I've had enough!
I have had enough! I can't take it anymore. I QUIT!
Many parents of hurt kids have thought or even said these words out loud. They talk about just wanting peace. I get it and I KNOW that peace is attainable! I have absolutely been there....same thoughts, same words.
Here's the thing that many don't understand. As parents, we actually hold ALL the cards - we are a powerful source of peace or mayhem ourselves. It is easy to put blame on our child and his challenges; however, if we emotionally plug back in, take control of the situation, use different tools and techniques, create opportunities for success, and find our hope...THINGS WILL CHANGE!
If your child is "chasing" you (verbally, physically, emotionally) and the behavior is driving you crazy...PLUG BACK IN!
If your child is "avoiding" you or being "disrespectful" and it's driving you crazy...PLUG BACK IN!
If you feel like things will "never" get better...PLUG BACK IN!
Honestly, if you have said or thought "I Quit" in any form, YOU are the source of much of what is going on and the fact that it keeps getting worse. YOU are making things worse for YOU. Your child is scared and has gone back in to survival - the skills he uses in survival are opposite of the skills needed to make intimate relationships work.
So, HOW do you Plug Back In?
First - Remind yourself you are the parent. It is your job. It is about choosing to stay plugged in - choosing every day. You have to move your "stuff" out of the way. Tweak your expectations. Be Intentional. Prioritize.
Second - Forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive your child. Forgive.
Third - Get back in the relationship on a physical and sensory level. Physically choose to be close to your child more often and more consistently. Now, work in on a sensory level. Begin with FOOD. Then, your non verbals...the look in your eye and tone of your voice.
Fourth - Get yourself surrounded by support - people that get it. A place where you don't feel so alone. A group in which you don't feel different. Where you will be inspired to keep going and not quit!
It is going to feel heavy. Your child is going to have mistrust for the shift so it will be uncomfortable and probably not welcomed at first. Choose to stay in it. You CAN do this! You ABSOLUTELY can make change.
This is a long journey so it is important to learn about how to stay plugged in and especially about how to get plugged back in when things go off track.
Don't underestimate the power YOU have to make YOUR life more peaceful!
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