Things Are Changing
It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning colors, the temps are cooler, and there is a crispness in the air here in Minnesota. I am reminded that life has its seasons too. In many ways, like the seasons, we have to remember things WILL change.
As Intentional Parents, we have to remind ourselves how important it is to have HOPE, to focus on the FUTURE and not dwell in the past, to try to get up every day ready to move FORWARD and in all these times we must take our children with us; they can't do it alone. It is up to us to show them with our actions and attitudes how to walk through the seasons of life.
There are GLORIOUS times in life....like the orange and gold and red of the beautiful fall leaves.
There are LONELY, DREAD-FILLED times....like the gray bleak days of winter.
We must remember there are also the times of RENEWAL, GROWTH and HEALING of spring....like the return of the songbirds, the first green bud on the trees, or the colorful blossoms pushing up out of the cold ground.
Don't get stuck - be the change of the seasons in your family's life. Commit to do your best to move forward each day! Look for the glorious moments and concentrate on them; they will give you the fuel to reach for a daily sense of renewal. Renewal that will ultimately lead to healing!
Take care and remember...you are NOT alone!
P.S. Just like your child doesn't have to walk through the seasons alone, you do not have to either. Join me in Inner Circle Coaching and I'll walk alongside you. Be equipped with tools and surrounded by the support of those who truly understand. http://www.tohavehope.com/stacy-mannings-inner-circle.html
It is NOT an Adoption Issue
Let's just say I am SO frustrated with the phrase "Adoption Issues" that I could SCREAM! As if to say that the adoption or the adoptive parents are causing the struggle for their adopted child.
Sure, this is a very difficult job and many Adoptive Parents struggle sometimes - hard behaviors, hurtful words and dysregulation are just a few of the day to day challenges they face without training and support.
Let's get real...the question that begs to be considered is, what came first the loss of a primary attachment figure or the adoption itself?
The "issues" stem from the loss of or break in attachment, so let's call them "abandonment issues" or "loss issues"; the problems were there before our children were adopted!
No, our kids are not doomed to be forever broken; however, research shows that losses and mistreatment alike cause some level of difficulty with trust, low self esteem, and ability to do healthy relationships among many other hurdles. The root of the pain, for both child and adoptive parent, is the break in that first attachment, NOT the adoption.
Saying that a child has adoption issues is only creating another label he does NOT need. A negative one at that.
The hurdles he faces each day are a reflection of the deep loss he suffered. His brain was being wired to count on his primary attachment figure as his survival. When he lost her, it cut deep into his soul and his psyche. That kind of cut creates distinct wounds of mistrust, dysregulation, fear, inability to cope, unrealistic beliefs about himself and the world, challenges with having positive healthy relationships, and so much more. For many of our children, the negativity becomes their "WHO" they are and it is very difficult for them to change those internal beliefs, to come out from under that "black cloud" so to speak.
Let's not add to their "list of failures" by suggesting their adoption has issues too. Yes, they will struggle to heal within their new family, but it's unfair to label it over and over again as a problem with the adoption.
Our children need to know that finally having a family WILL work.
The other figure caught in the tsunami of the misuse of the label "adoption issues" is the adoptive parent. So many have shouldered the brunt of society's judgement and blame. These parents start out by opening their heart to children who needed a home and a family, but end up with a life they never expected - exhausted, lonely, hopeless and many times unsupported by their agencies or the system who placed these same children with them.
The biggest crime of all is what happens after sticking by this same child year after year, melt down after melt down, even suffering the loss of their own friends and family members because they have to do it differently. These same parents start doubting whether they are GOOD Parents. They start questioning if they are the "right" parent for their child. They feel lost and sad. They end up having internalized the fact that they have "Adoption Issues" because of their own failures. Families and marriages suffer. It is a vicious circle that can be stopped.
Here's one thing I know for sure...
some people who read this are going to hear me blaming Birth Moms.
This article is NOT about blame!
Life happens and whether an adoption was a brave and loving choice or the result of neglect and abuse, the fact is the attachment with the Biological Mother was broken and/or lost and that affects the child.
It IS the source of future emotional and psychological hurdles.
It IS the source of your child's tantrums, lying and mistrust.
It IS the source of struggles at school, lack of self esteem and more.
Reframing our understanding to reflect this reality will help the child to heal and the Adoptive Parent to be better equipped to help that healing happen.
It is time that we speak about adoption more accurately.
The "issues" are the result of the loss, the abandonment, the break in attachment, not the adoption itself.
Is your family struggling with "Adoption Issues" or are you all being challenged by the results of a lost primary attachment?
Does thinking about it differently give you a new perspective?
It really should set you free as Adoptive Parents. The hard behaviors and words, the mistrust, the anxiety, the wedge in your relationship is deeply rooted in the that first loss, not in the fact that your child doesn't love or respect you or that he's not trying hard enough or that you are not a good parent.
It is NOT an "Adoption Issue".
When Moms Get Sick
Just a little vent...putting this out there on behalf of all Mom's with kids who struggle! Ever wanted to yell it from the roof tops??
Wow, this one has got me DOWN. I mean down for the count. I have been battling an infection for about 2 months now and even on stronger antibiotics I am still not kicking it. Hmmm could it be because I never quit moving?? Get plenty of rest - ha! There is no such thing as a sick Mom who crawls into bed till she's better - especially when they have children who struggle with emotional regulation, grief and loss.
Why? Cause I am their regulation and when I take a day off, their day is affected. By the second day off, things are starting to spin and by the third the jury is out on their emotional state. My being sick is a very real trigger for my kids. Being triggered and disregulated is so hard on my kids...I don't want them to struggle any more than necessary.
