Out of the box. Pretty sure I’ve always been an Out of the Box thinker. A big thinker. Not afraid to do things differently. But I have to say…when I began this journey of parenting my 3 adopted daughters, that’s when “the rubber meets the road” really happened in terms of out the box thinking.
Before my girls had joined our family, I’d been parenting for several years. We had 3 bio sons and things were going well. I was a good mom. In fact, I was a really good mom. Enter parenting adopted kiddos. Things changed. Drastically.
What I was doing was no longer working. At all. And believe me, I tried everything. Nothing was working. My strategies, my tools & techniques, were not working with my girls. And…I no longer felt like a good mom.
My girls came with deep, deep loss. The loss of their family. The loss of their culture. The loss of their home. But most importantly, the loss of their primary attachment…their biological mom.
My girls came to me as survivors. They’d been through A LOT. Of course they were survivors. And with that came behaviors that worked in terms of surviving, but not in terms of being in a family.
My girls came to me with fear. Fear of losing another family. Fear of losing it all…again.
My girls came to me with a lack of trust. Understandable for sure. The one person who was to protect them, the person that they were wired for, the person they depended on let them down. They had no reason to believe I was someone they could count on, someone they could trust to protect them, someone they could trust their heart with.
And so I needed new tools. New strategies. Ones that met them right where they were at. Ones that took into consideration all the things that came with the loss and trauma that have impacted them.
It’s now 17 years later, and wow does it look different. A whole lot different!
My girls are no longer survivors.
They no longer have such fear that stops them in up in all they do. They take chances. They are confident. They are becoming sure of who they are.
They trust. They trust that I will always be there for them. They know they can count on me. Know that I’ll protect them. Know they can trust me with their heart.
We have come a long way. There were days, weeks, and months I never thought we’d get to here. But we did.
I share this with you to give you HOPE. Hope when getting to Happy & Healthy seems impossible. Hope when you feel like you’re not a good mom. Hope when you feel like nothing’s working. HOPE. Happy & Healthy IS possible. My family is proof of it.
With dedication to helping your family to Happy and Healthy,
P.S. I'd love to teach you tools and strategies that work. Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group. You'll be empowered with tools & techniques and surrounded with the best support out there.
Before I adopted my girls, I was part of a mom's group. We had play dates, field trips, and moms night out. My boys loved playing with the other kids and I loved visiting with the other moms while the kiddos all played.
We talked about life. Parenting. The joys and the challenges. It fueled me and gave me a place where I belonged.
Then things changed. We adopted 3 girls. I became a mom to 6 young kids. My girls came with pain, grief, and anxiety. And with that came a lot of behaviors. Needless to say, our day to day changed.
I was exhausted and worn out. But I knew how much better I felt after mom's group so we went. But it was different. It just didn't feel the same.
I was parenting differently. My girls couldn't just go off and play while I checked out and hung out with the other moms. My girls needed me. Close by. Engaged. With them.
The conversations were different. My struggles were now different from the others. I was dealing with deep loss, grief, and a whole new level of struggle.
I no longer fit. I left feeling alone.
Back then there was very little support for adoptive and foster parents. So I stayed home. Trying my best, but lots of days just surviving.
It was lonely. My friends didn't understand. My family didn't get it. I felt like I was the only one. Doing it alone.
Until. Until I said I'm not the only one. So...I reached out. I spoke out honestly about what we were going through. I found others on the journey. Others who understood what I was feeling, understood what we were going through. Understood because they lived it.
To feel like you're not the only one, to be surrounded by those who truly get it, is crucial on this journey. It's a mistake to try to do this alone. Trust me, I know. Luckily, things have changed since I began this journey nearly 17 years ago. There now is support.
If you're an adoptive, foster, step or kinship parent...you belong in my coaching group. There you'll get your questions answered, be empowered with tools & strategies that work, and be surrounded by the best support out there!
Join us today.
Everyday I get emails or read Facebook posts from so many families that are hurting. Families who feel stuck. Families who are settling. I just feel so bad. It doesn't have to be that way.
I've been in the trenches and am on the other side. For years I have been teaching tools and strategies to families to help them get to happy and healthy and I want to teach them to you too.
So here's my first question...Are you feeling alone? Better yet, do you have a support group around you - one that gets it? Or have you been thinking about joining my Coaching Group?
Now here's my second question...What are you waiting for?
Too tired or feeling too overwhelmed to even think about trying something new? I get that. But here's the thing... having an action plan that works, knowing what to do and say in the hard moments, and being around people that get it is rejuvenating and empowering. You'd be surprised at how quickly you feel the load begin to lift.
