Acceptance in therapy is two fold. Firstly, it is the endeavor to completely embrace one’s child for who they are and for any differences they may have. Secondly, it is understanding and being patient with the therapy that a child is undergoing. Acceptance is an easy enough notion to understand but is rather difficult to imbibe. We all face situations where we find it hard to accept the reality in front of us. Our expectations, hopes and desires make it arduous for us to adapt to what is in front of us.
Therefore, I am completely empathetic towards parents who find it difficult to accept that their child requires different coping mechanisms to go through life. All parents have certain desires and goals that they want their children to achieve and some find it tough to understand that it may not go their way. There’s one thing that I tell all my clients, the first step is acceptance and if you have taken that first step to come for therapy, you have already accomplished a lot.
Many parents tell me that they wish they would have come sooner and of course, that is definitely better for the child. But the fact that they have taken that step to get that extra support for their child is saying a lot. Once parents accept their child as he/she is, they will come to learn and love that person even more. All children, with additional needs or not, thrive when they are accepted for the people that they are and for the interests and desires they may have. Children learn that when they are accepted, they are respected.
The other aspect of acceptance is understanding and being patient with the therapy that your child is undergoing. Any psychological therapeutic process is just what it is, a process. It goes through ups and downs, has its own trials and errors and most importantly, takes time. Sometimes different therapies work differently for a variety of children. It is about being patient with that process and understanding that every child will progress at their own time. The therapeutic process can consist of a variety of techniques to enable the child to develop better coping mechanisms in order to live and work in the world around them.
Accepting your child completely is very important to their growth and their emotional well being. Take one small step each day in moving towards that goal of embracing your child with their strengths and weaknesses and you will see the difference.