I have been thinking about how lucky I am to have a job that I am so passionate about and how everything would be SO different if you weren't a part of my big picture! Thank you for believing in me, for the kind notes you send and for working as hard as you do to help your child heal!
I have to say I am SO proud to be a part of this incredible group of parents.
Have a WONDERFUL day and know that YOU are SO appreciated!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
If I had a dollar or even a dime for every time I have questioned the parenting choices I made, I would be rich! When we first became a family, I have to tell you I was totally caught off guard...it was way more difficult than I had even considered. It's not like I lived in a magical land in my head and thought it would be so so simple. I knew our kids were coming from hard stuff, but it was even more difficult than I thought it would be.
I questioned myself over and over. I listened to the people outside of my situation that told me that I was doing it all wrong - that I was actually the cause of the problems we were having. I listened, even though they had never lived even an instant in my shoes. I listened when those closest to me poo-pooed the harmful behavior of my children as "all kids do that." I listened when others hinted at the fact that I brought it all upon myself (i.e. this is what you wanted). I even listened when my children said hurtful and sometimes horrible things. You see, there was NO other voice but these.
I didn't have voices telling me "I get it" or "I support you." I didn't have voices that said "My child does that too and it hurts." I didn't have a support group. I didn't know others who had experience with traveling my path. I didn't have the opportunity for a mentor. None of it existed! I felt very alone. I felt like a crappy mother.
The reality is that it became do or die. So I started my own support groups. I sought out the answers any way I could. I hung onto any mentor I could find for dear life. I used trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn't. And thank goodness it began to fall into place. Life began to be so much more doable. I stopped with the questioning, which enabled my children to trust my true ability to mother them. Behavior slowed way down. Healing began to be so apparent. Life REALLY changed and for the better!
I want that for you. I want to help you get there. And I want to save you some of the struggle.
Here's what I know for sure - my struggle would have been so much shorter, so much less painful, if I hadn't of had to do it alone. It's kind of like trying to teach yourself a new language. Yes, you can read about it in a book, but you have to do it without Rosetta Stone, without ever hearing a fluent speaker, and without getting advice from a fluent speaker. Pretty difficult!
The great news is YOU don't have to do it that way. You have the opportunity to work with someone who has been there, be a part of a group of people who Get It (no judgement, no advice based on never walking your journey, no questioning). I created my Inner Circle so that YOU have this kind of opportunity - so that your struggle can end. You can't go wrong making this jump!
It is a monthly membership which families who join don't want to be without! The only risk in giving it a try is that you could find a place where you feel GREAT. A place where you can get input and advice from someone who gets your struggle and actually knows how to help. A place where you can actually feel normal and understood. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want that and how could that not have a huge impact on your whole life?
Don't wait another minute - Let's get you started!
Just follow the link below to register!
See you in Inner Circle,
"I just don't want to be this child's Mom anymore." Have you ever said these words before or have you ever thought them? Today, I want to let you know you're not alone and that it is okay!
When you're the parent of a hurt child, the journey can be long and painful; it's hard to see progress, the connection doesn't seem to get any stronger, and always having to do it differently is EXHAUSTING. You are doing especially difficult work. You are literally trying to SAVE A LIFE.
So... as you look to continue forward I want you to consider this:
What is the definition of Mom when it comes to your child? It may not be what you first envisioned. It may not be what your other children need. It may not be how your friends do it, etc.. Being this child's mom may mean that they get good health care, that they never worry for food and that you have hope for them...just basic hope like that they can find happiness. This is the ultimate in meeting your child where they are at.
Eventually, we have to decide that it's okay to be the kind of mom that THEY can handle - don't step back too far, that will backfire for sure, but this is a process and our children can only go so fast. And they can only do so much.
Being the mom your kiddo needs you to be (even if it means no real hugs or some mistrust or you don't get anything back at all) is absolutely okay. Don't sell yourself short, what a gift you are giving your child when you can just be the mom they need. No pressure. No disappointment. That gift CAN be given by changing YOUR definition of a good Mom. And in fact it will feel freeing for you too.
You have done all the right things for a long time now so give yourself permission to tweak your definition of mom a bit. Then go find what fills you up and do that too. You'llll have more room, emotionally speaking, to take care of you. And ultimately, that's good for everybody!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
Most of us are familiar with forgiveness, whether we learned it in childhood or later in life. It’s not easy. Many times we feel we have to accept the hard behaviors or hurtful words or forget the daily yuck in order to forgive. We are afraid to “let them off the hook.” In reality, when we forgive, we are letting ourselves off the hook. We are saying no to bitterness, resentment and a hardened heart. Have you ever heard the saying that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die? Not a good choice.
