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 17 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:
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 ourselves 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; your family deserves the best!
P.S. I'd be honored to help you make your action plan to meet your child right where they are at - THAT IS Where Healing Happens. Join me in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group and we'll get YOU a plan.
Well, just to be sure we are getting into the holiday swing here, the weather is a combination of freezing rain to snow. If I wasn't ready before, this weather shift always pushes me to face the reality - the big holiday season starts in under a week.
Seventeen years ago, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of 8. We had just finalized our adoption and brought our girls home. Wow, talk about facing reality.
I had all of these DREAMS for my daughters. My dreams included laughter, smiles, hugs, loving feelings, time together, sharing, new traditions, family, more and more family.
There was some of that sprinkled in, but some of those dreams were missing and the missing stuff (plus some not-so-great behavior/words) were blamed on the facts that we were speaking different languages, the newness of it all, and everyone just being overwhelmed.
Honestly, as time passed it got more and more difficult.
The holidays looked great to the outsiders. All the kids (3 biological boys and 3 adopted girls) were dressed up cute. There were smiles on their faces as they opened gifts from Grandmas and Grandpas. They tried all the delicious treats and said please and thank you nicely.
However, on the inside it was a whole different story altogether!
Inside our family was a MESS!
The girls were miserable and acted out constantly (when others weren't looking). The boys were totally thrown off by all of the chaos that happened behind our closed doors. Our marriage was stressed.
We distanced ourselves from others because we felt judged and unsupported. I felt like an awful Mom, Wife, Daughter, Granddaughter, Niece, Cousin, and Friend. I really felt very alone.
Out of a deep desire to get my family back in shape, I began doing things very differently and our mess began to take on a new more positive and happy feel.
I tweaked and tweaked how I parented. I researched, read, and attended any training for adoptive and foster parents I could. I found the tools and techniques that worked to help us all enjoy the holidays.
I learned to meet my children right where they were at and they began to be more and more successful - soon my family was in such a better place! (And so was I).
If you are like I was and you dream of giving your children the experience of a loving, joyful, peaceful, family-filled holiday, it would be my honor to help you get a plan in place that would include knowing your whole child, identifying the impacts of trauma your child is tripping over, measuring his/her emotional age, and tools and techniques that you need to be successful (and so much more)!
You'll be ready to tackle the tantrums and crabbiness head on, create a holiday time where your family and friends help you help your children not sabotage you at every turn, and start looking forward to the holidays yourself!
We are diving into strategies for the holidays in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group to help you look forward to and enjoy the holidays more...
1. We've added #1 Best Selling Class Surviving The Holidays into the Learning Library in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group for members to use free of charge and at their convenience. This class also includes the Surviving the Holidays Checklist and a Template for a letter to family and friends to help them support you better.
2. Every week we are doing a LIVE Q & A so you can zero in on your holiday and fine tuning your plan so that it works!
3. For the Month of December, the coaching group will be 50% off. Just use the discount code MyGiftToYou.
It's the perfect time - Let's get you started!
Just click this link, www.tohavehope.com/intentional-parent-coaching-group
Join the Group, Watch for an Email, Get into the closed Facebook Group and then into the Learning Library and get started with the Surviving the Holidays class....then I'll see you in the Live session.
You are going to be so relieved!
Does the phrase "I forgot" trigger you? It can't be real, right? It happens all of the time. No one forgets that much!
Well, the TRUTH of the matter is that it is REAL! Short term memory struggles are definitely an impact of trauma and a result of high anxiety.
Children who come from where our kids come from carry with them impacts of that trauma. Their Limbic Systems have been "over used" and flooded with brain chemistry that has physically impacted how their brains developed.
In the moment it helps to think of that area of the brain being like Swiss Cheese. Sometimes the neurons connect, but most of the time they miss each other. There are holes now. When they miss, your child deals with challenges remembering.
Short term memory and the Limbic System don't just deal with remembering the names of things or the order of things. They also help your mind and body to remember what experience or person is safe or not. In addition, they also help you remember so that you can apply what happened yesterday to today.
