When I set out to write the book Adoptive Parent Intentional Parent, I not only wanted adoptive, foster, and kinship parents to not feel alone, I wanted to give them tools that actually worked with their kiddos. I wanted to empower them, because the reality is they are their children’s best chance at healing. I think almost anyone on this journey would agree that lots of parenting strategies don’t really work with our kiddos. They have been impacted by loss and trauma, so we need to go about it a different way.
The other day, I came across the latest review.
“This book was a life saver. We found it at a really bad time, a time, when as an adoptive family we were falling apart. We had no help and had been abandoned by the very people who were supposed to be helping us. We were bless to find this book and then from there Stacy and her Facebook page, video blogs, global conference groups and tools needed to help heal our family and move forward being intentional and meeting our kids where they were at. Highly recommended for every family. Thank you Stacy because being alone is soul destroying and we now know it doesn't have to be like that <3”
I am so honored, so grateful. But…even more so, I am so happy that this family is no longer just surviving. It is why I set out to do what I do.
P.S. If you have read my book, you can help me help other families find tools and strategies that work by writing a quick review on Amazon. The more reviews written the easier it is to find in a search - we have to stick together!
As a parent of a child who struggles, have you ever felt totally understood? I mean so much so that the other person can finish your sentences and say things out loud that you have never dared speak?
There have been so many instances of a Mom saying she was embarrassed to talk about her challenges during our Coaching Group sessions because she thought she was the only one. She felt so different than everyone else...so alone.
Well...within seconds heads begin to shake. Everyone else begins to chime in to share with her that they have all been there...that she is NOT alone. I have to tell you it is such an amazing feeling - to have people around you that get it! So empowering!
Our children's journey to happy and healthy can be a very long one and the best way we can help them get there is to be able to stay in it with them for as long as it takes. Being around people that get it is what will fuel us in the good times as well as the challenging times.
In my Intentional Parent Coaching Group, you will find yourself held up by parents you have never met yet Moms and Dads who totally know your challenge because they live it too. You will very quickly know you belong here.
When you truly feel understood, you feel renewed and relieved. You find your hope. Everything makes new sense. You will find you have new energy and foresight, which is so needed to put your family's unique plan into action.
Look, I have been there. Always doing it differently. Always being questioned about my parenting choices. It IS Exhausting. It is a lonely place to be. That's why I want to personally invite you to join my Intentional Parent Coaching Group...this is a place you will never feel misunderstood again!
YOU belong here...YOU and YOUR FAMILY deserve to be happy.
This is where it happens!
Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group - JOIN US TODAY!
P.S. We're talking Mother's Day and how to make it your best yet!
Yesterday, I got the incredible gift of being able to speak with two very different couples who have been working with me to become Intentional Parents.
One is a biological family whose child struggles with anxiety and fear and the other was an adoptive family whose child struggles with anxiety, disregulation, mistrust, and a multitude of hard behaviors.
The really great news is that they both shared with me that they are focusing on meeting their child right where he/she is at and are using the tools we talked about and are seeing PROGRESS. They smiled the whole time they were telling me success stories of instances that would have normally been very frustrating, but are now much more doable.
There were even tears...tears of relief. (I SO get that) The relief you feel when you realize that your child is going to make it. I have to tell you...it made my day!
Before we parted, I asked each of them the same question - what is it that changed? The first Mom I was talking with said that it was first her mindset and then the fact that she had people around her who were supporting her like never before.
She talked about the fact that because she had the support of people that "got it", she was strong enough to consistently "do it differently." She could really meet her son where he was at!
The second couple, who I talked to later in the day, answered by telling me they finally are all-in. They said that they have embraced the fact that they need to use new tools and techniques. They said that they have finally come to terms with the fact that they have to do it differently and they found that doing it differently has proven to be a good thing for ALL of their children!
The Dad said that they aren't perfect at it yet, but that they are getting there...they were both beaming. Honestly, it didn't just make my day- it made my year! Two families who are finally happy and healthy!
I want this for ALL families...it IS possible. And these are the kinds of results you get when you work with me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group.
We meet weekly, learn new tools and techniques, are surrounded by other people that really get it and decide to become Intentional Parents. Being a part of my Coaching Group gets you these kinds of results!
Here's what I know for sure...If you want the shift these families have felt, you have to take action.
Stop waiting for the perfect time. Stop the excuses. Your whole family deserves happy and healthy
Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group - JOIN US TODAY!