Feel like you've tried everything and have found nothing that works? You're just settling, holding on, until your child turns 18? If you haven't been a part of the Intentional Parent Coaching Group, you haven't tried this yet. Being an Intentional Parent means looking at your whole child and meeting them right where they are at. It means getting ahead of all of those fires you are constantly putting out...It Works!
Are you sure you can't afford it? Here's the thing this is about the health of your family. It's about the quality of your every day life. And not only that, the value is crazy! Work with me weekly to create and then tweak your plan, use the Learning Library to keep fine tuning your skills, give and receive support from other families that are in the trenches too. Have access to discounted one-on-one coaching sessions and all of the bonus opportunities that are a part of each month's schedule! I always say...have 7 less fancy coffees a month and you have it paid for. Or do like me...when I wanted to redecorate my house, I sold stuff on the Facebook Garage Sale Site. Financially, the group is SO doable - I've made sure!
Are you doing fine? Yes you may not have the worst of struggles, but you're not happy either. Or you're sure he'll grow out of it. The connection is not what you had hoped. That's because we're looking for SECURE attachment, not just attachment. To achieve that it takes Intentional Parenting. You need the tools that work!
What Are You Waiting For? Whatever it is...re-frame it, override it, be brave, face the challenge, sell it, take the leap, make it work...Quality of Life, your life, is at stake here.
Your whole family deserves the best it can be and I want to help you get there! Don't waste one more minute struggling and waiting...join the Intentional Parent Coaching Group and let's get your family moving towards happy and healthy today!
The other day someone asked me what’s the one thing that would make a big difference for an adoptive or foster parent. My response…there are TWO things that are crucial.
You and your entire family will come out stronger, healthier, and happier if you can surround yourself with that kind of support and guidance. I would love to have you join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group. It WILL make a difference!
Let's work together to get you the best support possible.
Join us today. http://www.tohavehope.com/intentional-parent-coaching-group.html
Have you ever wondered if you are the right person to parent your child or if your family is the right place for him?
I've been asked about this thousands and thousands of times and the first thing I want to be clear about is...It is normal to question this. Whether you've only thought it or have said it out loud, I want you to know that it is a common question for families of hurt children. You are not a horrible human being!
The second thing I want you to know is that if your question is based on your child being like everyone else in your family...It is normal for a hurt child to not fit for a very long time, maybe forever. It doesn't necessarily mean you are doing it wrong. It means your child has deficits beyond his control. It's not personal - even if it feels like it.
The third thing I want you to know is that...your house will be much calmer when you meet her right where SHE is at. Trying to change your child is like hitting your head up against a brick wall over and over again. This is a brain wiring issues - she can't change. It's up to YOU to Parent Differently! Being an Intentional Parent means loving your child the way they can receive it.
The last thing I want you to know is that...doing this alone is a mistake. Staying in it no matter what and for as long as it takes is where the healing happens. And that STAYING POWER comes from feeling understood, at times being able to lean on others that get it, and from being able to ask questions and learn new strategies from people who get it and are on the other side.
Here's the thing...No, unfortunately not every child can be successful in a family situation. There is a small percentage of hurt children that just can't do it. Sadly, the impacts of trauma are just too great. It becomes unsafe for the child and/or the family to continue the journey together in the same home.
However, the majority of the time life can be much more doable when you are meeting your child right where they are at, when you are being his external regulator and stepping in to be the bridge between what he can and cannot manage. All of which ultimately creates opportunities in which he can succeed, feel valuable and believe he is worthy of goodness. This changes brain wiring.
Being Intentional about parenting your whole child can change everything. One key way of being intentional is having a specific Action Plan for your child in place. No more wondering about saying or doing the wrong thing. No more responding out of fear or frustration. And then being surrounded by others who get it is your fuel to keep going.
It all boils down to this...maybe stop wondering IF you can be your child's Parent and start wondering HOW you can Parent your child so that he can best receive all that he really deserves. You CAN do this!
With dedication to helping your family to Happy and Healthy,
P.S. Let me help you get your plan in place. I have SO been there. I want to teach you tools and strategies that help you meet your child right where he is at...make life way more doable. Your family can get to happy and healthy...let's get you all started today! Join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group I can't wait to help you turn things around.
Today is my birthday. It’s also the anniversary of the day my 2 brothers, my only siblings, were killed in a plane crash.
Needless to say, my birthday has been forever changed. For many years, I didn’t celebrate. It was just too hard. Just too sad. But, along came my children and they wanted to celebrate. Celebrate my birthday. Celebrate me.
So…I had to figure out how to have joy alongside pain. Joy alongside grief. And I have to say…it IS possible!
