How to Better Understand Your Child

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From Greater Good: According to pediatrician Claudia Gould, parents and professionals can better understand children’s behavior by paying attention to the meaning behind it.

“In a developmental-relational approach, you begin to see the person in front of you—no matter what age they are—in the context of their present and past relationships. Our issues don’t just arise out of nowhere, they come with a story, and learning the story of a person’s development—both the science and the individual’s unique experiences—is critical to helping people. It shifts the focus from treating the individual to treating the person in his or her context. And it shifts the focus from a person’s behavior to looking at the meaning underlying the behavior.

I used to be a practicing pediatrician on the front lines of care with families. I’ve always been interested in promoting healthy development in children, but in the early 2000s, I noticed the standard of care shifting to medicating youth. I, too, felt pressure to diagnose and medicate, but I knew it just wasn’t always right when it came to children’s mental health…”

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