One of the most asked questions I get from adoptive & foster parents is...How long is this going to take? (By this they mean until my child doesn't get triggered, until my child doesn't have melt downs or until my child has positive self esteem. How long is it going to take for my child to heal?)
Well, this is a part of who our adopted and foster children are. It's a part of their story. The truth is that this is really a lifelong deal.
Are they going to have lifelong tantrums? Will the melt downs still be in place when they are 20 years old? No!
Most of our adopted & foster children will be past that, but when other life stressors come up, when they are in new relationships, will they question their worth? Will they question their value and wonder if they are loveable? Probably.
That doesn't mean they are sentenced to gloom and doom. It doesn't mean they can't go to their "second way of thinking", which is what we have helped them form. However, we have to know that what we do now as adoptive and foster parents and how we meet them where they are at right now REALLY matters.
Our daughter has a special day coming up. One which the other 5 have already done. They dress up. They have to be in front of others. Not her cup of tea at all. But she's prepared for it for a year now and wants to do it.
So...the night before the scheduled trip to get a new outfit turns ugly. Very ugly.
It starts with mopey and pouty then moves to nasty comments and walking off. Then comes back for more ugly words and behavior. Wow, really doesn't make a Mom and Dad want to drop a load of cash on said kid.
However, after all these years we know it is important to look "behind" the behavior to meet our kids right where they are at. Turns out there was some real fear about dresses not fitting and a real challenge receiving the goodness of a new outfit and clothes and everything else! (Can I just say that that is NOT what it looked or felt like at all!)
She tried to sabotage it. She tried to manage the situation her way. She tried to be in control. She wanted us to cancel cause the anxiety was too great. But I just informed her we were going because she deserved it. She calmed down and got some sleep.
I have to tell you that she held herself together pretty well. And it was a really enjoyable morning of shopping - said the Mom who hates to shop. Oh and did I tell you that we are SIXTEEN PLUS YEARS IN!
This is simply a part of our children and always will be. And in order to help it to fade into the background, we have to intentionally parent them - meet them where they are at, stay in it no matter what and for as long as it takes.
Remember...this is forever. So look beyond the behavior and just decide now to parent intentionally from here on in...that is where healing will happen!
If you're parenting an Adopted or Foster child, join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group. We meet online weekly with live Q & A sessions to get YOUR questions answered and a plan tweaked for YOUR family! Plus you'll be surrounded by support on a closed Facebook page. Join us today.
The other day I was talking with a mom about her adopted child. She said "He just keeps choosing to be disrespectful at school."
Oh man do I remember those days...the ones where I just kept get getting stuck in the belief that my daughter could do it better if she just chose to. There were so many disrespectful, self-centered, and purposefully defiant moments in our life - well that's what I thought anyway.
Here's the thing...as long as I kept labeling those behaviors the same way over and over, nothing changed!
And just like the mom I was talking to - I was MAD most of the time. I finally decided I wanted more for my life. I wanted more for my child and I wanted more for my whole family.
I had a hunch on what might work so I decided to go for it. I began to do everything I could to meet each of my children right where they are at. WOW, what a difference!
The shift for all of us was huge. Becoming clear on who my whole child was and parenting from there changed everything.
My child was more successful. I could let go of the mad stuff and actually our whole family was happier and more healthy. What a relief!
The good news is that when you learn to meet your child where he is at, you will get very clear on the fact that so much is NOT A CHOICE. Your child is not choosing to be disrespectful or self-centered. He is hitting hurdles daily. The impacts of trauma are huge and invisible. It's not as it seems!
Look, you can do this too.
I totally believe in you. As a matter of fact, what I am VERY sure of is that YOU are your child's best chance of healing. You using tools and strategies that work for your kiddos is the ticket!
In the Intentional Parent Coaching Group, we talk weekly about things like trauma, grief and loss, deficit versus defiance, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, how to meet YOUR child right where he is at.
And as importantly, we get your action plan in place - what to do and say in the moment!
Let's get your pan pulled together so you can get some relief!
Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group - JOIN US!
Well, it's the day after a holiday for many of you. Could get a little intense.
Just a quick note to let you know that you are not alone...these kinds of days are hard for many of our children. It is not because you are doing anything wrong. It's not because they don't care about you nor is it because they are necessarily broken beyond repair!
It IS because the healing is a long process. Sometimes, a lifetime. The brokenness has cut to the core.
It IS because it is all so counter-intuitive. You really have to do it differently. Many weren't prepared.
It IS because healing takes creating new core beliefs and brain wiring. Needs unending opportunities to happen.
