Go For Joy!


The lesson I’m reinforcing with myself over and over again since opening our new mission-based clinic in central KY is one I learned nearly 30 years ago when I first began to work with young children with language delays.

It’s not particularly profound, but it can be a game-changer for any session, with any kid, on any day.

Here it is…

No matter what you’re working on,

No matter how old or young a child is,

No matter what’s going “wrong” with the kid, the day, or YOU….


Make it your #1 priority in sessions.

Especially when nothing seems to be going right.

We all have those days, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve worked 2 weeks or 20 years, there are sessions, and entire days, and unfortunately, entire weeks, when nothing seems to flow.

Everyone is cranky. Or sick. Or cranky because we’re sick!

Families come late. Families don’t come at all.

It’s too cold. It’s too hot.

You’ve planned what you think is going to be a flawless session, and your little friend is not loving it like you thought.

There are tears. There are fears.

And my favorite crisis… blow out diapers that hault everything!

But in the middle of all that, I try to remind myself to stop, breathe, and…

Go… For… Joy!

Getting everyone, (Including me! Especially me!) emotionally regulated – which is a fancy way of saying back on track and happy – is the very best outcome we could pursue.

As I said, it’s my go-to strategy when everything is going badly.

What works even better is heading off the bad by focusing on things that could result in joy when you sense trouble is brewing. The meltdown is coming.

Going for joy looks different for every kid, and figuring that out is what makes this job so interesting!

I’ll be giving you some ideas for what works for me next week in a later post, but until then, try it.

Go for joy.

Focus on making the child happy and sharing those moments.

You don’t have to totally forego your goals or your plan to do it.

We’ll talk about that later too.

I hope you saw the picture for this post. It’s an example of some of the joy I was blessed with today…

This is my sweet little friend Mey, who may be one of the happiest children I’ve ever treated…

Every Tuesday and Thursday, she RUNS into our office with a big smile and her excited proclamation of “1… 3… Go!”

She’s a handful… in constant motion.

(But when she’s moving, she’s usually talking!)

She rarely gets upset… until it’s time to sing the “Bye bye Song” which she’s not fond of because it means that it’s over. She hides behind the mom of another little friend and displays her best pouty face for about 30 seconds before she recovers and is ready to go some more.

I want to be like that. Don’t you?


Go find yourself some too!


Psalm 5:11











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