So, it's Monday and the Monday just after most of us turned our clocks back an hour in observance of Daylight's Savings Time - Double Whammy! Yes, this is another transition that can throw your child off! Oh and YES, even if they've done it dozens of times.
Here's the thing, the body's Circadian rhythms tick away, controlling the release of important hormones that affect moods, hunger levels, and the wanting of sleep. When they get thrown out of whack, by springing forward or falling back due to daylight savings time, the human body notices. And we see our kids struggle more at these times.
In addition to hormone release being affected, our children don't have the ability to regulate their emotions very well either. So their mood swings become bigger, their fears about the basics like food are bigger, and their anxiety in regards to sleep overwhelms them. Some people even suffer the effects of debilitating chronic pain. For example, cluster headaches that cause pain for days and weeks at a time can be caused by changes in the circadian rhythms.
Easy fix...be SUPER intentional about the impacts that Daylight Savings Time could be having on your child's ability to be successful this week.
First, wrap your head around the fact that your child has had experiences, lags in development, loss and many impacts of trauma that makes this transition (and many others) distinctively different than what you or your other children might experience - meet him or her right where he/she is at!
Second, be acutely aware of your child's need for consistency when it comes to the basics (food, water, warmth, safety, etc). Make sure you have all your bases covered. Make sure you are prepared in ANY and ALL situations to meet those needs. Like, let's say you get a flat tire...are you ready?
Third, make sure your expectations are attainable. Your child's ability to cope will be compromised. Lessen the number of transitions, decrease the amount of time they are on their own, pull them in across the board. Remember you are their external regulator and they will need your help more right now. Tweak your expectations to match their abilities. (not lower-just tweak)
For most of our kids, their bodies get back to "normal" after a week and for some it could even take two. Your ability to maintain their safety net (you) as a rock solid foundation in the midst of change will absolutely help them to move through it more easily and more quickly.
The struggle is real but you have the power to ease it. Be Intentional my friends!
Remember...you are NOT alone,
P.S. Ever just wanted to be done? I have been there too. You need to know that You ARE a good Mom. That is NOT the problem. This is a long difficult journey and you haven't been equipped with tools that work. It is time to turn it all around; yes, it can be SO much better...let me help! Join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group today! http://www.tohavehope.com/intentional-parent-coaching-group1.html
What if I Asked You...
I recently came across this question in some reading I was doing. What if I said that today is the first day of the rest of your life - would you keep doing what you are doing right now? It has been mulling in my brain for a week or so and it got me thinking about my life as a parent. My first reaction to the question is to say - of course! However, had I answered 10 years ago it would have not necessarily been the same one.
When we were "deep in the trenches" of parenting our hurt children, I often questioned myself as Mom; there were moments I couldn't believe the things that came out of my mouth and my overall ability to be happy seemed to be gone forever. It was SO hard.
Here's the thing - I eventually answered that question with a resounding NO, I don't want to keep doing things the WAY I am doing them now, but I DO want to keep being a MOM. I was unhappy. I didn't feel like a good Mom at all. My child was clearly not happy either. I had to figure something else out. I learned how to do things differently and it worked.
In that moment, when I decided to fight for my family and fight for my happiness, I also decided to fight for anyone else who felt as lost and alone as I did. I decided right then and there that I was going to figure out the answers and NO FAMILY would walk through this alone as long as I had something to say about it! You are NOT alone!
How do YOU answer the question? What if I said that today is the first day of the rest of your life - would you keep doing what you are doing right now? If you feel stuck or alone, if you are struggling with parenting your hurt child, if you are feeling like a terrible Mom, it's time to change how you are doing things and I would be honored to help. It does NOT have to be this hard.
Simply put...I am here to help you if you are ready.
Remember...you are NOT alone,
P.S. I am so excited about a class I just released last night...Holidays for the Intentional Parent. If your holidays are not how you would like them to be, it is TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE and this class has got the tools and techniques to help you do it! Get Your Spot Now www.tohavehope.com/holidays-for-the-intentional-parent
As an Intentional Parent, one of our most important goals is to meet our child right where she is at. It's not an easy task sometimes that's for sure but, it IS where healing happens. It is where your child can be successful. It is where your child's wiring is effective. It is where she can start to move forward from.
For example, in those moments where a melt down is happening (either a loud one or a silent one), when you've been called a name or been told that she hates you, when she's feeling misunderstood or worse yet hated and unloved, or when she blames you for all of her problems, I want you to think about this one question...Am I listening to her so I can respond or so I can understand?
When we only listen to respond, we tend to add to the spin instead of helping to stop it. Our own stuff gets in the way. We get triggered and unregulated ourselves. We are not safe and we are NOT helping to create new brain wiring based in safety and love.
When we listen to understand, we will recognize the need behind all of that "emotional vomit" and we will know where we should meet our child. We will know where our attention should be, we will know that her stuff is NOT really about us, but about a place of pain and fear. A whole new light is shed on a tantrum or ugly words when you look at your whole child and not just the behavior in the moment. I've always liked that statement that says "When you know better, you can do better."
It's a small shift that has the power to create huge waves of healing that will impact your whole family. Are you listening to respond or to understand? The exciting news is you can ask yourself this in any moment and change the outcome, for the better, instantly! You and your child have so much to gain.
Give it a try and hop on over to Facebook and let me know how it's going. Oh and here's the thing...sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds; it takes practice, but it works!
Remember...you are NOT alone,
P.S. November is National Adoption Awareness month - be sure to be watching my site www.tohavehope.comfor all kinds of happenings that you will want to be a part of! (Check out all of the options you can WORK WITH ME to point things in the direction that will help your family to thrive)