Here’s a colourful Moffle version of a visual I use in conversations with children about what they might need to help them to grow up healthy & happy.
In therapy, many children have told me that they were ‘not looked after properly’ by their birth parents. Often, they have heard this phrase but struggle to understand what it really means, especially if they have few conscious memories of their past. Or if they have experienced a lot of neglect & a chaotic home environment, they may have very little idea of the ‘good enough’ care that they need & deserve. I’ve found that creating pictures together of what all children need, can make it easier to begin to explore what they may have missed out on early in life.
Sometimes, cutting out images from magazines & making collages, drawing, or building scenes in a sand tray are helpful. For some children who struggle to initiate or come up with ideas, or are very worried about getting things wrong, a pre-prepared visual like this one can help warm the context. Talking about potentially tricky things from a once removed position, in this case through the Moffle characters, can help to make it feel less challenging for them.
Another use is with children who are mistrustful & struggling to see that they are cared for now – to focus attention & as a prompt for highlighting signs of safety & nurture in their current homes. Parents or cares can share specific stories of having met their child’s needs in the different areas identified, or the child can be invited to come up with some of their own, if they are able.