Usually Mondays aren’t something to be celebrated.
BUT today is.
It’s a brand new year and to commemorate this wonderful milestone we have a week of extracts from Gill Butler’s ‘Observing Children and Families’.
We have received nothing but positive and inspiring feedback so stay tuned this week! We’ll be sure to keep you intrigued by picking some exciting, but not too exciting (you’ll have to buy the book for the really good stuff) snippets from this awfully good text.
In this first extract, Gill explains the importance of understanding how we see others.
In order to be fully attuned, we also need to have some understanding of ourselves and, most importantly, the ‘lens’ through which we see others. This ‘lens’ describes the way we each see and understand the world; it is made up from our conscious and unconscious experiences; our values, beliefs, memories and expectations. The ‘lens’ is the filter of our assumptions about others and how we think they should behave based on our own experience and individual view. When we observe others we expect to see them behave in certain ways and we measure their experience by our own. For example, observing a young baby crying may be experienced by the observer as a reaction to their presence in the room; the assumption being that the baby’s behaviour may be linked to them. There could be all sorts of other reasons for the baby to cry and careful reflection and analysis may help the observer to understand this behaviour; just like understanding why the birds are singing. It is important to note that sometimes this ‘understanding’ of others can be elusive and we are left not knowing (Bion 1962) why a certain behaviour or feeling has been experienced. As we saw in the previous chapter, this state of not knowing and uncertainty is an important part of the process of understanding children’s experience.
Her approachable and accessible tone is only one of the few reasons this text is so worthwhile.
See our website for details and we’ll be posting tomorrow with another extract for you.