How to Better Understand Your Child

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FromĀ 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 youā€”no matter what age they areā€”in the context of their present and past relationships. Our issues donā€™t just arise out of nowhere, they come with a story, and learning the story of a personā€™s developmentā€”both the science and the individualā€™s unique experiencesā€”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 personā€™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. Iā€™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 wasnā€™t always right when it came to childrenā€™s mental health…”

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