We are talking DEFICIT NOT DEFIANCE. Not having these abilities is the source of so many triggers.
Knowing that "I forgot" is real and meeting your child right where he/she is at is where healing happens. Do what you need to do to help your child be successful in these areas and you will feel the shift towards trust, self-confidence, and a more peaceful every day.
P.S. Not sure how to meet your child where they are at? Join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group today.
We will get your Action Plan in place TODAY!
When I was a young mom before we adopted our girls, I learned that my boys would rise to my belief in them.
Lots of my friends would complain about their babies not being able to get rid of their pacifier or be weaned off of the bottle and they were so frustrated. They were feeling the pressure from family and daycare to grow their children up. And the stress of things like difficult bedtimes or potty training had even become a strain in their marriages.
They were so stressed and so were their kids.
I learned early on that if I was unsure of or couldn't envision those milestones happening, they didn't. When I knew it would be fine, my boys sailed right through. We were both at the same place.
Then we adopted our daughters and for a time I lost that mindset. It didn't seem to work anymore. They weren't sailing through. I began to question myself and my parenting. I even lost hope that things would get better. I just couldn't see how things would change.
It began working again when I learned to meet my daughters right where THEY were at. We needed to be at the same place and I needed to make the move. I realized that they needed the chance to work through their childhood with me as their mom. They needed me to know they could do it too.
When I knew, believed, & had hope...so did they.
Here's the thing...if you can't see that break-through and healing is possible, you won't find it. It won't work.
It IS POSSIBLE! You will "know" you can get your family to happy and healthy when you have to have the tools and strategies at your fingertips that will make the difference. Your vision is clearer when you are surrounded by people who are on the same journey. And your confidence in meeting your children right where they are at comes from the support of a mentor who has walked your path and is on the other side.
The Intentional Parent Coaching Group is where I can show you how to meet your children right where they are at so that they can get to happy and healthy!
With dedication to helping your family to Happy and Healthy,
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.
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.
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.
Oh. My. Gosh. I am so excited to tell you about what's going on this month in the Intentional Parent Coaching Group!
August is all about getting YOU and YOUR FAMILY ready for SCHOOL! And getting SCHOOL ready to help your child succeed!
We are going to continue our study of the impacts of TRAUMA and what they look like in your everyday life...especially at school. Then Stacy will help you tweak your action plan by teaching you tools and strategies that will create the shift you are looking for.
In addition to weekly Live Q&A sessions with Stacy, FREE access to the Learning Library full of Stacy's best selling classes (even the newest class that was made for you to share with family and friends), membership in the Closed Facebook Group and DEEP DISCOUNTS on Private Coaching Sessions with Stacy and membership opportunities in our Focus Groups...Members will get to be the part of some incredible bonuses this month!
Bonus #1 - Live Emotional Age Matters Class. Come and discover your child's emotional age range and I'll give you tools &strategies you can use to help your child heal by meeting him right where he is. This is foundational information for any Intentional Parent that should be measured every 6 months or so to help you accurately consider your whole child.
Bonus # 2 - Members will receive access to a an ebook that you can share with your child's teacher and other support staff. This information will help you teach school personnel how to be an extension of you instead of a replacement for you. It will give them tools and strategies to put in place that will increase your child's success and help to create a trauma sensitive environment for all kids. And much more.
Bonus # 3 - IPCG Members are invited to join Stacy and 6 other Mom's on her exclusive BREATHE Retreat. There is still 1 spot left. We are going to dig deep. Rest. Breathe. Start Fresh. Don't miss this opportunity!
This is going to be a great month. Let's work together to help your child, actually your whole family, have your best school year yet!
Just join me in my Intentional Parent Coaching Group to have access to these bonuses my newest video class Supporting an Adoptive or Foster Family 10, made to share with your family and friends, Weekly Q&A sessions with me, membership on the CLOSED Facebook Page and to the Learning Library which consists of my 12 top selling classes and SO much more!
Today is YOUR day! Just click the link