The same can be done on this journey that we as parents are on. There are times, days, seasons that are rough. Challenging. Hard. Sad. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have joy too. It doesn’t make sense to postpone that until things get better. Until our kiddos are healed and have made it to happy & healthy.
In fact…it’s good for us as parents. It’s also good for our children to see how to have both. We should not just choose to be in the misery. We can (and should) choose joy. Hope. Happiness.
We talk a lot about this in my coaching group. Parents often start out overwhelmed. Unhappy. In the tank. And some are downright miserable. So I give them new strategies. I encourage them to find the good in each day. They are surrounded by support. And soon they are equipped and empowered to face life in a whole new way.
Joy alongside the challenges. Joy alongside the pain. And I have to say…it’s incredible to see the changes in these parents. I’m so proud of them.
So…my lesson learned along the way is one for you too. Choose joy. Even amidst the challenges. It IS possible!
I got to thinking the other day about how when we were in the trenches I had thoughts and worries I couldn't even speak out loud. Lots of times I didn't want anyone to know my truth. I was scared that this would never end or that we were living with a child who was actually dangerous. I was sad for my child, for my family, and for my life. It wasn't at all what I had hoped for. I really had no one to turn to - no one that I thought would get it.
Here's the question of the day...Do you have a person or a group of people other than your spouse that you can be totally honest with about everything that goes on in your house, your head, and your heart? And I mean EVERYTHING!
Well, as I have worked with families from all over the world, I've seen that not having people around you that get it (because they've survived it) leaves a painful hole. There's nothing like having someone who has made it tell you that, not only can you make it too, but also tell you...here's how.
That's what I want to do for you...not only here's why, but more importantly here's HOW!
I GET IT. I understand the fear, the sadness, the overwhelmed feeling, the exhaustion, the feeling alone, feeling like you are not enough, and on and on. I have felt them all. Said them all.
It's time for you to know what it feels like to be fully understood. Breathe a sigh of relief. Recuperate. Revive. Then you can start healing. Gain strength. Clarity. And know you are not walking this path alone. We will get you an effective action plan...Hope will step in!
How? The Intentional Parent Coaching Group. Everything you need...I know because it's everything I needed. Don't put it off any longer. Don't let your fear and sadness and all the unspoken stuff get in the way of getting your family to Happy & Healthy.
Today is your day...Come with me and be a part of this incredible group of parents who absolutely know how it is in your home cause they live it too. Parents who understand the fears of your heart and head cause they feel it too! I want to help you have hope again!
A place where you will never be judged. A place where everyone gets it. A place where you will find tools and strategies that will absolutely get your family to where you want them to be. Don't wait another day to get started!
See you in the Coaching Group!
Wow! I don't know if you've seen it, but I posted on my Facebook Page that I needed a little help in doing some research for a class coming up. The question was...What do you want your family and friends to understand? and boy did I get lots of input...over 120 people have commented so far.
I get it. Feeling judged and questioned all of the time is no way to live. Not having the support of the most important people in your life can be very alienating. Life can get very lonely!
I think one thing we can all agree on is that unless you walk the path we are walking, you just can't get what it takes to help a child like ours heal. So we understand that our family and friends might not know our struggle or have any clue as to how to help.
However, I'm not okay with just leaving it at that. Having a support system that really works is key! So...I am taking on this mission. I am putting together a video called Supporting An Adoptive, Foster, Guardian, Kinship or Step Family 101.
In this video, I'll explain the science of things, how everyday can get hard, and why we have to do it differently, along with share ideas of what your support system CAN do to really help your family get to happy and healthy! A culmination of over 100 families input on what they want their support system to know.
Yours to use to help build and strengthen your support system.
Being surrounded by support is so crucial in building the Safety Net your child so deserves. It is key in staying in it no matter what and for as long as it takes - and that is where healing happens. On this journey, you need to surround yourself with people that get it cause they've already walked it, surround yourself with people that are walking it with you and surround yourself with the people who have been your safety net all along.
Choosing to be a part of the Intentional Parent Coaching Group is your next most powerful step to getting your family to happy and healthy. The people that get it cause they've lived it. And the people that get it cause they are in the trenches with you!
This month in the IPCG we are focusing in on strengthening and building your support system. I want to personally invite you to join us and take advantage of all that typically goes on in the group + all of the bonuses this month like the Supporting An Adoptive, Foster, Guardian, Kinship or Step Family 101 video. In the Intentional Parent Coaching Group this month, we are getting families SUPPORT.
Here are just a couple other things we have going this month.
