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  • Writer's pictureElisa Ferriggi

Have you got a Guiding Mind-Set?

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

There are various factors that make an interaction successful, the connection felt and the relationship strong. By planning interactions to consider what activities are best suited, what objective you are focusing on, what the environment is like, how you are planning to use your communication and more you are setting yourself up well as a guide for the chance of a successful interaction with your child. All of these things matter. But what the most is whether you, as your child’s guide, are in a guiding mind-set.

What does a guiding mind-set entail?

1 – Being present

When we are truly present in our interactions then we are in the right mind-set to guide. Guiding, done well, takes a fair amount of consciousness, planning and reflection. However, you can do the best plan and reflect well but if you are not present during the interaction you are not in a guiding mind-set and may well be missing opportunities. Of course, no parent can ever be 100% in the guiding mind-set all the time; that is impossible so this applies to those dedicated and protected moments set aside for quality time and guided interactions.

2 – Understanding your objective fully

Getting the gist of your objective isn’t enough, a pre-requisite of the guiding mind-set is understanding why you are doing that objective, what does it mean for the future, why does it matter, what it looks like in neuro-typical interactions and what achieving it would look and feel like.

3 – Looking out for opportunities

When you are in a guiding mind-set opportunities are not missed, they are pounced up on with ease, because you understand the objective and you are present. If on reflection you find yourself saying things like ‘I missed that… I could/ should have…’ etc. then question if you were fully in the guiding mind-set before you started your interaction.

4 – Having a flexible plan

Planning is important for quality guided engagements but it does need to be flexible as real interactions develop dynamically you cannot usually follow a specific plan, therefore when in a guiding mind-set, it is easier to be flexible with your plan and go with the flow.

5 – Desire to collaborate, share and wonder/ ponder together

When you are in your guiding mind-set, collaboration, experience sharing, wondering and pondering all take a priority. The pace is slower to allow this to occur and any previous priority of reaching certain end goals, tasks becomes far less important.

If you would like to learn more about developing an excellent guiding mind-set and using interactions with your child for opportunities for collaboration, experience sharing and social and emotional development then please get in touch to discuss how we can work together to improve this at


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