Have you ever noticed that therapists have a lot in common with grandparents?
Over the weekend, I was preparing a talk I’m giving this week to a group of speech-language pathology graduate students. I was invited to speak because these are students who know a lot about the therapy side of things, but don’t yet have hands-on clinical experience, and their instructors thought that hearing a parent’s perspective would be helpful to them.
As I was preparing my remarks, I started thinking about the role that therapists play in the lives of my children, and it dawned on me: they’re a lot like grandparents.
- Being with both therapists and grandparents is a lot of fun for the kids. They get their undivided attention, they play a lot of games, and the therapists smile at them a lot.
- Neither therapists nor grandparents are involved in anything other than very high-level only-if-it’s-absolutely-necessary discipline. The unpleasant stuff is left for Mom and Dad to handle at home.
- Spending time with the therapist or grandparent is a treat, limited to small intervals.
- Both therapists and grandparents are invested in the well-being of the children in their care, and act accordingly.
- Because of their valuable knowledge and experience, both therapists and grandparents have suggestions – most of them good 🙂 – about ways to help our kids.
- Both therapists and grandparents celebrate even the smallest of my children’s achievements.
- Both therapists and grandparents are awesome!
Of course, there’s one more way that therapists and grandparents are alike: they don’t have the full-time experience of parenting my particular children, and they don’t have the the ultimate responsibility for raising them, either.
But I’m glad that my children have BOTH grandparents AND therapists, and I consider them a valuable part of our village.