-Two Drawings for a One Hour Live Team Coaching Session. This is meant to be used with extended family and/or close friends that are a part of your every day life. This session will help get your team on the same page.
-A Free template: Dear Support System,... This letter template can be used to educate family, friends and others as to your goals, plans and hope for your children. It will also help them understand their role in your child's life.
No more doing this alone!
Let's get you really surrounded by support and your family moving towards happy and healthy.
See you in the Coaching Group!
Not too long after we adopted our girls, things changed. A lot. My girls were struggling. I was struggling. My family was struggling. But...something else changed too. The relationships I had with family and friends changed.
Some pulled away. I wasn't able to reach out like I had before. So often we were just getting by, barely hanging on some days. And for some of my family, they didn't know how to deal with that. Perhaps I had changed and they didn't know how to help me so they stayed away.
Some questioned, and often I felt judged. The fact of the matter is, they just didn't understand. They had not been on this journey and parenting kiddos who had come with deep loss does look different sometimes. It has to. And most of the time, my girls didn't let anyone else see their struggles. So if I shared about the challenges we were dealing with at home, others looked at me as if I was crazy. As if I was just being crabby or mean.
I lost friends along the way. And for awhile, I didn't feel as close to my family as I once had. Eventually, I got things turned around for my family. I learned a ton, tried new parenting strategies, and my girls began to heal. They began to trust and know that they had a "one and only". Know that they had a "No Matter What Family."
I began teaching family and friends about what I had learned. Once they could understand why I was parenting the way I was, and when they could see that my family was happier and healthier, they began supporting me in a whole new way. What a difference that made. The reality is we ALL need a support team.
So many parents come to me hurting, feeling isolated, feeling judged by their family and friends. Many have lost friendships or a going it alone. If that's you...let's get you the support you need. The support you deserve.
In the Intentional Parent Coaching Group this month, we are getting families SUPPORT.
Here are just a few things we have going this month.
A 35-45 minute video you can share with your extended family and friends. Supporting An Adoptive, Foster, Gaurdian, Kinship or Step Family 101 This video will help them understand and open up dialogue so that they can help support you in helping your child heal.
Two Drawings for a One Hour Live Team Coaching Session. This is meant to be used with extended family and/or close friends that are a part of your every day life. This session will help get your team on the same page.
Free template: To My Support System... This template can be used to educate family, friends and others as to your goals, plans and hope for your children. It will also help them understand their role in your child's life.
Let's get you really surrounded by support.
See you in the Coaching Group!
I was talking with a Mom the other day and she was explaining to me how she just wanted her child to have a really great summer and especially a wonderful 4th of July, just how she had as a girl. Cooking hot dogs around the campfire, chasing glow bugs after dark, and sitting on a blanket oohing and awing at the fire works.
However, her family's celebration looked nothing like her childhood celebration. She shared how her child just would not behave. Mom and Dad felt like she was trying to wreck it - like she didn't care about the rest of the family at all. As a matter of fact, Mom said that they don't really "celebrate" at all any more. She shared that it makes her sad that they don't celebrate anymore, but she was tired of trying without things changing.
My thought was that I got that. Yes, lots of times we have to do it differently, but that if she met her children right where they were at she could make it so much more doable...they wouldn't have to skip celebrating all together.
We went on to look at how the 4th of July probably felt to her child, maybe YOU can relate, it was NOT the same at all. She struggled with trigger after trigger, impact of trauma after impact of trauma, misguiding her emotional and mental experience and so much more.
Basic things like a new routine, new sounds, new food, new people around can create questions of survival (emotional and physical) for a survivor. Even many years later.
Then add in impacts of trauma like dis-regulation, sensory issues, and no cause and effect thinking and physical chaos ensues.
Finally, add in the basics like a younger emotional age than physical age, anniversaries, personal experience and her child was standing on very "shaky ground" when it came to sorting it all out and succeeding.
So...here are a few things she will put in place this year to try to find the "doable" for herself, her child and her whole family...and if you can relate to her story, you should too!
Meeting your child right where he is at allows you to make memories and have joy and peace at the same time that you are helping your child heal. It makes life so much more doable!
Families celebrate. It's part of being a member of the group. It's part of feeling loved and included. It is really important that we find a way that our children can have that kind of experience. That is where healing happens.
I hope today you find a way to celebrate,even if it is just for a moment.
Getting your family to Happy and Healthy is the ultimate Pursuit of Happiness!
With love & dedication to your family always,
P.S. I've got to tell you...I have 1000's more strategies to share with you. I'd be honored to help you get your action plan in place. The one that will help your family get to Happy and Healthy! Today is a GREAT day to start and it all happens here - Intentional Parent Coaching Group.