The other day I was running an errand for my daughter. Picking up a piece of furniture for her, on the other side of the cities. Since I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t have a navigator with me, it was up to me (and Siri of course).
So…I typed in the address and hit go. No map reading needed. No thinking required. Just drive while Siri gave me step by step instructions. Thank goodness for smart phones, right?
If only everything in life was that easy. Imagine if someone was telling us step by step instructions for parenting. Say this. Now do this. Stop here. How easy that would be.
Well…we all know that’s not how it works. But, seriously, so many parents have asked me to give them the what to do and say in the moment. That’s one of the reasons I created the Intentional Parent Coaching Group.
There are classes to take and workshops to attend. Lot of information and great ideas, but so often parents need someone to tweak it for their family. For their child. Someone to help them when they get stuck or to answer their questions now that they’re putting the tools into play.
There are support groups out there. On line and in person. And I’m a big believer in surrounding yourself with support. The support of those who get it because they live it. And that’s another reason I started the Intentional Parent Coaching Group.
I truly believe parents need all the parts – the education with tools, a place to get a plan tweaked for your family and your questions answered, and the support that comes from those who get it.
The Intentional Parent Coaching group is made up of all 3 of those parts.
Jump in now, try it for a month, and see what a BIG difference it’ll make.
Can't wait to see you in group!
When it Gets Scary...
Have you ever gotten to the point when you actually wondered if your child had more wrong with him then just attachment issues or trauma stuff...like, I mean really scary, sociopath stuff that will never heal?
It's not easy to admit. It's not where we want our lives to be. It's not what we want for our children. However, there can be times of such dis-regulation, sadness, confusion, and aggression that the fear of this possibility sets in for us as parents.
I've talked to so many families who are dealing with the constant struggle with hard behaviors such as lying, stealing, or aggression.
They also report that their children don't feel bad or never says "I'm sorry."
And...it all seems to be getting bigger & bigger. They say the feel LOST and don't know what to do anymore.
They're AFRAID. Afraid it'll never change. Sometimes afraid for their other children. And even afraid for themselves.
I GET IT. We've been there and I never want to experience it again. I never want my children to be that hurt and scared ever again either.
You are not alone. You're not doing it wrong. And most importantly, the majority of the time, your child isn't a budding sociopath.
DON'T Be AFRAID. Fear breeds fear.
When a human being, in this case your child, senses your fear and anxiety, it immediately raises his or hers as well.
When our children are afraid or feel unsafe they fight to gain control - they're survivors. The fight is very real to them. Typically it includes harder behaviors, louder, more painful words, or just plain going away physically and or emotionally and more.
It makes things worse.
Fear sets in when you've exhausted everything you know.
Fear blinds you when you're feeling alone.
Fear feeds off of being emotionally challenged day in and day out.
Fear dictates the quality of your life.
Fear continues to exist as long as we let it...fear needs to be fought off!
YOU CAN STOP BEING AFRAID.
You need tools that work, different tools and strategies then you know right now. If you're afraid of your child or how his future looks it's time to try something new.
When we're doing it alone, it's easy to lose objectivity and clarity, which creates a perfect place for fear to flourish. Fight fear by being surrounded by other people walking your same path. By those who have made it to the other side who can say, "Oh yeah, we lived through that too and it will be okay. Here's what to do and say."
The intensity of this journey can take its toll and fear creeps in the cracks. Being intentional about filling yourself up with support and health will strengthen you to fight off your fears.
Your family deserves Happy and Healthy and fear can rob you of that without a fight. Having an action plan in place that is all about meeting your kiddos right where they're at is how you increase the quality of your life.
The reality of the hurts, fears, sadness, missed milestones, confusion, lack of self-worth, irrational beliefs, and other hurdles your children fight each day can make life daunting.
It does take specialized and intentional parenting.
It does mean we have to show our children they deserve a No Matter What & For As Long As It Takes relationship...which is YOU.
They do get intense and misunderstood. And they do get scary.
The good news is...You CAN handle it and you don't have to be afraid!
This is the kind of stuff the Intentional Parent Coaching Group was created from. The reality that we should not do this alone. The need to discover new ways to parent that meet our children right where they are at. The added strength and power that comes from being surrounded by other Parents who are fighting the same good fight. The clarity that comes with being heard and understood.
