How to solve children's complex feeding difficulties.
Posted Aug 29 2012 12:14am
Physics tells us that energy and mass can't be created or destroyed; rather they are transformed from one form to another, at least in closed systems. My brain can't handle much past Minkowski space so I get a little fuzzy if I try to understand conservation principles in expanding space-time volumes, but then again I am no physicist and I am certainly no mathematician.
I've been thinking a lot lately about energy and where it goes when variables are introduced into a system. A parent began presenting me with a complex pathway of what-if scenarios regarding her child's eating skills - what would happen if this occurred, and what would happen if that occurred - and she had the entire child's trajectory imagined before a single bite of food made it past the child's lips. There was no pause along the trajectory to map out the potential energy within the system (that might subsequently be transformed to a different kinetic pathway) because the parent already had the whole sequence pre-mapped.
I attempted to introduce some brakes into the parent's thinking system, and as her what-ifs were removed the kinetic energy of her perception of the child's trajectory got transformed into stress. So, the parent became upset, the child stopped eating, and progress stopped. Energy was definitely conserved within the system, but definitely not into a direction that was going to serve the child's needs.
So what do you do when the energy within a system can only be expressed in a variable that is negative, and if you try to change the negative energy it just gets transformed into a deeper but different expression of negativity? That's a real problem.
Feeding difficulties are very challenging and some days I have no answers.
In my last blog post I talked a little about caring for caregivers. This is all just an extension of that same conversation.
Anyway, the question of the evening is "Where can you find the energy within a closed system to move an object off of its seemingly predetermined path?"
The ancient Greeks solved these dilemmas by introducing a deus ex machina into the plot of their tragedies. I don't have these mechanisms at my disposal. I can't be certain that people really like those solutions anyway.
Martha Graham said "There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost." I wish it was so easy - that you could just direct families to tap into that energy somehow and find ways to make changes.
I think that Martha Graham has an interesting perspective on potential energy but it isn't entirely consistent with the conservation theory. Can it really become lost?
On Facebook today one of my relatives posted a picture of my grandmother who died seven years ago. When people are alive they are an expressed vector of directed energy - but where does it go when they die? Does that energy get lost? I think that I can tap into my grandmother's energy at any time, invoking her memory to move my children into action. It is a highly effective technique. So maybe there is energy out there to be grabbed and directed - but we just have to find it.
As I sit here and think about it I am moved to consider that my grandmother could probably solve any child's eating difficulties. Boy could she cook, and she loved to nurture other people with her cooking. She also didn't suffer any nonsense. She would have done well as an occupational therapist working with feeding difficulties.
If you knew my grandmother you would understand how true this is. Maybe I can find a way to tap into this somehow.