This guest blog post was written by RDI® certified consultant Amber Hasbun.
“Ugh… My video was due yesterday.”
As RDI parent you’ve been there before. You’ve gone through the cycle of dread, blame, and feeling of wash of insecurities that can arise when a video is due – “How do I look?”, “How do I sound?”, “Do I always do that with my hands?!”. An internal monologue of judgment and second guessing. When we feel like we are not going to be enough, procrastination happens. The video we know will be helpful and really want to do, gets pushed to the next day. Then the next. The cycle sometimes feels endless.
I’ve been there too. When I think of needing to record myself for work, a wash of anxiety rushes through my body. So much that you’d think this was the first video ever recorded of myself and my work. Sadly, it’s not. Between work and school I’ve sat in front of a video recorder many, many times. Yet knowing that someone else will be watching it, offering me feedback… terrifying. It’s terrifying because it’s vulnerable. I’m putting myself out there to be watched. To be judged. Even when I know the person reviewing the work will be compassionate, kind, and have my best interest at heart, I still have a tendency to procrastinate. To wait till the last minute or to offer excuses as to why it hasn’t gotten done.
Yet it is the fear, this risk in vulnerability that I think of every time I ask my client to submit a video. I have empathy because I know the struggle. I’ve been steeped in it many times throughout my journey in this field.
I’ve gotten myself through these moments – mustering up the ability to hit ‘record’ and pushing ‘upload’, by recognizing the common humanity in this process. I am not alone in my fear.
As an RDI consultant I recognize the value, growth, and deeper understanding of navigating the complexities in the guide-apprentice relationship that video review has to offer. When I see procrastination I know my client is steeped in their fear about this part of the process. If it’s not voiced or I don’t find a way to attend to this emotion, the dance of pursue-avoid, assign-put off, will persist. If not directly attended to, clients will miss a the powerful learning opportunities that video review creates.
So what can we do instead?
1. Explore the emotions that come up. Talk through all the parts. “I feel like a bad mom.” “Part of me feels silly.” “I don’t know if it fits me.” “Part of me doesn’t feel like I am doing this right.” I will have these conversations as often as needed because they are important conversations to have. You are not alone in your fear, therefore you should not have to sit alone as you contend with that fear.
2. Lift yourself up. Part of this process means recognizing both the areas of strength and the need for more growth. Yet, parents often only review videos spotlighting the ‘what went wrong’ or ‘what they would have liked to have happen.’ Only looking at videos through a deficits lens perpetuates fears of video reviews and more importantly devalues yourself as a parent. Instead, look at the video through the eyes of a friend. Acknowledging what went well and what you nailed is just as important, if not more so than calling out what hasn’t happened or what’s ‘in progress’.
3. Trust the process. In working with families such as yours, I can tell you this, it gets easier. The filming and video review process, the art of engagement, even those really big words, will start to feel familiar and more comfortable. Dr. Gutsein is known for saying “RDI is a marathon, not a sprint.” Meaningful gains take time. Unburden yourself of the expectation that you have to get it right away. You don’t. Mastery when applied to human development is an illusion.
4. Recognize each moment for what it is, part of the journey in your commitment to be the ‘just right’ parent for your child.
Enjoy the moment. This might have started out as an assignment from your consultant, but in the end, this is your family, this is your life. You are capturing your beautiful and imperfect moments with your child.
It’s love that got you here. Enjoy your love.
Amber is a Certified RDI consultant, LMFT, and practices at Family Guidance & Therapy Center of Southern California. To stay connected with Amber visit (www.loveandautism.com & www.familyguidanceandtherapy.com)