I want to personally invite you to come and be a part of my Coaching Group.
Your fears will fade away and all of that energy will be directed into making your healing plan work. Your family will feel the shift you have been looking for.
No More Letting Fear Rule Your Family's Life!
P.S. Unfortunately, there is a very small percentage of children who have been so hurt by their life experiences that living in a family is just too much. It is ultimately our job to keep them and the rest of our family safe (including YOURSELF). I am in no way suggesting that any family should endure physical or emotional abuse.
What I Want For My Children
As you may have seen from my video on my Facebook page this past weekend, I went to a concert with my daughter. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill. While I have to confess I didn’t know a lot about them, they were FANTASTIC. And wow, do they put on a good show! A definite win of a girl’s night out.
Listening to the words of Tim McGraw’s song Humble & Kind…what a great message. A great sentiment.
Got me thinking about what I want for my kiddos.
What I know now, after being on this journey of parenting for nearly 21 years, is I’m certain what I wish for my children. And I’m pretty sure my list today is not what my list would’ve been when I started.
What I want for my children:
For them to know that I will always be a soft place for them to land.
For them to know and believe that they are worthy of the good in life
That they know that we are a No Matter What family…I’ll always be there for you.
That they are HAPPY & HEALTHY.
That’s it. Pretty simple. Pretty straightforward. I’m not worried if they get some high paying career. I’m not insisting they go to a 4 year college. I'm going for something that matters a whole lot more to me.
Here’s to HAPPY & HEALTHY!
With dedication to helping your family to Happy and Healthy,
P.S. Happy and Healthy...it's what I'm helping get other families to as well. I'd love to help you get you and your family to Happy & Healthy. Join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group today.
So many times your children get labeled the naughty child.
Unfortunately, teachers are under a lot of pressure to care for and teach large groups of kiddos and that doesn't leave them the opportunity to figure out why your child is struggling or how they can help him/her to succeed.
And in the craziness of every day life, it is our children who can't sit down and conform like the rest of the class, who don't read the non-verbal cues and social nuances correctly so they stick out, who because of their reality are so hyper-vigilant they miss directions, can't concentrate much less remember what they need to, and who don't have cause and effect thinking to help them fit-in.
Their CAN'Ts are misinterpreted as WON'Ts. They quickly become that child.
Then, when what that teacher knows how to do doesn't work...that child can really pay the price.
Here are just a few things I would recommend putting in place to avoid having your child be that child this school year:
1. Ask your child's teacher to be an extension of you, not a replacement for you.
2. Put in place a fail-proof communication plan with teacher.
3. Help create a plan with your child's teacher that will help your child feel emotionally safe.
I do want to make sure that I say very clearly that I believe that 99% of teachers do care and want our children to succeed. It's just that they have a hard job and they (like many of us) were not really trained properly to help our children heal. So...it's important we work together!
I know, it is really hard to explain this stuff. And I get that sometimes your child is a whole other person in school. However, I also know that if you can get you child's school day calmer and more successful, your whole family would be affected...and in a really good way.
SO, I want to personally invite you to join my Coaching Group. Let me teach you more tools and strategies that you can put in place to create the shift you all deserve! Oh and just click this link
http://www.tohavehope.com/intentional-parent-coaching-group.html to find out about the BONUS I'm offering this month only to the Intentional Parent Coaching Group Members. This is a bonus that will make it very easy for you to say all you need to say to your child's teacher!
See you in group!
My Adopted or Foster Child just keeps making the same hurtful choice over and over again. He just doesn't care. Sticker charts don't even work. Neither consequences or rewards motivate him. She's doing it on purpose. Sound familiar?
I hear these and more frustrations time and time again from Adoptive & Foster Parents and they all boil down to one very common impact of trauma...the inability to use Cause & Effect Thinking.
Children begin to develop Cause & Effect thinking as early as eight months old. An inconsistent, chaotic, or unsafe environment gets in the way of a child getting though this developmental stage.
Cause & Effect thinking allows us to make assumptions and be able to reason about things that happen around us. Like if I don't water the plant, it'll die. It also helps us understand other people's intentions and behaviors.
Let me just say it this way...sticker charts don't work with our Adopted & Foster kiddos because they don't get that if I do A then B will happen. As a matter of fact, most of the time the expectation and anxiety that failing to succeed on the sticker chart creates worse behavior.
