In a world where children don’t often have a voice and one that can be filled with development and stresses we have not witnessed before; a fresh insight into children and self discovery is one we welcome at Ponderings.
Dr Maxine Therese has spent her life dedicatedto helping children and adults.
Maxine is the founder and brains behind Childosophy; a recognised modality with a core structure combining energetic science and integrative philosophies of the self to support wellbeing in childhood.
Her book “The Wonder of You- A Self Discovery Journal” helps parents and children unpack feelings, emotions, responses and discover their importance. With highly regarded results and remarkable success, we were thrilled to discuss the impact, hurdles and the future with Dr Maxine.
Maxine was inspired to help children, after becoming a mother. The realisation we don’t know much about children drove Maxine on to complete her Ph. D research into children’s well being. Her doctoral research proposed a new theory of the child as a soul (integrated body, mind and spirit) and a new model for children’s well being. Maxine calls this The Foundational Needs Model. Maxine’s book The Push for a Child Philosophy: What Children Really Need You to Know outlines her research findings and is the basis for the therapeutic system that she has developed in her own clinical practice.
We asked Maxine what Childosophy was for her.
“For me, Childosophy is many things, it really is an approach that values the wisdom of the child. The osophy, is wisdom. A lot of our approaches to children don’t value the child’s wisdom, we presume some adult wisdom is better and more advanced. I really think that’s what we are having to learn- we’ve had an idea that rational logical sequential wisdom understanding is better and as we move into more holistic understanding we really value children are this organic whole- then we correct “
“You can have an idea of what children need but until you learn to be present there’s an attitude to control and fix which is futile and stressful.”
Maxine describes the value of children being able to understand their own feelings and thoughts as shaping them. The things we can’t see- the thoughts and feelings are the most important aspect. Not the outcomes or the actions but why we feel the way we do.
How important is it for children to be aware of their energy? Why?
“I don’t talk about it in terms of energy for kids. It’s just ‘What are you feeling?’- If we can help them understand feelings and thoughts they won’t seek outside validation- they come to trust their own self. Their feelings and thoughts have important messages about what they need then they sort of naturally enquire why they are feeling x and then you enter that dialogue where they make sense of things. We all need connection- we are all seeking validation from the other.”
If children don’t feel safe they’re going to have what we call anxiety. If they don’t feel like they can be in control of their emotions they might have a tantrum. Just helping them understand the drivers and helping them and us see there’s always a reason. A lot of caregivers have trouble holding the space for the feeling- to allow the child’s expression of thoughts without prohibiting, inhibiting, diverting or problematising. This stops the child’s flow.
What do you wish every parent knew about energy science?
I wish every parent knew energetically every child has exactly what they need for self development, even before it becomes apparent. We have been seeing the world through a lense of manipulating behaviours- manipulating energy. Now we are having to work with the fact that if it is present we have to work with it- so it’s changing from “let’s change that behaviour” and force it, forcing the energy, rather than saying “if it is arising then it is purposeful, and I wonder why it is present?”
Energetically from a bigger perspective whatever lays unresolved in me (energetically will naturally transfer) to my child.
What research has brought forth is the role of the parent from the time we conceive- our body activates everything we need within ourselves to be the best parent and we revisit all of our parenting at the same time our children are growing.
So what that means is that spontaneously my body energetically regresses to my childhood whilst I’m mothering my children. My one year old child brings up my one year old unhealed, unresolved issues, and not just mine, but my mother’s and her mothers but genetically 7 generations can be now validated through the child.
Where do you see the future of childosophy going?
I have big visions for Childosophy. This year I am focusing on developing programs to go into schools where parents, teachers and students learn together. Like a parenting class done through the child. We still refer to education and those institutions to raise children.
Do you do inner child work?
It’s sort of embedded in the work, returning to your “inner child” constantly. I don’t see conceptually (inner work ). For me, Little Maxine is there all of the time. She is not an inner child she is within me. I am her. We are integrated. Inner child work is so important, we have to make peace with aspects of our childhood that we have not.
Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good. That inner child is going to demand things! There are times we think really practically, and we think OMG stop acting like a 3 year old! It’s important to ask -Why am I responding like this? Who’s the child? Knowing your inner child is going to resurface if it hasn’t been healed is a powerful tool for self realization and understanding. .
I facilitate the space for people to access their inner child through self awareness via the indicators of their children’s behaviours or what they are struggling with.
You don’t even have to have a child, because we have all been children. Awareness is generally the healing. When we have the confidence to say that this pattern of you feeling victimised in life is not going to go away until you heal it and because it’s coming up in your son whom you love more than anyone in the whole world, your heart is open to working on it.
Energy science is very different to religion and yet is often seen as a new age thing. What are your thoughts on this?
It’s not a new age thing. I guess the new age championed it. We now know neuropsychology is saying the same thing. Feelings and thoughts we have drive the physical body. The energy of our feelings and thoughts are shaping our physical body, our matter.
What is the most prominent problem you see facing children right now and how as parents and the tribe help that reduce?
We need to understand our role as parent or teacher as no better or worse- but as a guide that is going to check in and see how the child is travelling. We sort of presume in relationships to hold a role- and we don’t often check. Helping parents to understand patterns if the way they were parented in the past, and teaching that we can step into a different way and stop those cycles.
You can contact Dr Maxine Therese and find out more at https://www.childosophy.com/dr-maxine-therese
Dr. Maxine Therese
We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.