given you a suggestion you have not incorporated yet? How can We Make It Better? And, on the other continuum, are you doing so much that it leaves little to nothing for you. If you are not filling your own bucket, then it is hard to fill your child’s. My bucket filling experiences recently included taking myself out to breakfast. Coffee with a friend. And, one of many skills my sister taught me…Buying flowers for myself. Just some ideas to think about!
Per usual, you are going to find links to some of my favorite resources (or resources I researched for the post) in this post to use with our kids. And perfect timing…We have a Licensed Counselor as our guest post this month. Look for it on January 23! If you are new to my site and are wondering how to receive my posts via email I am so glad you asked!