It IS because others can't see it so they don't get it. Always swimming upstream is tiring.
Take a deep breath.
Look forward and not back.
Take the next step.
You CAN do this!
Healing (for yourself, your kiddos and actually for your whole family) takes forward movement, action, and a plan B, C, D...
So here's my question for you...What action are you choosing to take today? It's how you stay in it. It's how you thrive not just survive. This is how healing happens!
I have a question for you...how many times have you felt like you were failing your child?
Trust me you are not alone in this kind of thinking. Many moms say the same thing and, as a matter of fact, it really leads to so many not liking themselves very much.
I was just talking to a mom yesterday who shared the fact that she was pretty sure SHE was the problem in the equation. That her child didn't have issues when they were with other people and that the only time he acted out was when he was home with her.
Hear me Loud and Clear - YOU are NOT the problem in the equation!
You are the one sure constant. You are the center of your child's world. You are his regulation and his hope. You are who he is most afraid to lose.
I know it doesn't feel like it or look like it lots of times. I have totally been there. However, what I know for sure is that when you look "behind" the hard behaviors, ugly words, and overall disconnect, there is a child who doesn't feel worthy of goodness. He can't believe you can love him or will choose to forever. Those core beliefs are misleading him.
And the behaviors and words that cover that kind of vulnerability are misleading YOU!
Here's the thing...to create new brain wiring and to integrate new core beliefs can take a long time. It takes practice and consistency. It takes a solid safety net.
YOU are your child's best chance at healing! You are the Safety Net.
Questioning yourself is questioning the strength of the adult who he hopes will finally stick with him, who will love and accept him no matter how "ugly" he believes he is, and who will be there forever this time! He gets scared and pushes you away with his words and behavior so he doesn't have to feel the familiar pain he's felt before.
I hear you..."Stacy, it's NOT easy." NO it is NOT!
Helping our children to heal is probably the most difficult thing most of us have ever done. When things get hard it's important to ask for help, gather the right tools, and make sure you have a plan. If you don't, you might begin to look at yourself as the issue - and that is no way to live.
It is SO important to stop questioning yourself. For you. For your child. For your whole family.
Things can be so much better. I have worked hard to create a "place" that is where you can get the essentials you are missing...input and answers from people in the trenches and people on the other side, a new perspective, tools and strategies that work and an Intentional Parent Action Plan.
Come and be part of this movement. This healing army of parents just like you. Moms and Dads who want things to be different for themselves, their child and their whole family. Intentional Parents who are fighting for their children to feel loved, secure, and safe and to know that no matter what, YOU are not going anywhere.
Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group and let's make things happen! JOIN US!
If you are celebrating the upcoming holiday and/or have other CELEBRATIONS coming soon like spring birthdays, anniversaries, or graduation parties, I want you to know that being VERY INTENTIONAL about every piece of it will ensure you all have a better time than you've had before.
Many of our adopted and foster children struggle at celebrations. They are just not wired to manage all of the social nuances, relationship rules, and other social expectations that come with these kinds of days.
Not to mention the challenges of regulating themselves around the abundance of food, the changes in boundaries, and other people who fill themselves up at the expense of our kiddos.
Most importantly, we need to remember it takes many, many years for our children to feel worthy of good things, which impacts when they feel truly connected. They live with the belief that they're not valuable enough for you to remember them, choose for them what they'd like, or even have enough for them.
When you are not wired to be in any given situation and you don't believe you are worthy of good, anxiety goes way up. Remember, when anxiety goes up, ability goes down! This is where being intentional matters - being the outside regulator, taking care of basic needs (even after years of the same celebration), and creating opportunities for success even if it means you do it differently.
As you make the plan for your next celebration, here are a few tips that will help it be more successful:
Every celebration includes food - the basic assurance of life. The most critical way into being your child's safety net. Always have at least one thing your child enjoys eating. So if that means you bring the mac and cheese to the celebration...that's what it means. Make sure your child knows this food will be available at the celebration.
Most celebrations include a gift of some sort. The true test of whether I am worthy of good things. Assure your child ahead of time that there will be a basket or gift for him and don't mistake his worry in this situation for him being rude, self-centered, or disrespectful.
If your celebration includes lots of people and/or a different place than home, make a plan to help your child manage his increasing anxiety. Set some limits like high-fives not hugs for everyone and be prepared to literally step in to help make that happen. Bring a bag of things your child will enjoy doing and find a quiet place within eye sight that they can hunker down and do that. Headphones and music work well. It's an escape so to speak.
