I Was Thinking…
You know one of the main goals of being an Intentional Parent is to meet your child where he is, both physically and psychologically. In order to do that, we need to choose to educate ourselves. We need to explore every avenue. We really need to become a walking encyclopedia about all of our child’s gifts and deficits. It is important to not only know what those gifts and deficits are, but also how they impact his daily life - how they impact his emotions, his ability to do relationships, his mindset and beliefs about himself and the world, and so much more.
When I look back on our journey, I remember when it came clear to me that in order to really help my girls heal I needed to be able to pinpoint what the struggle really was. Not what it looked like based on my past experience or what it felt like within my own ability to be clear on my “stuff” versus their “stuff.” I realized I needed to know what all the true ingredients of the struggle REALLY were. I turned it over and over in my mind….I was either too tired, too mad, or too down to consider being able to “study” for a long time. I knew I was missing pieces, I knew I had to do something to create some change because I wasn’t very happy and I felt like I wasn't being a very good mom.
I distinctly remember picking up my first attachment book, A Secure Base by John Bowlby. I ate it up! Reality is it wasn’t the beat all end all. It didn’t solve all of my problems, but I began to see our struggles in a new way. Twelve years ago there really wasn’t much out there in the way of classes for adoptive families, much less seminars and webinars I could watch or listen to at home. There weren’t really even support groups available. So I read and read. I decided to make attachment, neurology, trauma and the like the focus of my continuing education for my nursing career. It was in this arena I began to find some educational opportunities that could help me put it all together.
I am so glad things are beginning to change. It is still not perfect, but the opportunities to educate ourselves are much more prevalent. However, what remains the same is that the biggest hurdle we still have to get past is OURSELVES! The daily battle we are in to create healing for our children is a hard one, an exhausting one, and many times we feel defeated. It is hard to consider putting in more time and effort than we already do.
I just want to remind you though, as I have learned, that this information is an essential part of the healing formula. Actually, it gives strength and clarity that we can’t have without it! The effort put in to educating ourselves now makes for less work later! So, I challenge you to push ahead, explore every avenue…become a walking encyclopedia on the “whole person” you call your son or daughter!
Be an Intentional Parent!