You Don’t Have to Have it All Together

Ever have one of those days, weeks or even months when you feel as if you are barely hanging on?

Maybe you adopted a child and the honeymoon period is over, his past is being triggered over and over. It’s drowning you.

Maybe you have had an illness and you can’t do what you used to be able to do.

Maybe you are homeschooling and one week in, your’e tired and you wonder if you can keep this going?

Maybe you stepped out of your comfort zone to follow your God-sized dream and you’re doing it, but if has you wiped out and wondering if you made the right choice.

Maybe today, you just want to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed. 

If any of the above applies to you, this is for you…..

There was a day when you woke up full of energy and ready to tackle the world. You may wonder where that zeal and energy went. You may be wondering if you missed it, if you shouldn’t have adopted, started homeschooling or followed your God-sized dream. Do you blame yourself for your illness?

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I just want to point out a few things today and maybe throw some encouragement your way. Woman, we have a guilt complex. We blame ourselves for everything. We want to solve everything (guilty). Most women want everyone to get a balloon and a ribbon. That’s just not realistic. If you are having doubts, a difficult season or doubting everything your doing right now, remember these three simple truths:

Three simple truths:

1. Life is not perfect. Don’t doubt your calling or your purpose because your circumstances are difficult. Most often, that means you are on the right track. Anything worth doing is going to be hard work.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

2. When life is hard, that doesn’t mean you failed.  I often fall into this line of thinking, when things are difficult, I think I failed or God is mad at me. It’s just not true. The truth is God is with us. He will not leave or forsake us. AT ALL. He understands our weaknesses. He came to earth to be human so he could identify with us. Difficulty is not failure. Difficulty is an opportunity to grow.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4: 14-16

3. When you fall, get back up again. As I said before, women carry the guilt complex. Often when we fall, yell at the kids, our hubbys or kick the cat, we wear it like a mantle of shame. We keep rehearsing it over and over again in our minds, like a YouTube video on replay. We think of how we should have done things differently. We wear the weight of our sin instead of repenting and beginning anew. Sister, just ask God to forgive you and move on as if it never happened. Yep. That’s what God does.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.- I John 1:9

And here’s an extra one to hang your hat on, if you are chosen, anointed, picked out to do the thing you are doing, then nothing can stop the call of God on your life. Just keep going, there will be days that seem as if you can’t go on, but you can. You can do what God has called you to do whether that is homeschooling, adopting/fostering, ministering to women or __________________. Breathe. This isn’t up to you. It’s all on God. He’s got this. Even when you don’t see it, He’s working. Even when you don’t feel it, He’s working. He never stops working. You don’t have to have it all together. God already does.

 

Working with Kids From Hard Places

Do you work with kids from hard places? 

Maybe you’re a teacher, a counselor, a CASA worker or a foster parent.

Maybe you work at a Day Care.

Maybe you adopted a group of kids who didn’t get the best start in life.

Maybe you have extended family members who have struggled with raising their own children and you have stepped in.

Or maybe you have had tragedy or divorce in your family and everyone is in survival mode. 

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If you can say yes, to one or all of the above, then this podcast is for you.

Amerey interviews her husband, Seth, about working with kids from hard places. They discuss unique educational experiences and Seth’s work at Chestnut Mountain Ranch, a Christian home and school for boys in need of hope and healing.

Your kids, family, classroom or _______ may not be exactly the same as Seth’s situation, but there are common denominators. Hopefully, this episode will be a starting point for some conversation about those issues. Instead of sweeping these things under the rug and just trying to survive, let’s talk. Let’s share our burdens and our struggles. I’m going to say those powerful words “me too”. I know the struggles of trying to bring hope and healing to kids from hard places. If there is a topic you would love to see on The Whole House Podcast pertaining to kids from hard places, comment here or email us -thewholehouseteam@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you! We’d love to come along side you and be a support. We love you guys!

iTunes link here.

Podomatic link here.

Time in Verses Time Out

Does Time Out Work?

