Unless you have walked in my shoes you cannot understand...but I would really like it if you could!
Wouldn't it be great if our family, friends and the professionals in our lives "got" what we are trying to do for our kids? Well at least, "got it" better than they do.
Having the understanding and support of those around us would make all of the difference in the world. However, for most, it is really difficult to understand how to be there for us as well as for our children. The way to help our children heal is sometimes very counter-intuitive, creating hurdles that stand in the way of others supporting our parenting choices and being loving and kind to our children.
Unfortunately, not understanding results in the alienation and strain of our closest relationships and those other relationships we had looked to be able to count on for support. So many families report feeling judged and questioned by those that know their heart the best. They report having had to step back from their closest relationships which resulted in feelings of hopelessness. Others look to professionals to help them help their children and are met with blame, disbelief in what the parent is experiencing and true lack of knowledge or experience in how to help.
While it can be difficult for friends, family and professionals to know how to help us, it is NOT a lost cause. It is up to us as adoptive, foster, kinship and guardian parents to TEACH them. We need to learn how to put what we know, what we need, and what they can do in a format that they can not only understand, but be empowered by! I want to help you do that...I have worked with helping many people better understand their role and how they can REALLY help! These techniques have worked with people like...your siblings, your other children, your parents, your friends and neighbors, pastors, teachers, therapists, other health care professionals and more!
SO don't ask HOW, ask WHEN.
In my December Inner Circle we are going to delve into some specifics of how to help those around us learn to "hold us up" and be involved in the healing of our children and the happiness of our entire family. You will be able to fine tune your family's plan in our sessions together!
This months Inner Circle is going to SPRINGBOARD you in to an entire year of building or rebuilding your Support System. The months to follow in Inner Circle will add to your ability to reach out to others, to regain momentum, to help you to feel understood and supported! Being part of this powerful, committed, positive group of parents will change your day, your week, your month...your life!
This is a perfect time to join us...December's training video is about to be released! I am so excited to work with you! Follow the link below for more information and to register!
In the midst of family and frenzy today, take a few minutes to...BREATHE. Don't worry about trying to do everything perfectly or about being who everyone else need you to be, take a few minutes to...Breathe.
Breathe in all that is good about your life.
Breathe in the little triumphs as well as the big.
Breathe in the calling you have to do what you do.
Whether you hear it in your relationships or not, I want to remind you the...YOU are enough. You are capable. You are someone's HOPE. YOU ARE your child's best chance at healing.
Today I am thankful for family and health, for a warm place to sleep, for plenty of food on our table...but mostly, I am thankful for all of you; for your sacrifices, for your commitment, for your loving spirits. YOU are making my world better every day and what I know for sure is that my children's world will be happier, safer and a more fulfilling place because of YOU!
Have the best day your family can have - Peace!
This is a challenging journey at times...we have got to stick together.
No matter what the challenge and no matter the outcome - know you are supported by those who have walked your path!
WE of all people know to never judge a book by its cover.
WE of all people know that pain and grief can hide behind masks of anger and repression. WE of all people know that no two persons experiences life the same way.
WE of all people know that to meet someone right where they are is the most loving position to take! (adult or child)
Know this week and always that you are NOT being judged or measured by those who walk your journey.
Hold your head up high you are part of an elite group of parents who are making a real difference in the world...that is BIG stuff!
There is ALWAYS more you can do!
The attitude of "I QUIT" only makes things worse - your child feels it, gets scared, and acts out more!
You have the power to do this. When things get tough, it is about having and "I CAN" attitude instead!
It may take you 24 to 48 hours to come up with your new plan, but it isn't an I quit - it's an I CAN!
In order to stay away from the I Quits...
1. Get your rest
2. Take a deep look and make sure your stuff is NOT in the equation. Ask someone who knows you well to help.
3. Don't label your child's behavior without considering the impacts that trauma has made on him.
4. Stay away from setting a timeline for where healing should be by now. Our children are individuals.
5. Remind yourself of his emotional age and parent there.
6. Reframe your state of mind..."I made a commitment and I am going to stick with it always; I just need to re-group."
The power you have to calm things in your house is HUGE.
The power you have to help heal is UNDENIABLE.
The power you have to get up and keep going is REAL!
YOU are your child's hope. When you still have hope for him, HE can have hope for himself! It is a GAME CHANGER!