And they are not making the same choice over and over again to be hurtful; it's because they don't understand that the choice they are making effects the outcome.
The lack of Cause & Effect Thinking keeps our kids from accomplishing good things too. "If I don't understand how my choice = a specific outcome, then I don't understand that if I practice or for it, I can get what I want.
Your child DOES Care; she just doesn't get that what she says or does has an impact on something or someone else!
Did you just have a light bulb moment?
Does this sound like someone you know?
Knowing the Impact of Trauma, how they look on your child, and what to do about them is a GAME CHANGER for Adoptive & Foster Parents.
Knowing this stuff and having tools & strategies to put in place to help your child heal is what's going to help you stay in it with your child. Really getting this will equip you to meet your child where he's at and that's WHERE THE HEALING HAPPENS!
Let me teach you all about the impacts of trauma and how to put an action plan full of tools and strategies that work in place for your child! Come and be part of my Intentional Parent Coaching Group today!
Another big impact of trauma is what I call the Swiss Cheese Effect. Check it out.
Is a Pet What Your Child Needs?
A little while ago I was taking guesses on my Facebook page of our big find for my son at a flea market. Lots of good guesses…and several got it right. A puppy. A super cute puppy to be exact.
Needless to say, my son was thrilled. It’s the biggest smile I’ve seen on his face in a long time. And to watch the sweet interaction between Bella (the puppy) and him brought tears to this momma’s eyes.
Bella is his dog. He’s the one taking care of her. The feeding. The walking. The cleaning up after. The taking out to the bathroom. She is his dog. It didn't take long for her to figure out who was her person. She snuggles right into him and his eyes light right up. And unknown to Bella and to him, she serves a purpose.
My son Drew is a future movie maker, empathetic, loving, incredibly intelligent, patient, creative, and has an eye to see the beautiful things in the world that others don't. Drew is also dyslexic. Over the years, his struggle with dyslexia has created some anxiety and, as he grew into adolescence, really affected his self-esteem.
My son Drew is also strong and he is pushing through this next transition of graduating from high school and determining what he wants to do next. Bella the puppy is going to make this journey with him. She can be there with him to calm his nerves, to love him no matter what, and he can be hers and teach her and train her to be the best Bella she can be.
Bella hasn't had any special training to be a "real" therapy dog, but she's already made a huge impact. He is her boy. Now he's got three of us that will be there no matter what and for as long as it takes. Take that, Anxiety!
Get ready world...Drew and Bella are about to show you the beautiful things in life!
If you can manage a pet, we've always found they have been very healing for our children. Yes, sometimes you'll have to do the feeding or the cleanup because your child's emotional age just isn't there, but the payoff is worth it. It's an investment in healing!
School has started or is about to start and I know that it can be a rough time.
Whether it's an academic struggle, a behavioral one, or a relational one - OR ALL THREE - the whole family is affected. And your every day can be turned upside down.
Here's the thing...It DOESN'T have to be so hard!
There are some key elements that have to be in place to turn your child's school year around, whether you send your child off to school or school at home.
There have to be strategies in place to keep YOU, your child's regulation, "ALIVE"...even when you are apart.
There has to be clarity about the impacts of trauma your child struggles with and how they impact learning.
There has to be a trauma-informed plan, both at home and at school...along with in the bus and on the playground.
There has to be an action plan that cuts down on unnecessary transitions.
There has to be an IEP in place that takes into account your child's deficits.
There has to be an understanding that your child needs school staff to be an extension of you and not a replacement for you.
There has to be an educational plan that doesn't trigger your child so that he can learn.
And SO MUCH MORE!
I want to teach you how to put all of this in place. And then work with you to tweak it as the school year progresses. You CAN do this!
Here's how we start...This month in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group we are focusing in on SCHOOL. Not only is our training pointed at how trauma impacts learning and what that looks like on your child, but we are creating action plans to put in place at home and at school.
Between our weekly Live sessions, members are able to use the Learning Library that contains one of my best selling classes...Your Child's Best School Year Yet.
AND...this month I'm releasing my E-book for Teachers and other School Personnel. (including Coaches, Paraprofessionals, bus drivers, and Teen Group Leaders) This book will help others understand how your child has been impacted by trauma, what they see isn't all there is to your child, how to help your child succeed, how to be an extension of you and SO much more. This e-book will be available to Intentional Parent Coaching Group members ONLY!
