So, to the butterfly. Regarding his resistance, I was discussing with Emile my feeling that he tries to stay in his cocoon. This developed into this: A butterfly starts out as a meaningless, non-living egg and then develops into a caterpillar. As cute as a caterpillar is (mostly to children), it doesn’t do much. It crawls on the ground, bothers people (especially gardeners) and is slimy. Then, it produces its own cocoon where something miraculously happens and a beautiful monarch butterfly is produced; the whole cycle takes between 30 – 40 days. From this crawly caterpillar comes this beautifully developed butterfly.
In our last session, I told Emile that I have seen him turn into a beautiful butterfly. He wasn’t sure what to think of that. Was that an insult or compliment? I explained that it was a compliment. When I first met Emile, he was a bully, a troublemaker at school and in the community. He was constantly challenging his father’s authority and was an exceptionally sad boy. In a mere eight months, though he still has a hard time talking about emotionally charged topics, he has become a different student, son and friend to those around him. I explained to Emile that he started out as someone who challenged people, “crawled around” looking for power and control over others without dealing with his own issues. In fact, his resistance to change was his “cocoon” that he built around himself. His insistence of “leave me alone, I’m not going to talk about that” and “I don’t want to be here” has transformed into a butterfly; a beautiful boy who has changed into a more cooperative son, a leader in the classroom and a better friend (though he still can’t talk about many sensitive things).
I have asked Emile to look, on a daily basis, for “butterfly moments.” Those are times in the day that he can praise himself for the positive changes in his life. In fact, I developed a picture of a butterfly and have asked him to fill in the segments of the butterfly with his personal “butterfly moments.”
Self-affirmation is something most of us have not learned to do. To praise ourselves is a skill many of us have not taught our children. Why? Because no one taught us how or even emphasised its importance. Why must we always rely on others to praise us, to develop our positive self-esteem? Let’s teach our children to recognize, even flaunt (in a good way), their positive traits. We adults also need to learn to do this and then mentor these vital skills to our children.
We become who we feel we are. Let’s ensure we feel good about ourselves and then we will see ourselves as good and act accordingly.
Mr. Schild is the Executive Director of Regesh Family and Child Services in Toronto, Ontario Canada. He is also a family therapist and certified specialist in Anger Management and conducts many therapeutic workshops in various topics. Regesh runs many programs helping families and youth dealing with personal and family issues in their lives. To arrange a speaking engagement, contact Mr. Schild. He can be reached at 416-495-8832 extension 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.regesh.com. See our second website specific to our enhanced anger management clinic at www.regeshangerclinic.com.