I realized the other day that most of us don’t think of forgiveness in terms of parenting. Parents love unconditionally; it’s natural for us. Yet, how often do we dislike a certain behavior in our child, or feel disrespected, or even get mad at ourselves (or our spouse) for how we handled a situation? Those things add up, and they create walls which keep us alienated and feeling alone.
Forgiveness is an excellent tool to free us up to be better parents. It allows our hearts to stay soft. It allows us to let go of our stuff, freeing us up to parent our whole child (his past, his present and his future). It frees us up to stay in it for as long as it takes. It frees us up to be the healing force we are meant to be.
If you are feeling frustrated with your children, if you feel out of control or just bogged down, now is the time to forgive...it is holding you back from living the life you really want. It is a simple process and will make a huge impact on your ability to connect with others.
As a matter of fact, you can start right now! Just think of the person who has done something that hurt you, no matter when it was. Picture their face in your head and say, ___(their name)___ I choose to forgive you for ___(what they did/said)__ and then repeat. It's best to begin with something small and recent, if you can.
Moms tend to be hardest on themselves. It is important to forgive yourself for the things you have or have not done as well. Maybe you need to forgive your spouse or another family member. Is there a wedge forming between you and your child? Now is the time to let it go so you can move forward from here. Forgiveness is a great start!
This exercise I shared is a great start but letting go and choosing to forgive is a daily choice and an intentional choice. You have the power to have the parent-child relationship and home life you deserve - forgiveness is the beginning.
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 thriving and not just surviving!
I want this for ALL families...it IS possible. And these are the kinds of results you get when you work with me consistently 3 times a month, 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 Inner Circle gets you these kinds of results!
It's my birthday week this week and I have a gift for YOU. I want to give you the kinds of results these two families have had and you will have them when you become a member or my Inner Circle! Here's the frosting on the cake - when you join Inner Circle during my Birthday Week you will also get one of my best selling classes for FREE! Dealing With The Daily Grind will be all yours to listen to at your convenience!
Here's my question...What Do You Have To Lose?
Try it for a month and if you attend the sessions or listen to the recording's and learn nothing I will refund your money! That's how much I believe in this. That's how much I know you have nothing to lose!
I want to see your family thriving and I know that being part of this incredible group of parents is going to make that happen! I cannot wait to work with your family! Check it out and get signed up today.
Stacy Manning's Inner Circle
The Frosting On the Cake....to celebrate my birthday week I would like to give you a special gift when you join my Inner Circle! You will receive access to the recording of my popular class Dealing With the Daily Grind. This is a 57.00 value FREE thru Saturday at midnight!
See you in Inner Circle,
Wow, I am 51 years old today! It has been a crazy journey, that is for sure. I am blessed to feel loved by many and to love many.
In spending 51 years on this planet being a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, mother, grandmother, neighbor, colleague, nurse, teacher, author, student, coach, mentor and watcher of people, there are some things I know for sure! Here are my top ten (in no particular order):
1. Most of the time things are not as they appear on the outside.
2. Everybody has a story and as human beings we should honor that fact, even if we don't know it!
3. It doesn't help to judge or offer unsolicited advice if you have not walked the journey...just love.
4. There is no such thing as perfect and that is absolutely okay!
5. That saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover", is correct. To really know someone, you have to take the time to read all of the pages!
6. All of our relationships would be stronger and last longer if we met each other right where we are each at!
7. Intentionally choosing to find the good in the world every day is literally life-giving!
8. Being a mother is the most powerful position in the world.
9. We must fight to remember that we were all created with a special purpose in mind...and we should not hold back on living that purpose out loud in the world!
10. Life is short - so even in the most challenging times, we should live each moment to the fullest, find the good and never give up being hopeful!
This last year has been a great one. I really mean it. It has actually included some of the biggest highs and lows that I have encountered so far, but I would still label it great! I am a better me in spite of it all.
I look forward to this next year and all it holds. It is my intention to keep growing and learning, to keep sharing my gifts to my fullest ability, to keep bettering myself, and to keep loving as deeply as possible. It's going to be a great year!
Finally, I want to say thank you to YOU for being a part of my life. You each enhance my days and inspire me to keep on keepin' on! Love to you all.
Just imagine...support from people that "get it" right when you need it - when you are in the trenches. Tools that work and being prepared with a plan that makes the difference! Wouldn't that just be GREAT?
The biggest hurdles we run up against are feeling alone, misunderstood and without knowing what our next step should be. It really can be such a chaotic existence unless you have support around you. In my Inner Circle, you will find a place where you just feel like you fit, a place where you get advice from someone who has been there and a source of renewed hope and energy. Leave with an action plan every time!
Don't let anything hold you back. No excuses. Start believing in your ability to make change cause it absolutely can happen you just have to know how to do it differently...and I can show you how!
Take the next step and try it out, you won't regret it!