Timing DOES matter! This one is pretty cut and dry...honor how hard this is and help your child succeed by heading for home before the melt down. You can lengthen your stay by being intentional and pulling him in, but eventually enough is enough.
Most importantly, know and remember that no matter what it looks like on the outside, your child is not comfortable, not sure of himself and not purposefully trying to ruin your celebration. He's not wired to be successful in this situation.
Ultimately, when we meet our children right where they are at, they feel safe. When they feel safe, they can be successful. When they are successful, they feel worthy. When they feel worthy, they feel connected. And so on.
Being intentional is where it all starts!
With great excitement for the future of your family,
P.S. If you want to hear more about this topic and other everyday game changers, join me weekly in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group. Join Us
Hippity. Hoppity. Easter's on its way!
As Intentional Parents, it is important that we meet our kiddos right where they are at...even at gift-giving times.
Here are some fun ideas for Easter basket fillers. Items that meet sensory needs and fidgets to get them through the anxious times.
A perfect companion for home, school, or the car. Provides comforting deep pressure input. http://amzn.to/2pif1AR
Super Magnets is a nice set that helps give positive feed back to the Proprioseptive Sensory System. Use my aff. link to check it out.
U-Miss Tri Fidget Hand Spinners
Great for fidgety hands and helps to focus.
Smencils are great basket fillers. They are a positive sensory input in times of anxiety! use this link to check them out!
Battery Operated Toothbrushes are a great help in increasing brain organization. They make a GREAT basket filler! My kids got one every year.
Thinking Putty. One of my kids top picks! This stuff is a great anxiety reliever, sensory tool and time passer! http://amzn.to/2GzVF1x
FIdget Cubes! These are new, but it was one of my kids that showed them to me...they thought they looked so cool. Great for car rides, between classes, any transition!
As you might know, over the past 12 years or so I have been supporting parents around the globe - One-on-one Coaching, Webinars, Support Groups, my Book, and More - and it has been GREAT!
My goal has and always will be to be able to support you IN THE TRENCHES. What to SAY. What to DO. In the heat of the moment! I have lived this and I know that's what's missing.
Well...we have just gotten one hundred steps closer to achieving that! As of April 1st, there are multiple more ways we can get your family to Thriving instead of just Surviving!
I'd like to introduce to you the Intentional Parent Coaching Program.
As members of the Intentional Parent Coaching Program, you become part of an incredible movement of Adoptive, Foster, Kinship, Step, and Guardian Families all parenting a NEW way...the way that creates HEALING. That brings the JOY back. The HOPE. That empowers Moms and Dads to feel good about themselves, feel strong, and to be the force that will make the difference for their child.
The first step in joining this movement is to become a member of the Intentional Parent Coaching Group. We meet Live online WEEKLY so that I can answer your questions and help you make an action plan that works. You get access to a Learning Library of 12 of my best selling classes. You get to be a part of an incredible group of families from across the globe on our closed Facebook Group. It's awesome!
Being a member is crucial. I know that the coaching group is YOUR safety net and needs to be in place for us to walk through the trenches together. This is a long journey as you know and to stay engaged for as long as it takes and no matter what IS absolutely doable when you have that kind of support!
And just wait till you hear what we've added...we've just moved so much closer to me being right beside you every day.
First, we have added what we call Focus Groups...I foresee these groups being used for "a season" so to speak. As we Intentional Parents build the safety net, we work hard to tie the knots nice and tight and that's great, but then a new challenge pokes out in a different place - so we have to move to tie those knots. The focus groups are meant to help you focus in on one particular spot of the net and make it as fail proof as possible, while still maintaining the rest.
Our Focus Groups are small groups in which we dig deep and create an action plan to help your family get to the peace you are looking for.
The first three focus groups are:
Homeschooling Your Adopted or Foster Child
Parenting Adopted and Foster Teens
School and Your Adopted or Foster Child
Secondly, we have added another fantastic option for members, which is the ability to have affordable One-On-One Coaching Hours with me via phone or online. This time allows families to narrow down to the tiniest next step of their action plan, to ask questions, learn new strategies and so much more.
It is SO EXCITING to witness the powerful shift that is happening for families who are immersing themselves in becoming INTENTIONAL.
I know how hard it can be, especially when you are doing it alone. The thing is...it doesn't have to be so hard or so lonely. Come and join us. We are doing it differently and moving towards all the great stuff our families deserve!
To get started just join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group! Let's Do This Today! JOIN US!
With great excitement for the future of your family,