One word parents of hurt children should take out of their vocabulary is…okay. The okay with the question mark after it…okay?
As a whole, we strive to help our children really understand and then integrate into their core that we CAN and WILL take care of them. We can and will take care of them when it gets dark, when they are hungry, when it storms, when there are new people around, in any given scenario…after all we are Mom and Dad, that is what we do!
After losing their primary caregiver, many children struggle to “believe” that they can really rely on another adult so deeply again. They struggle to trust that adults can and will take care of them, and often they struggle to believe that they are worth the effort.
In order to combat our children’s fears about their relationship with us, we need to be a strong, confident, foundation for them. A foundation they can count on to be able to protect them in any situation, to know the right answers, and to consistently meet their needs no matter what. A foundation that won’t waver. If we can convince them to rely on us in this way, they can begin to shed the beliefs they have formed about the world and start to trust again. Anxiety, misbehavior, and eating/sleeping issues begin to wane.
So here’s the number one secret way to begin to become the foundation your child needs…DO NOT END A SENTENCE WITH, OKAY? Using the word okay as a question at the end of a sentence just gives away the power you have to help your child feel safe and secure. He perceives it as if you are asking him because you don’t know if your “plan” will work. You just became a fractured foundation he will not put his trust in, you need him to make the final decision about the next move in life. His old belief has just been verified instead of nullified.
On paper this is an easy change to make. However, if you are a chronic “okayer”, it will take some intention on your part to ABOLISH the word from your vocabulary. This journey can make us stronger individuals if we let it and the reality is that you may be okaying in all of your relationships, which would make this a place you want to spend some time thinking about and working on. You are a strong powerful individual that might be questioning themselves and their value across the board. Working on ourselves is really key to moving our stuff out of the way so we can be the Intentional Parent our hurt child needs to be able to heal.
As a parent, we have so much power to help OR hurt. It is such a fine line. Every word we utter has impact, even a funny four-letter word like, okay?
Lots of times I think we ask the question "okay?" when we are questioning ourselves. When we are not confident in our ability to do “it” the right way our sentences end with "Okay?".
Don’t let those doubts sneak into your day…you CAN do this. Trust your gut. Believe in you! Take the question of okay out of your vocabulary and your children will believe in you too! Then life starts to calm and things get better!
Did You know that Research Says That Happiness is a Choice? Better Yet, Did You Know that Even in the Midst of Challenge Happiness IS a Choice?
Happiness transforms us; it raises outcomes in relationships, business and health. It is fueled by HOPE! The hope that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!
To secure and maintain the hope that ensures us happiness, we must change our mindset and our habits. It all begins with your mind and what you think. Choosing to think positively every day, to fill your mind with hope-filled thoughts, will create happiness because everything is connected to your mind.
Even in the midst of trial, it is possible to be hopeful, to be positive, to be HAPPY! It is about not giving into the negative thoughts, but MOST importantly, it is about NOT giving up...about starting new every day. Clearing away the yuck and concentrating on the good. Making the daily CHOICE to think about the GOOD!
I know you didn't plan for things to be this way. I know that you just wanted to give love and opportunities. I know that sometimes it seems like all is lost. But you cannot deal with your hurdles by thinking, I have tried everything and nothing works, I am a bad parent, or my life is ruined. You have to measure how far you HAVE come, how much growth there HAS been, how equipped you ARE. You have to look forward. You have to choose to take control of your life - not settle or blame. As long as you do, your happiness is at stake.
Believe me, it IS possible to choose what you think. It might take time to retrain yourself and to form new habits. And not everything will be fixed immediately;we all know the kind of healing some of our children need to do takes time. But with hope and happiness you are equipped to stay in it for as long as it takes!
The power of your thinking affects your words, your emotions and your daily choices. Therefore, negative thoughts = miserable days, weeks, months, life! It is time; use that power of positive thinking to transform your life!
Start making the change NOW!
Begin to retrain your brain. Don't lift your head off of the pillow in the morning without purposefully thinking good positive thoughts. Make an intentional choice to stop along your day to think about the good, try speaking those thoughts to yourself.
Here's a little secret for you...no one can change the positive effects of this for you unless you let them! When life throws you curve balls, you might have to work harder, but you can still keep your focus. And positivity will win out!
