Your Child’s Behavior Is Not An Attack On You (But It Sure Does Feel Like It)!

It’s really hard to not take your child’s meltdowns, outbursts, or aggression personally. In the heat of the moment how do you differentiate between trauma and a personal attack on you?

mother and her daughter

For years I misunderstood my child’s behavior. The aggression, words, and defiance were all an attack on me! Or so I thought. I’d shake my fists at the heavens and beg for a better behaved child, or at least a “fix-it” solution. I even tried to parent the way I was parented, growing up. I’d set up the boundaries, I’d reinforce the rules, and if said boundaries or rules were crossed, BAM… consequences enforced. If you acted like a little jerk to me in front of my friends, or at church, GROUNDED! If you acted out, stole something, hid food under your bed, BUSTED! And to be quite honest, for years I felt as though we were running in a hamster wheel. Not only did I see zero traction, but I didn’t like the way my disciplinarian style was making me (or my child) feel. Bottom line: it wasn’t working.

There’s A Reason The Foster And Adoptive Journey Isn’t Perfect.

As much as we wish we were called into a journey that was easy, problem free, and had a lot less pit falls, we’re just not. It’s far from perfect and there’s a reason for this.

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I’m typing this from 30,000 feet above the earth as I fly to Denver, Colorado for a one-day conference for foster and adoptive parents, called Spotlight. I was there last year, and it was amazing. Such beautiful people with hearts for the vulnerable children in their city. It’s quite amazing to see. I should say that I’m a bit on cloud 9 after last weekend at The Refresh Conference in Seattle. It’s been a week, and I can’t stop thinking about all we experienced. We absolutely loved our time in the Pacific Northwest with all of the amazing people we call friends and family. We feel this way every year after the conference ends. Yes, it’s that amazing.

How To Keep Your Marriage Healthy Through The Trials Of Foster Care and Adoption.

Season 5, Episode 41- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

One of the biggest areas of our life that pays the price when the journey becomes difficult, is our marriage. How do you maintain health when you’re constantly on overload and maxed out?

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We weren’t prepared for the toll that foster care would take on our marriage when we first began the journey 13 years ago. There we sat, in our empty living room, looking at one another as if we were acquaintances and not life partners. We were tired, defeated, frustrated, and drained of all energy. We weren’t prepared for some of the special needs that some of our children had. Because we loved them deeply, we were pouring every ounce of emotional and spiritual energy we had into them.

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Attachment Disorder: What Do You Do When A Child Attaches Too Quickly?

We often talk about attachment disorder from the perspective of the long awaited real hug, or genuine “I love you.” But what do you do when your child attaches too quickly?

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February in the Midwest is guaranteed to be bitter cold and filled with snow… well at least until this year. For the last three weeks we have had temperatures in the 70s and sunshine almost every day. Consequently, the grass is turning green and bulbs which should be dormant for another month are pushing through the soft earth and blooming just a bit too early. I have enjoyed these last few weeks of stolen Spring. My children hauled their bikes out of storage, we grilled out and even had a campfire. As I was driving to work the other day the sight of crocuses in bloom made my heart skip a beat. I felt myself begin to grin, then quickly remembered the weekend forecast. Snow. The beautiful crocuses had bloomed too early. I found myself wondering if they would survive the weekend.

The Story Isn’t Over For Your Child.

If you’ve wondered this as you’ve battled your child for days upon days, or found yourself so frustrated you could scream, you’re not alone. But there’s a truth you need to know.

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I know you. I see you. I am you.

I know what’s going through your mind on any given day. I know what you whisper as you recover from an 8-hour battle with your kid, or walk out of an IEP meeting defeated because there’s no sign of progress. Trust me. I know. If you looked at an X-ray of my heart it wouldn’t look like the perfectly formed plastic model you’d see on the corner of a doctor’s desk. It’s been broken so many times over my child, it’s deformed and morphed, like lava flow into ocean waters morphing into new land.

Join Us For A Free Online Event About Finding Hope!

We all need hope on the journey of foster care, adoption and special needs parenting. But, often, it feels so far away. We start to wonder, “Will I never find any?”

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Hope. Just saying the word fills you with a myriad of emotions, doesn’t it? You either feel a peace that passes all understanding because you’ve discovered hope, or you’re struggling to breathe because you’ve lost hope altogether.  Sometimes we look at life, and the difficult circumstances we are presently in with our children, and feel as though we’ll never find our way through this. But what if we told you, there is hope. And, you can find it!

Practical Strategies To Help Parents Who Are Raising Children With FASD.

Season 5, Episode 40- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

Parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can often feel hopeless and void of answers. In the debut of Season 5, Mike and Matt discuss practical strategies to help parents form a plan and find answers.

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There are an estimated 40,000 infants born every year with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. As we’ve mentioned many times the past on this blog and podcast, this is a disorder that is widely misunderstood and even judged. But there is new light being shed on the subject and it’s helping parents find resources and answers. We know how difficult it is day in and day out, to parent a son or daughter who suffers from this disorder. That’s why we’ve dedicated this episode to walking through some very practical and helpful strategies to help parents, on the journey of foster care and adoption, who feel helpless and hopeless as they parent children with FASD.

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10 Things You Can Do To Support Foster Families.

Over the past several months, we’ve received many messages from folks who say, “I’m not called to be a foster parent, but I’m called to help in some way. How do I did that?”

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According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, there are over 397,000 children in the foster care system right now. There are simply not enough qualified homes to care for all these children. Our hearts should be moved to compassion. We cannot sit idly by while even one child goes without a home. We know we must do something, but what? Should everyone be a foster family? The short answer is, no. Should everyone do something? Without a doubt, the answer is a resounding yes!