Stacy Manning's Inner Circle
Here's a Bonus for YOU....to celebrate my birthday week I would like to give you a special gift when you join my Inner Circle! You will receive access to the recording of my popular class Dealing With the Daily Grind. This is a 57.00 value FREE thru Friday at midnight!
Somebody just recently asked me what is one secret key you would tell every family about?
Here's my answer: Be an Intentional Parent! More intentional about more of life than you ever have before or ever imagined you would. When we are intentional about understanding how it feels to be our children (their fears, their choices,their beliefs and their wonderings), then we can meet them right where they are at. When we are intentional about meeting them right where they are at, there is less chaos, less hurt and less of a wedge in our relationship. When there is more of a positive connection, everyone is happier.
So, here are some hints to being an Intentional Parent:
-Operate from the understanding that it is most often deficit, NOT defiance - even if it doesn't appear that way on the outside.
-Know that the behavior on the surface is only a smoke screen - look beyond it and deal with the fear or sadness that is there.
-Be clear on what is YOURS and don't let that be part of the problem. We, as parents, add to the spin more often than not.
Being an Intentional Parent can be a very counter-intuitive way of doing things. It takes extra energy at first and even some practice, but it works so much better than just doing it the way you always have or the way everyone else does. Here's the thing, YOU are your child's best chance and choosing to be an Intentional Parent is your secret key in getting the job done!
Sometimes it seems like as Intentional Parents, we are constantly putting out fire. Like things keep falling apart or things keep getting in our way. Like we are not making any progress.
Last night I did a Facebook Live video about how to keep going, even when it seems IMPOSSIBLE.
If you feel like this, I have some words of encouragement for YOU!
Watch the full video here.
Remember... you are not alone.
We spent some time at the beach yesterday so I got to do my favorite thing...study families. We saw every version of family unit. We saw every version of parenting too. Many children were playing in the sand or in the water very calmly and really having a nice time. Most of their parents were sitting right there with them in the sand. However, I also saw a lot of tantrums, mud slinging, rock throwing, screaming, getting hurt, getting into coolers or food they weren't supposed to and one child was even calling help from the water while standing in water up to his knees. Here's the interesting thing...these kids all spent a lot of their time running back and forth between the parents and the beach. Their moms and dads were not plugged in for whatever reason and they were struggling. Their behavior looked defiant and many of them got punished or spoken to and told to stop. And what kept coming back to be was...reel them back in Mom and Dad, reel them in!
Fishing is an analogy I use a lot when I teach about living with children who struggle - or any child for that matter. I used to fish a lot with my Grandpa. He had a set method and very set expectations of what was going to happen on our trips. He intentionally gathered all of our gear, readied the boat, and we set off for a predestined hot spot. The kind of bait and hot spot were both chosen based on what his buddies had said about where and on what the fish were biting. Grandpa would talk about the big catch we were going to have and that Grandma would have to be frying fish all day cause we were going to catch so many!
So, the next morning we would set out before the sun was up filled with excitement and expectations. Once we reached our destination it wan't long before our lines were in the water. Well, there were times when his buddies were right and the fish were biting like crazy. Everything fell into place just as we had expected, but many times we'd throw our lines in and there was a big, fat nothing. I would try and try again and eventually I'd get bored and throw my line way out of the hot spot. I was sure it did't matter that the big fish were going to be found out there. Well, what I typically found were weeds and stumps and Grandpa would help me get my line unstuck while telling me that the weeds I was hauling in were not going to taste very good fried up.
Here's the secret of being a really good fisherman - it's about keeping it reeled in until you find where they are. If you know where the hot spot was the day before you start there and then if the fish aren't biting right there, you move out one way or another, but only a little at a time. When they weren't biting, it wan't long before Grandpa would say "Well, they're playing with us...let's see where they're hiding." Then, he'd move our boat in one direction (based on looking at the whole picture...shoreline, weather, wind, etc) about 10 feet at a time until we found where they were hiding.
I often teach that same technique in regards to parenting. Parents often ask how long do I use my child's emotional age, how long will he need me to be his regulation, how long will she need me to help her with that, how long till my child get's how to behave appropriately, how long will anxiety play such a big role, how long until she can trust me - you get the gist. The crucial step in finding those answers is that at some point you have to give it a try. Most parents have a feeling that maybe there has been progress and it is time to try....but the key is to not let out too much line. To be very intentional about finding the new hot spot!
So, here's the thing. Our natural instinct is to just go for it. Especially on a holiday weekend, with other people, when we are tired, when we just want to feel normal, when our child is driving us crazy - we just want to throw out the line! Typically, that backfires though and we end up having to get our kids unstuck or deal with hard behaviors.
Being an Intentional Parent is like being a good fisherman - it is about finding the hot spot - keeping it reeled in to be able to really find where the fish are hiding! So, be intentional today and everyday about where you are dropping your line. If it is not in the right spot remember that you can reel it in and start over!