As said on the interacting and observing naturally page, you are making choices throughout the day that help your child develop. What you DO is only part of the picture. Understanding why you do what you do uncovers your priorities. Understanding how effective you think a particular strategy is uncovers which strategies are working and which need could be changed up.

You can uncover priorities and strategies in two ways. The first way is to “Do It Yourself,” or DIY, thinking about your strategies on your own. Or, you can join forces with your EI professional to discuss your strategies. Whether you are doing it on your own or with your EI professional, it’s okay if the answers don’t come right away. Take your time to think things through.

DIY: Uncovering Priorities and Strategies

In Interacting and Observing Naturally, you identified strategies you used to help your child learn. Take one strategy at a time and think about:

  • Why did you choose to do what you did?
  • What did you hope your child would do or learn?

Your answers tell what you think is important for your child to develop. What you think is important can be “big picture” ideas like being included, having joy, and feeling understood. Your responses may also include specific abilities you want your child to develop – to do, understand, or feel. Whatever you said to yourself about what’s important to you are your priorities, without any need to change or say in a certain way.

Based on what’s important to you, ask yourself, how effective was that strategy? Your answer to this question lets you identify how well the strategy is working.

You can use these questions to think about a bunch of strategies you thought about throughout your day or in the moment based on how your child reacted. Maybe your child did something you didn’t think they could do. Maybe your child responded in a way you were less than happy about. In either of these “surprise” moments, you can ask yourself what strategy you used and think about the above questions.

After uncovering priorities and strategies own your own, you may want to share any a-ha’s with your EI professional.

Joining Your EI Professional: Uncovering Priorities and Strategies 

If you and your EI professional are uncovering priorities and strategies together, you can get ready for the conversation by knowing that…

  • You and your EI professional will talk about the strategies you used when interacting with your child and your EI professional was observing.
  • Your EI professional will ask you why you’re using the strategy. They are asking to truly know why you’re picking certain things to do. They want to understand. They are not criticizing your choices or being judgmental.
  • The point is to understand your thinking. That way, you and your EI professional can honor and use those strategies that are already working well, tweak any strategies that you might want to change up and, as needed, identify new strategies. To do that, you and your EI professional need to understand your reasons for what you do and how well you think it’s working.