At a time when many of us find ourselves in a different place, possibly physically as well as mentally, our world and circumstances can change depending on how we choose to look at things. French critic Alphonse Karr once said: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Sometimes, what we really need is to see things from a different point of view. We could adjust our perspective, explore new ideas, or put ourselves in someone else’s shoes for a moment. This fresh perspective benefits our own wellbeing and can make us aware of, and think how to possibly support others who are struggling, too.
See the world from another’s viewpoint.
Part of being a therapeutic foster parent is to have that ability to understand what the young person in your care might be feeling; how they perceive the world; how their experiences have shaped them.
See the world from that child’s viewpoint.
One of the key elements of our therapeutic SMILE model is Environment. Children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences often operate from a fear-based world view and therefore find it difficult to trust any caregiver. High structure through consistent boundaries, held in place by nurturing yet firm parents, is something the child can depend on. Over time, the child experiences this structure as dependable and predictable; the opposite of their previous experiences.
High structure can seem quite cold and clinical which is why the careful balance of high structure AND high nurture is so important. Often children’s experience, which is imprinted on their brain and view of the world, is that they are not lovable or liked. So often, lots of nurture is at odds with the child’s experience and they can seemingly push away. However, over time and with the right balance, the child’s experience of high nurture does begin to change their perception.