A really popular parenting tool is time out. Here’s the problem, kids from hard places who have already been discarded, neglected or abused- time out just reinforces some beliefs:

  • you don’t matter
  • you’re not valuable
  • I’m going to separate myself from you

What they need instead is time in. What is time in? When a child is dysregulated, he needs to be beside you so you can co-regulate. Instead of sending him away, you keep him beside you. Keep them 2 or 3 feet away on a chair (or on the floor) until they calm down. When the child is calm, have a quick conversation and move on. This is a great chance for a redo (post on that here). You are looking for connection. Parents have an opportunity to connect after the child calms down. Our goal is build relationships. These kiddos were harmed through relationship and they will be healed through relationship.

Time out often breeds violent behaviors because the child needs someone to help them regulate.

Beside me jobs.

This simply means keeping the child beside you while you do chores. Let the child talk. She may put one dish in the dishwasher to your ten, it’s okay. This time of connection grows during this time. Beside me jobs, shoulder to shoulder allows the kiddo to spend time with you. During this time you are helping them regulate. The fruit of years of beside me jobs is a child is able to sort things through conversation. Not only that, but a child will mirror your behavior (see post on that here). If you are enjoying your chore and her company, she will eventually do the same.

 

Here’s a video from The Whole House Adoption/Foster Care Support Group on the subject. Comment if you would like to join or find us on Facebook!

Mirroring and Kids from Hard Places

What is mirroring?

Mirroring is getting cues from from another person, not your five senses. These mirror neurons fire up for things such as: when we watch someone else laugh, enjoy something or show visible signs of stress.

Why is important?

Kids get their cues from us parents. They get approval in a smile. Disappointment in a frown or angry glare. Kids learn about themselves by mirroring how we handle the world around us. They mirror our reactions.

What does it mean for kids from hard places?

Kids from hard places are mirroring what they have been taught before they came ‘home’ to stay with us (whether forever or temporarily). They have beliefs based on what they have observed. They may believe that they shouldn’t exist or they have no value. They may believe that lashing out or shutting down is how you handle life. We can help these kiddos find help and healing by projecting our acceptance. We can handle situations with love, grace and mercy. Eventually, they will learn to do the same. It’s tough, but we can:

Faith it ’til you make it.

(Thanks, Jessica for the saying!)

What is the science behind mirroring?

 This is a scientific principle discovered by Giacomo Rizzolatti  and his team in 1995. “Through these neurons we literally fire up activity in the brain without actually using our five senses through the normal sensory-cognitive cycle.” (Dr. Caroline Leaf)

Here’s a short video about the subject I filmed for The Whole House Adoption/Foster Support Group Page.

 

Redos and Kids from Hard Places

Traditional Parenting doesn’t work with kids from hard places.

We learn in ETC Parent Training we need to empty our traditional parenting toolbox and refill it with new tools.

A REDO is one of those tools.

Every offense by a child doesn’t need a volcanic reaction.

A redo is an opportunity for a child to redo the action in the right way. This is so important because it helps rewire the brain. A parent simply and playfully (if possible) walks the child through the proper steps. I use and example of this in the video below. A great thing to remember is a redo can be quick, playful and specific.  For example if you have two kiddos playing with cars and one grabs one out of the other one’s hand. Here are two scenarios:

Traditional Parenting:

Mom: Give that car back. You should know better. We share in this house. Blah. Blah. Blah- meaning a whole sermon on why we share.

Redo Parenting:

Mom: Let’s try that again, buddy. Give the car back. (Child hands car back however reluctantly, Mom smiles). Great job, giving the car back. We don’t take.

*If the child wants the car and they are community property, then you as the parent can work out a time for each child to use the car. This is also an opportunity for the child to ‘use his words’ and ask for the car instead of grabbing it. All of these tools should be used quickly and with a pleasant tone. When we use anger to work out scenarios, our child will too!

Here’s a short video I did on the topic for The Whole House Adoption/Foster Support Group: (don’t you love my expression?)