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!
There are days when you struggle to believe your child is ever going to be able to function on their own, do the right thing, or make the right choices. But I believe, there is hope for more!
Can I just be honest for a second. This past Sunday I’d had it with my child. HAD it! I was beyond done. In fact, I instantly allowed myself to go to a place of complete and utter hopelessness. We had finally made it to church after weeks of not being there, and I plopped into my seat in the back row, hopeless!
The Christmas season is the season of giving. But what does that look like for families who are in crisis, or families who just need a helping hand? There’s a right way and a wrong way to help. Here is how you give well…
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt” ~ Leviticus 25:35-37
This is a post by our good friend Lisa Qualls. Lisa is the co-founder of The Adoption Connection
, a resource site for adoptive and foster moms, where she provides courses, The Adoption Connection Podcast
, and coaching. She is also the creator of One Thankful Mom
where she mentors adoptive and foster moms through her writing. Lisa is the mom of twelve kids by birth and adoption (and sometimes more through foster care). She and her husband, Russ, celebrated their 32nd anniversary by becoming foster parents. Lisa’s adoption journey has been marked by joy as well as challenges of trauma and attachment. She earnestly believes there is hope for every family.
The adoption and foster care journey are filled with moments where a leap of faith is more than needed. It’s necessary. That’s why we love the following words on faith. May this encourage you as you step into the New Year…
Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith and jump in over our heads simply because God asks us to.
I’m not talking about being completely foolish, rejecting wise counsel, or doing something in opposition to our spouse. I’m also not talking about putting your children in danger. I’m talking about doing something that scares you or you’re not sure you can handle.
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.