Let's get this school year started off right...for your child and for you. I can't wait to work with you to make this school year a whole lot better. The time is now, let's do it! Join us today.
Just a quick note to share something really important I have found in working with adoptive & foster families all around the globe. Creating opportunities in which your adopted or foster child can be SUCCESSFUL is key to a strong connection between he/she and YOU.
A strong connection between YOU and your child is key to (among many other things) his success in gaining the ability to REGULATE his own emotions, behaviors and thoughts.
Wow! CAN YOU IMAGINE the impact that would have on your child's every day? Not to mention yours and quite honestly the overall quality of life for your whole family.
I hear you asking...well, reality is I asked the same question years ago too. But how do you create those opportunities when sometimes it's so hard it seems impossible?
I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that it all starts with parenting from your child's EMOTIONAL AGE.
Our children CAN succeed as long as we meet them where they are at. Yes, it's different. Yes, it's counter-intuitive. YES, it works. YES, you can do it; you just need to know how.
First, you need to be clear about your child's Emotional Age Range. Then you have to use tools and strategies that help you meet them at that age range. And have an action plan that is based in parenting across the board from your child's emotional age range.
A connection built on meeting your child right where he is at = a shift that increases the quality of your whole families life.
Your child is more successful in all of his relationships - especially the one between you and he. The scene is set for New Brain Wiring to happen and for New Core Beliefs to begin to develop. Mastery of Developmental Milestones can be gained. A much more secure connection is being formed.
And that Secure Connection is where your child's ability to regulate better grows from. It all starts from meeting them where they are at...and the most successful way to do that is to Parent from their Emotional Age!
SO, No More Imagining...let me help you zero in on your child's Emotional Age Range and learn to Parent from there! Your WHOLE family will feel the positive impact!
In the video class Emotional Age Matters, you will get the tools to determine your child's emotional age range and then tips and strategies to parent from there, meeting your child right where he's at while still honoring his chronological age. It can be a juggle, but it IS possible. And it's what your child needs.
It's a game changer!
My goal is to get an action place in plan for you and your family. One that includes looking at your whole child, meeting him right where he's at, and staying in it for as long as it takes. One that begins from his EMOTIONAL AGE!
Success. Increased Quality of Life. The Shift you have been waiting for! The Intentional Parent Coaching Group Take action today! JOIN US!
I know how hard you’re working at helping your kiddo. Ever feel like nothing's working? This journey can be rough at times. Lonely. Exhausting. Defeating. Uncertain. I know because I was there.
Seventeen years ago we brought our girls home. Boy, we there some rocky times. But…we’ve made it to the other side. And along the way, I came up with ways to do it differently. Ways that really worked for my girls. And I want to share them with you. I want to help you.
You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to stay miserable. You don’t have to settle. I’m reaching my hand out to YOU. Grab hold. Seriously. It can be a whole lot better.
Grab my hand. Let me get you tools that really work.
Grab my hand. Let me get you a plan for your child, for your family.
Grab my hand. Let me hold you up when you can’t take another step.
Grab my hand. Let’s do this together.Let’s get you and your family to HAPPY & HEALTHY.
Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group and you'll be equipped, empowered, and supported like never before. Let do this together! Join me today.
I recently bought a new bracelet for myself. A simple yet beautiful bracelet with a powerful inscription. Just a single word. BRAVE.
It’s a reminder for me. A reminder to continue to be brave. Brave for my family. Brave for myself. And brave for all the families I mentor.
When things are rough, it can be easy to feel defeated. Overwhelmed. Ready to throw in the towel. Anything but brave. BUT…when it comes to our children, we can’t stay there. We need to keep fighting for them. We need to keep doing whatever we can…finding new tools, trying different ways. We need to keep being BRAVE.
Every day I interact with parent after parent after parent. And yes, sometimes they feel defeated. Worn out. Hopeless. But I have to say, they are some of the bravest people I know (even though they feel brave lots of days). They took a leap when they began this journey. They keep at it…even when it feels impossible. And they are reaching out to get help. To get support. To learn new ways. They are doing whatever they can to help their kiddos. And that’s BRAVE.
Remind yourself of how BRAVE and how STRONG you are. Even on those days when you don’t feel it, you ARE brave.