Your Child is not a Problem to Solve!

“मन – day की बात SpecialSaathi के साथ”

Enriching Family Interactions with Theater Arts

A therapy mindset, constant stream of information on problems and challenges, and many other factors can get parents into a constant problem-solving mode! Your mindset matters! I was delighted to hear from two parents last week that after being in the LIFESMART group for a few months, they have started relaxing and starting focusing more on rich interactions with their child. Remember, your child will develop for life. So will you.

The question to consider is:

How can you bond with your child, have enjoyable interactions and support his development?

Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) offers a pathway. Theater arts provide a set of tools for engaging and enjoyable interactions between family members. The five tools of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) developed by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar include movement and dance, music and rhythm, storytelling, drama, and arts and crafts. Parents of babies and young children intuitively sing to their child, move with their child, tell stories to their child, use dramatic expressions to interact with their child, and do arts and crafts with their child. So we have all encountered TAHD elements in one way or another.

Enhancing Family Interactions: The TAHD Way
The ingredients are familiar but how do we use them in a mindful way to achieve different outcomes?
How can we weave in TAHD throughout the day to enrich interactions between the parent and child?
I am starting with this question in the second part of our 100-Days of Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) Lab to shift attention from “fixing” the child’s challenges to creating the right family interactions to help the child grow in the long-term. Join the TAHD 100-Day Lab here.

1.TAHD is not a drama course!
It is a way of teaching, learning, and living!

2. Your child is not a problem to solve.
TAHD gives a way of engaging your child in a more joyful way while addressing varied learning and development needs.

3. Evolve a more intuitive parenting style
One of Ananth’s therapists used to say that much of parenting is subconscious. It is very difficult to parent with ease with thousands of objectives and challenges running around in our brains all the time. TAHD can help you discover a more intuitive approach while addressing your child’s challenges.

A Guided Tour of TAHD
We are starting from Day 51 this week. As my goal in starting this group was to encourage parents to think about TAHD and support them, I will organize my daily shares as a guided tour. While TAHD is new to me, I have used elements of the framework for years because of our Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) experience, Waldorf/Enki education experience, and because of Ananth’s Bharatanatyam experience.

Since LIFESMART is my way of looking at development of neurodivergent (and neurotypical!) children and adults, I will use LIFESMART elements too in my presentation
L: Learning daily | I: Interests | F: Family interactions | E: Engagement with Community

Worksheets and Resources
I will also start sharing a few worksheets and resources that I am developing for parents to think about TAHD and its application in a systematic way. Please review and respond to posts when you can as it will help me develop such resources for parents

About Our Journey

Ananth started his journey with RASA (Ramana Sunritya Aalaya in November 2020). I discovered TAHD and decided to do the four levels of TAHD courses to help parents learn TAHD, work with TAHD professionals, and realize the benefits of RASA programs. Dr. Ambika Kameshwar is featured as the changemaker for February. Read about her journey here.

I completed level 1 of my training this week.

Many parents get certified in Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) etc. Until I found TAHD, I was not moved to get certified in anything. Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) is the only approach I have been moved to get certified in even though I know nothing about arts. I do know something about parenting neurodivergent children and I think TAHD is a pathway for more joyful parenting.

Dear parents,

My message to you:

Yes, you can! It is possible to experience joy and happiness while parenting neurodivergent children while addressing their challenges and putting in enormous effort every day for many years. It is question of how you see your role as a parent, what you prioritize, and where you invest your time and resources. Choose well!

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