As professionals, what are we bringing to the table?
Are we bringing to the table the idea that we are the experts in the room, ready to show parents how to feed kids? Are we bringing to the table a plan to tell parents where to start? Are we bringing to the table a protocol? Are we bringing to the table a plan to get a child to take a bite of a new food? Or more bites of a familiar food?
Or, are we bringing to the table a plan to get to know this family, these parents, and this child? Are we bringing our listening ears and our curiosity about what this family’s mealtimes are like and what family priorities are? Are we bringing to the table trust that if we begin with building strong relationships, together we will begin to see a path to change? Are we bringing our certainty that change looks different for each child and each family and it is our job to discover rather than prepare the whole plan?
Are we bringing a plan to support the parents’ capacity to understand their child? To come up with their own ideas? To start by getting to know what they know, rather than first telling them what we know? Are we remembering that our first idea is just an idea and a starting point, and that this child and this family decide if it works for them or not? That we can reflect together on whether what we’ve tried worked well or if we need to pivot? And are we bringing to the table our intention to do our best in each moment and recognize when we need help and guidance from our mentors and our colleagues?
What we bring to the table matters. We don’t have to bring all the answers, or the just-perfect-exactly-right thing.
We do need to bring our readiness to learn.