Welcome to Five-Minute Reflections! Approximately once per week I will post here a new quote, question, or idea for you to spend some time contemplating and/or journaling about. The goal is that by spending a few minutes thinking through these ideas, it may help you gain insight and perspective and help you identify your priorities and values as both a person and as a parent. Enjoy!
“Intrusion and support are two fundamentally different processes: support is about the needs of the child, intrusion is about the needs of the parent.”
~ Madeline Levine
This reflection taps into our self-awareness regarding interactions we have with our children and others we provide care for. Support and intrusion can often appear very similar, but they are distinct types of engagement derived from different spaces. Understanding the difference between the two can help establish a framework for healthy differentiation and boundaries between ourselves and others.
However, this quote also touches on something bigger for parents and caregivers to consider, which is: how do we get our own needs met so that we aren’t placing this responsibility on our children? So when you reflect on this idea about the difference between support and intrusion, also consider your own support systems and self-care routines. What do you need for yourself so that your interactions with those you care for are primarily characterized by support rather than intrusion?
Spend approximately 5 minutes or more journaling or otherwise reflecting on this idea. Try not to control your thoughts- just write down the first things that come into your mind regarding the quote. There are no right or wrong answers. This is for your personal use only and can provide interesting insights into your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Pay attention to whatever arises and give it space to carry forward with you. The goal of this activity is to help you gain insight and perspective and help you identify your priorities and values as a person and as a parent. If you feel stuck, consider using some of the "Optional Reflection Prompts" below to help structure your thoughts.
Optional Reflection Prompts:
What is your immediate reaction to this quote?
What feelings does this quote bring up for you? Do those feelings change as you sit with it?
Does this quote bring to mind any specific experiences you have had? How can you learn from those experiences?
Is this quote something you agree with? Disagree with? Is it mixed?
Is this quote something you would like to carry with you? If so, what is one way you can incorporate it's sentiments into your day?
Disclaimer: This activity does not constitute therapy or other psychological treatment or service and participation does not constitute a client-therapist relationship. While these exercises may resonate with you, they are not tailored to your personal needs. If you would like to work with Dr. Cahalan and are located in New York State, please email or call (516) 670- 5628. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.