A young lady came into my office today to tell me that she had visited this site and used the technique on a two year old girl who lived with them. The girl belonged to their househelp, a single mother whose pregnancy was marred by frequent fights with the father of the child and incredibly bad feelings about the whole situation. The mother was allowed by her employer to keep the child with her as long as she was able to do housework.
Not surprisingly, this child had a very bad temper and would throw tantrums at the slightest provocation. The people in the house had lately become more upset, to the point where the lady of the house ended up spanking her and suggesting that possibly the child would be better off with her grandparents if her mother wanted to continue working. They could not understand why this child was not responding to the love and attention they had showered on her because they were treating her as a member of the family. They were gentle with her and tried to talk to her in a loving manner, but she would turn her nose up at their efforts, scream, or even snarl at them.
The narrator of this story then told the girl's mom to talk to her using the basic script from this site. She asked her to talk about the pregnancy and the difficulties that surrounded it, to reassure the child of her love, and to apologize for all the bad feelings that may have been felt by the baby also. The mother was so moved when they were talking about the script that she started crying. She was likewise told to explain the situation with the father to the sleeping child.
The narrator said she saw this child wake up that morning after the first session, and was amazed when, instead of crying as soon as she woke up, something that usually happened, the little girl went out of the mosquito net, smiled at her and said "Good Morning.". Big SHOCK. For the rest of that day, she was calm, smiled a lot, and was affectionate with the people in the house.
The mother has continued to talk to her in this manner for up to a month now, and not only is there a noticeable change in the two year old's attitude, but she has also shown efforts to control herself whenever she felt like having a tantrum. Everyone feels that what has transpired is close to a miracle!
SOMETIMES, I find that I could use this technique in the most unlikely cases.
Consider these two stories...........
This pretty little girl was just over a year and a half when her mother told me how well she talked already, and how she would answer so smartly when asked. She'd correctly reply to things like 'What is your name?' or 'How old are you?' or 'Where is Mommy?', but always had one answer to a playful 'Are you a boy or a girl?' --- 'I'M A BABY BOY!'
They would reverse the question; ' Are you a girl or a boy?' and the answer was always the same.
Ashley's mom felt guilty. She thought that her intense desire for a boy was communicated to the unborn baby who was now this toddler. She had an ultrasound during her pregnancy and was sorely disappointed when she found that the fetus was female. Secretly, she continued to think of her baby as male, hoping for that small margin of error for that particular examination..
When she told me this, I was just working on my list of 'subjects' to report, so I shared the technique with her, giving her specific things to say in the process. I said she should tell the child about her feelings when she was pregnant, even how events unfolded. I told her that the problem should be stated in this manner: I am really worried because you say that you are a boy when everybody sees that you are a pretty little girl. An apology seemed to be due, so I told her to say so, including that mommy did not realize how upsetting those early thoughts may have been to the baby, and how proud they were of the smart girl they got in reality..
A few weeks later, Ashley's mom tells me Ashley always says she is a GIRL when asked. Nothing changed in the house, including the way people treated her. Only Ashley's answer changed, after several sleep-talk sessions.
This appeared to be a severe case of sibling jealousy, but the mother was so disturbed, this was one of the issues she brought up when she came to have her two-month old baby checked.
Roma was almost three and suddenly started saying her name was Samson, and that she was a strong man. All she needed was a penis, and she kept on badgering her mom to buy her one from the grocery store or the mall. Initially, the family was amused and tried to reassure her, knowing that she was indeed reacting to the new person in the house. They also tried to distract her, paid more attention to her and generally did for her what caring adults do for displaced older sisters, but the little girl had other ideas. She insisted on being called Samson. Her mother was embarassed and beginning to be frightened when she asked me about a solution.
I thought we'd use the shortcut; we could always have the psychiatrist see her if we failed.
The script we used was nothing more than a reassurance of her family's love and acceptance of her as a girl. Only three sessions were needed, and Roma completely forgot about Samson. She also became more solicitous of her brother, to our great relief.
Her mother reminded me of this a few days ago, as she brought the happy five year old with her new youngest brother.