So, hey world...you are just going to have to wait. I've got to take care of me and my babies. The paper work, the deadlines, the meetings and commitments - you all have to wait. I have to kick this once and for all and I have to take care of my kids the best way I know how while I do it. I just want you to know that it's not that I don't care. You really have no idea what I juggle on a day to day basis when I feel well, much less would you get how much this adds to the anxiety of my house - and that's okay, but know that I need some time! Thanks!
Take care of yourself, my friends...it will all wait for you. It will all be there when you feel up to par! For right now, get your best quilt and a cup of tea, put a movie (or 2 or 3) on for the kids, prop yourself up on your pillows of the couch right in the middle of the crowd and rest. Take care of you, the Mom of kids who struggle, the best you can! I am right with you this week!
Cookie Cutter Education
So many struggle with one or more pieces of schooling their child. Whether it is the right curriculum, the right teacher or the right experience there are hundreds of options and choosing the right one for your child is key.
No, receiving a standard, cookie-cutter education is not acceptable. Your child deserves to learn the way he learns best. He deserves to be surrounded by adults who are invested in helping him succeed by allowing him to practice emotionally, physically and cognitively. He deserves to feel safe emotionally. He deserves to be met right where he is at!
Look, I get it. My daughters each had their own hurdles when it came to learning. Their impacts of trauma were very prevalent when it came to learning. We have both home-schooled and used the public school system over the years. Either way, until I got the people around us to understand how to identify and then educate my girls right at the place they were at we hit roadblocks over and over again.
Now I know that the way to change your child's experience with schooling is by becoming EXTREMELY intentional about meeting them right where they are at. I want to teach you how to do it too! First, you must identify how trauma has affected your child's ability to learn and teach in a way he can take on new information. Second, you must identify how trauma has affected your child's ability to have strong, healthy relationships and give him room to practice having those relationships. Finally, you must teach others to be an extension of you, not a replacement for you!
Over the past 15 years, it has become very clear to me that working from A CLEAR, SPECIFIC ACTION PLAN is the best way to meet your child right where he is at and it is how healing happens. And when it comes to school and learning, there is NO BETTER OPTION. The reality is that it can be exhausting to swim upstream, but when we do we see results - we see healing and learning and confidence and so much more!
In my upcoming 4-part workshop series Your Child's BEST School Year Yet, you will work with me along with two other schooling experts to craft your unique ACTION PLAN that will create an emotionally safe learning "place" for your child. I want to assist you in putting together a powerful list of accommodations and modifications that will help you and the school meet your child right where he is at to ensure success. I want to teach you effective tools and techniques that work to keep anxiety and triggers under control. And I want you to feel confident so BY the END of the class you will have an action plan that will also include strategies and hands on tools that will decrease the really hard stuff like talking back and general disrespectful behaviors and so much more.
I cannot wait for you to get your action plan in place and see the HUGE difference it will make for your whole family!
Just know...I am keeping this small on purpose. I want to be able to work with each family to ensure they have areally effective action plan when the class is over!
At this time there are only a few spots remaining and DOORS ARE CLOSING in 5 DAYS!
Get Registered TODAY and let's get your Action Plan in Place! - click on the link below! http://www.tohavehope.com/intentional-parent-master-series.html
-I have priced this session to be really affordable! (less than my normal per class fee)
-You get the recordings of the class if you can't be on live.
-You also get the recording of 2 of my best selling classes as a GIFT from Me to YOU!
Dealing With The Daily Grind: Eating, Sleeping and Bathrooming & The Power of Hope
AND You also will receive an invitation to a FREE Follow Up Q and A Session on October 19th
I am REALLY looking forward to seeing you in class!
Being the Mom is a full time job, no matter what the circumstances. And being the Mom of a special needs child (or 2 or 3 or more) is even beyond that...I know, I am both! I have been doing both, and more, for 16 years now and I am glad to say I have learned much!
One of the most important things I have learned is that taking care of me is as important as taking care of everyone else...actually it may be more important. I learned that if I didn't take care of me, I really didn't have the capacity to take care of anyone very well. In order to be an Intentional Parent, you really need clarity and energy.
I learned that to get that clarity and energy, to be really successful at being a GREAT Mom to everyone in my home, I needed to:
EMBRACE MY LIFE and NOT JUST SURVIVE IT!
Here are some thoughts to consider as you try to Embrace Your Life-
1. Secure attachment and healing can only happen at the speed at which it can happen...you can't make it go any faster!
2. Finding good in each day is KEY!
3. Choose to be fully engaged in today and stop looking way ahead.
4. When you finally choose to do something just for yourself...name it that! Say it over and over. This is for me!
5. That something you do for yourself doesn't have to be huge to matter, but mark it for how important it is!
6. Communicate bravely to those around you.
7. You won't feel more in control if you try to micro-manage a person or situation.
8. Create a Mantra to live by and in the most difficult moments cling to it!
9. Seek balance. Give yourself permission to be fully in the now and get to the later, later! It will be there waiting for you.
10. Take a long deep breath before you speak. Then decide what, if anything, needs to be said.
Just surviving our life leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. It causes wrinkles, jumpiness, decreased energy, gray hair and more.
Choosing to Embrace our life - one moment at a time - helps to empower us, to help us feel strong and in control of our destiny. It causes smiles, the ability to read the situation and be intentional about our choices, confidence, tons of energy, peacefulness within our selves and SO MUCH MORE!
I am calling all you Moms and Dads out there...If I can do this so can you! Fight for it you deserve the best!
I want you to come on over to my Facebook page and tell me what you think. Add to my list...how do you take care of you? How do you Embrace YOUR life? I want to know jump on over to Facebook and give me what you've got!
Take care and remember...you are NOT alone!