“The challenges, problems and pain that our children face are real, and as a result, they affect us as parents as well. These challenges impact the whole child; and therefore we must be willing to engage and embrace our children (and ourselves!) at the same time holistically. At the same time, we must always remember there are no quick fixes-merely changing behaviors will not accomplish what is needed. Our goal must be nothing less than healing for the whole child. Much like our own journey of spiritual healing and maturity, the healing we desire for our children will be a process, and it must be anchored by hope- real hope.”- Dr. Karyn Purvis, Michael and Amy Monroe
Kids from hard places: fostered, adopted and special needs kids need lots of extra care. The care needed affects us parents, draining us of all of our resources: physical, emotional and spiritual. We need to embrace ourselves as well as our children. I’ll all for self-care with the proper motive. I like to walk/run for my therapy. A coffee date with a friend always gives me a boost of encouragement. Reading a great book by another woman who has experienced twists, turns and trauma is a great self-care habit. But these are not the only ways we can find hope and healing.
We can get healing alongside our child.
Your self-care doesn’t always have to happen without your kiddos. We don’t want to give our kids the message that in order to enjoy our lives we have to be away from them. What sort of message are we giving them?
The women of today have become proficient in saying “me too” to one another. What about your child? Have you said it to them?
- I messed up.
- I’m afraid.
- People said ugly things to me.
- I wasn’t sure I could make it through ________.
I’m not saying you need to dump your past onto your child, but a little empathy goes a long way.
The greatest gift you can give your child is enjoying their presence. Smiling at them. Settling down into the moment or trying something that scares you (and them). Try sailing down the hill on the sled with them when you’re both afraid. Scream your head off with them. Go somewhere new and try something new with your child. Show them that you can conquer this together. If we truly desire hope and healing for our kiddos (and ourselves), we have to do the work. Healing is often a process, not a one time event. Let’s participate in the process with our child.