Sometimes we find ourselves struggling through this journey as parents in ways that are beyond the normal struggle. But often, we’re afraid to admit that we may need medication too. How do we reach out? Our hope is that this post encourages you to bravely step into the light. You are not alone!
My children were preschool and elementary age and had struggles. The kind that keeps you up at night. That drains you. That most people don’t get. The behavior kind. The invisible special needs-kind which gives way to more judgement from others, even if just perceived. It had been years and was taking a toll on me.
The holiday season, specifically Christmas break, is often a dreaded time for foster and adoptive parents because it means a lack of normal structure for their kiddos. How do you navigate through this time successfully?
In this special Encore episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin discuss tips and tricks for maintaining a level of regulation during the chaos of the Holiday season with Licensed Mental Health Counselor and therapist, Ruth Graham. This was part of our 2017 special Holiday Podcast Series called “Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks.” Listen now…
Over the years we’ve learned what it means to take care of ourselves as parents. But nothing we do, in terms of self-care, happens apart from being hands on as parents. We’ve learned that simple things, in the middle of parenting demands, make a big difference…
It’s the dead of winter out on the farm we just moved to north on Indianapolis, Indiana where we live. The wind is blowing so hard it sounds we fear the gigantic oak trees in our front yard are going to come crashing through our roof at any moment. It’s early March and this should not be! But this is Indiana. I’m huddled under a blanket in our front room watching a show on Hulu with all of the kids. Even though our thermostat is set to 70, I can’t get warm…not even close. Haven’t been able to in months.
Fear is a powerful emotion. We know what it feels like to be afraid of something, but we often gloss over the way fear controls our lives and most importantly, our children’s lives.
Everyone said it would happen. I didn’t believe them. Not that I would be gone too soon or anything. Just thought I’d have a life-long hover between my 20s and 30s. Yet surprise, surprise, I hit the 40s. And what they said would happen…did.
This is a guest post by author and therapist Ron Nydam (PhD). Ron specializes in helping adoptive family’s develop and connect in a healthy, positive way. His latest book, Wise Adoptive Parenting
, helps families better connect to their children, and adoptees feel heard and understood. You can pick up your very own copy by clicking here
Through all of the trauma education, and attachment strategies we can learn (and certainly benefit from), our connection with our children still comes down to one factor: relationship!
Many parents who are new to the adoption journey wonder what it takes to make good things happen in the development of their children. They may wonder day after day how to find a way to be effective with their children who frustrate their first attempts at helping them manage his or her behavior. Parenting quickly becomes a guessing game as to what might work and might not work when a child’s behavior is out of control, or over the rails in terms of everyday family life.
We’re parenting children who have come from past trauma. Some have major special needs that require us to be hands on all the time. This begs the question: will he or she ever live on their own, apart from us?
I pick my child up from the residential facility he lives in on a warm Sunday morning. He’s in high spirits as we slowly walk through the reinforced doors and down the sidewalk toward my car. Our conversation bounces from movies, to who the Colts are playing later that day, to whether or not I think Thanos can be defeated in the next Avengers film. It feels good to be with him. I love him deeply.
This was supposed to be a post from Kristin about taking better care of yourself while caring for children from hard places. But then I read the story of the recent suicide of California Pastor Andrew Stoecklein, after battling with depression. So I decided to talk openly and honestly about the struggle of being a pastor.
I’ve been there.
This thought bounced around in my mind in the early morning hours, like words echoing off of canyon walls, as I read the heart-crushing story of how Pastor Andrew Stoecklein’s life ended this past weekend. In the darkness of my bedroom, I wiped tears from my eyes as I thought about his wife and young sons now trying to figure out how to live life without their husband and daddy. I read how he struggled with depression, and anxiety and I identified perfectly.
I used to believe that my child was just being bad. I was convinced that he was a bad kid who just wanted to make our lives hell. But then I discovered some truth that totally transformed everything I thought, and most importantly, the way I reacted!
There are stories throughout history of people coming into the light of understanding. Call it transformation, if you will. These moments were life-altering for not only the person who experienced it, but those who were close to them as well. The Apostle Paul hated Christians and was actually responsible for killing many because he believed in an ideal, or a narrative playing out in his mind. And then he came face to face with the truth. He stepped into the light, and it transformed him.