This journey is hard. There’s no question. When we signed up for it, we never knew loving children from hard places would take so much out of us. We didn’t realize that, even when we felt empty, we’d have to keep going. But that’s what real love is all about.
It’s a cold and dreary day in Central Indiana. I’ve got a little extra time on my hands so I decide to do something I don’t often do. Go to the gym. I need it. It’s been a long and harsh winter, with plenty of sitting around and waiting for the weather to clear, plus I pay for a monthly membership fee. I cringe even as I type those words.
On this week’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we’re pleased to welcome two people who are using their gifts to change the lives of children in foster care.
Annemarie and Roger Jackson had a dream. They wanted to use their skills in interior design to better the lives of children in foster care. Being foster parents themselves they saw the need. In the process, they also desired to create home goods that people wanted to buy, and made the home warm and welcoming. The result of this dream is Through The Sea. Listen in to hear their story now…
This journey is hard. And oftentimes we feel like complete failures when we lose our tempers, meltdown, or allow our exhaustion to take over and react harshly to our children. But you and I are not failures. Not even close!
It was the 10th time I had been called home from work in 3 months. My supervisor, co-workers, and even volunteers were starting to ask questions, and respond with much less grace than the first few times it happened. It was 2011 and my oldest son’s behavior had peaked to dangerous levels. We were less than a year removed from receiving the diagnosis that confirmed everything we already knew- FASD.
Believe it or not, you are the greatest voice of influence in your child’s life. You’re not the only voice, but you are the greatest! How do you leverage this to build a lifelong relationship with your child? Here’s the answer…
My new book, Winning The Heart Of Your Child: 9 Keys To Establishing A Positive Lifelong Relationship With Your Kids debuts today and I thought I’d take a moment to share a little more about the 9 central keys I share in the book. After nearly 2 decades of working with parents and families, I’m convinced these 9 keys are the answer to maximizing your influence in your child’s life and establishing the healthiest relationship possible.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel a genuine connection with our children. Especially if we have a lot of difficulties with them often. But trust that love is there. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
It’s no secret that some types of people are easier to love. It’s no secret that some types of people are hard to love. It’s not a secret that some types of kids are easier to love. There are even some types of kids who are SUPER HARD to love. The BIG secret however, is that sometimes they are your very own children. Even if they are biological. Sometimes connections are just easier with some than others.
It’s easy to feel trapped on this journey with your children. Sometimes the extreme behavior, the anxiety, the aggression, the constantly needing you but then pushing you away, can feel unending. What do you do when you feel like your back is against the wall?
“I feel like my back’s against a wall and I don’t see any end in sight.”
Her words dripped through my computer screen on a cold Indiana morning, like fresh coffee dripping into a pot. I remember thinking, “Boy have we been there.” Feeling like there’s no end in sight, like your child’s behavior is never going to change, they’re never going to get better, and you’re never going to see a brighter day? Yep! We know the feeling.
It’s a question our team receives quite often from parents all over the world: “How do I know when it’s time to consider residential treatment for my child?” Our answer has changed over the years…
I’ll admit it openly. If you would have asked me this question just 6 or 7 years ago I would have told you a very different answer than I would today. No doubt would I have said something to the effect of, “You’re exhausted, you shouldn’t have to keep dealing with the mind games, the manipulation, the stress of parenting this child. If you’ve tried everything to get them to stop, but to no avail, then it’s time to consider treatment outside of the home.” Maybe not verbatim, but this is what I used to believe.
It’s easy to view your child’s behavior, especially manipulation, as that of a rotten child. But there’s something deeper going on that is hard to see on the surface…
I press my fingers into the temples of my head because I’m so…unbelievably…done! (I just inserted the word “unbelievably” instead of the word floating around in my head in order to keep this post family friendly). I can’t take one more second of the manipulation…the lies…the conniving…the sneakiness!