Dance to Their Beat



"What is most important about children can be learned only from children" - Landreth (2012)

Communication is a dance in which both partners need to be in step.


The teacher sighed, "he is new to our school and is being so difficult at the moment. He doesn’t want to read, refuses to do any work and is so far behind the other children."


I offered to come and observe.


I watched the boy flit from desk to desk. He was more of an observer of other children than one to join in. He eventually sat at his desk and picked up his book. After a few seconds he put the book down and played with his pencil. He had a sad expression on his face.


I went and sat next to him.

“You are reading,” I stated.

“I tried but this book is dumb,” he said, pushing it away from us both.

“The book is dumb,” I reflected.

“Yeah,” he said looking intently at me.

“You are wondering how to read it,” I said gently.

“The words don’t stay still,” he said.

“Tell me about the words,” I said.


He proceeded to tell me that the letters were jumping around when he tried to read them. I suggested his teacher share this with his parents and that they might want to get his sight checked. A few weeks later he came to school with new glasses.


“Your glasses must be helpful for reading,” I said as he passed by.

“No more jumping,” he said happily.


All communication is musical in nature In the dance of relationship with children it is easy to take the lead and decide the steps. We learn so much when we hand the child the lead and let them sing their song and dance in time to their beat.

Landreth, G. (2012). Play Therapy: The Art of Relationship. 3rd Ed. (pp. 45).

New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.


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