I work with a child and the  Dad is home with her all day. During our session he sits in a chair and watches, occasionally asking a question from the background.  Today we had a conversation and he said; “he feels “useless.”  I understood clearly. He says he is waiting for a spot to open up for his daughter in school. I only halfway believe him.   He watches his daughter but does not engage but to test her knowledge of colors or numbers to to tell her what to do or what not to do. Waiting on anything can be frustrating.  I wonder if he will ever feel complete and at ease about his daughter. He is only concerned with her future, I’m not sure if he realizes this, but the current time is when she needs him the most. The current time for her learning is to PLAY. I have invited him into play and he attempts to play, but will go directly to correcting her in repetition style, she tunes him out and ignores him.  He announces this is why she need school.

Is this a relationship that can grow? Will this Dad ever realize that he is missing opportunities to build a relationship with is daughter?

Does any of this resonate with you? Do you feel like you are watching, witnessing and waiting? Do you feel USELESS?

There are many ways to participate, so you NEVER feel like you are waiting on anything for your child. The waiting game is a way of giving your power away, and can lead to blaming someone or some process.

Here are 4 tips to use if you a parent who does not play naturally:

  1. Sit close with your child
  2. Ask an open ended question; “why did that happen?
  3. Keep your voice neutral
  4. Only listen to the answer

Happy relationship building!