We used to think that carrying a piece of drywall around with us so we could bang our head into it every time we had to re-explain something to our kid, or try to reason with him, was the ticket. And then, we discovered a better way to connect.
A friend and I were recently talking about our kids when he said something I totally identified with- “Mike, he just doesn’t think. It’s like there’s no ability to think logically. I tell him to not do something and he does it anyway, even though he knows he’ll be in trouble!” I nodded and repeatedly said, “Yep, I know. Right there with you.” If I had a dollar for every time I was in this position…..retirement come early!
If you’ve parented a child from a traumatic past for any length of time, you already know that traditional parenting techniques do not work. But, have you ever stopped to consider why, or what you could do differently?
Kristin and I both grew up in traditional households, with parents who used traditional techniques in raising us both. There were rules and restrictions, guidelines and boundaries. And if said rules, restrictions, guidelines and boundaries were crossed, BAM, consequences were enforced. No questions asked. From all accounts, these techniques worked. We both grew up to be responsible adults who knew the difference between right and wrong. But, we also never endured significant trauma as children.
It’s a hot topic question in the foster and adoptive community right now. Should I medicate my child? And if so, what medications are right? We’re discussing this on today’s podcast episode.
We’ve all been down the medication route. Several times, in fact. We’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work, and what should be avoided altogether. Beyond that, we’ve also found helpful alternatives to medication. We fully understand this is a gray area in the foster and adoptive community, but on today’s episode of Honestly Speaking, we’re talking openly from all sides of this discussion.
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?
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.