CLAIRE WAS THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE 3-YEAR-OLD GIRL. She was a healthy and happy little girl who had not presented any prior issues or concerns. She had a sweet demeanor and positive relationship with her parents. Then the family had a transition: a new baby sister arrived for Claire. Claire's parents, who had always known to handle and relate to her, saw themselves at a loss in their parenting roles.
Claire was suddenly refusing to sleep in her own room, was presenting insecurity in her behavior, was complaining about going to school, demonstrating anxiety and being difficult in listening and obeying simple tasks.
Both parents were highly educated and worked full time, but when they were home, their
daughters were the primary focus
in their lives.
Deep down they just wanted to know they were raising a good child with a solid foundation. They were willing to be proactive and play a role in the solution, but needed some guidance to understand the best route to take.
For this family, the best fit for our therapy plan was a combination of individual play therapy sessions with Claire along with parenting sessions with both her mom and dad. In the play therapy sessions, Claire was able to process her feelings, express her fears, work out her insecurities, and make sense of all the emotions involved in the changes she was dealing within her life as she was becoming a big sister, starting preschool, learning a new routine, and establishing her new role in the family dynamic.
During parenting sessions, Claire's parents found a safe space where they were heard. They shared their concerns, asked questions, and received guidance. Her parents became a wonderful and pivotal pieces in Claire's progress: they gained new tools and strategies for caring for Claire's unique needs and also for balancing their work with personal life.
Over time, Claire became sweeter, happier, and more confident in herself. Her parents reported that going to school as well as having Claire sleep in her own bed became easier tasks. She was learning how to face her fears and frustrations in a healthy way.