Your life will be transformed!
Change IS Possible!
Hope and Happiness are YOUR CHOICE...Go for it!
I know you have been through a lot. I know you have been through the ringer. I know you often feel judged and questioned. I know the people you thought knew you best now make you feel like the problem. I know that sometimes your life feels like it has been ruined. I understand how suffocating it can feel. It is totally understandable that you are mad, that you want to quit, that you have lost hope.
I also know that while you hold onto all of that stuff...you CAN'T be happy. Nothing will really get better. The first step to the future you desire is FORGIVENESS.
The great news is that it is in your power to create a shift. A shift that will open up all kinds of doors. You CAN do this! It all begins with forgiveness!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
I Can't Take Care of Me!
I hear this from moms and dads all of the time. Yes You CAN! Yes You CAN!
I know it doesn't feel like there is time. I know you don't feel like you have enough energy to do anything else. I know that you don't feel like you deserve it...I felt all those things too! I have to tell you I did a crappy job of taking care of me when we were in the trenches - and I regret it!
I didn't realize what I was doing. There was no one in my life cheering me on or explaining how important it was. Or most importantly helping me figure out how to take care of myself in the midst of my challenging situation. I was caught in the spin of my children's emotional challenges and did NOT know how to break free so that I could take care of me!
Look, you have to shift your definition of "taking care of you." For lots of parents, it means to get away from the parenting job. Well, with our kids that isn't always the best option! (Some parents get that chance, but for some of us, it just won't work). In our case, it is in the little things. The everyday things. It has to include how we think, how we speak and how we fill ourselves up.
Usually, it helps to start with filling yourself up, then your thinking and speaking are easier to work on. So, indulge a little bit. A new magazine, nail polish, lotion for your dry hands you have been ignoring. Invest in a new flavor of tea or coffee that you can look forward to every morning. Set your kids up with something to do and watch your favorite day time show. Or put a movie in on Saturday mornings and doze on the couch while they watch. Having a plan to look forward to is a really great feeling. It can just be for some little event like a game with your hubby while kids are playing in the evening. You get the gist!
The next move is to begin to work on your mindset and nothing helps that better than finding the good in your day...something you can be thankful for. Even if it is the very thing you did for you or that you made it to bedtime.
Finally, it is in how you talk about things. How you talk about your situation, your child and yourself. Be very careful not to label. Never allow yourself to use the word quit. And try to ask those around you for what you need.
So, here's the thing. I didn't have anyone to keep reminding me or show me how important this was, but you DO! Me! It is so worth it. Your energy will increase. Your outlook on life will become more positive. Your ability to stay in it with your child for as long as it takes will renewed! Give it a try. I promise it will make a difference!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
November...a focus on Thankfulness and Family!
Even in our hardest struggle, it is KEY to look for the good. To be THANKFUL for it. The smallest moment or glimmer of good should be marked. It is a healing choice!
Some days the good to be thankful is glaringly easy to see and name. But, other days it is the furthest from our view. As a matter of fact, for many it seems almost impossible to identify or even believe that it exists.
The ability to see and name the good in life is one of the main differences between being a victim and being a healthy, positive influence on the world! To be able to see this, even in the face of challenge and opposition, is gained through practice and great desire. To be able to see the good is life-giving. It creates hope and and strength for the long haul!
As I think about the good in my life, so many people and things come to mind, but the opportunity to work with all of you stands out among the most important. The work you do changes lives! You are amazing! And I am thankful to be a part of it all!
My passion is to support every family along their journey and I am excited to use National Adoption Month to kick off a few new events that I think will be great for all families who are loving hurt children!
First, I am excited to tell you about a new challenge I am starting for the month...it is called #30daysofthankfulness.
Watch for daily posts on Facebook where I will share what I am thankful for and then join with me by sharing your comments and pictures! We know some days will be more difficult than others, but together we can do it!
Don't worry; as we concentrate on Thankfulness this month, doors will open and hearts will begin to mend - I just know it! Your energy will double and your hope will be renewed. You will be ready to be the parent your child needs you to be! I am so filled with energy when I think about the force we are! I have gone crazy this month putting together ways I can support you and you can support each other! There is something for everyone!
SO, I say let's go for it...are you with me? What are you thankful for? Can't wait to hear!