Friday, October 12, 2012

When "Outsiders" Don't Get it...

What do you do when the rest of the world sees you as something you are not?  Your structure, your discipline, your therapeutic parenting become something they judge, because they don't understand.

We have therapists for our children, we practice unique coping mechanisms to help them deal with their feelings... Sometimes these things when witnessed seem well odd.  Especially, our Permissible Fits (basically, when the kids are having a rough time coping, we allow them to tantrum).  Scream, Stomp their feet, Jump up and Down, Cry, Yell.. get the feelings out.  At times, they can be hesitant and need encouragement... so one way to do it is to coax them by betting they can be louder than me.  And sure enough it works.. granted walking into the middle of this as a "Muggle" you would see a crazy lady and a child tantruming.

The question, I pose is how to get the "Muggles" to maybe not understand these unique parenting methods or coping skills, but to not pass judgment on their either.  I find that I am anger at the judgments made and the comments I've heard.  My children THRIVE on structure.  The structure they receive is from positive reinforcement for their "good" choices, follow through on promises, and even knowing that if they make the wrong choice there will be a consequence.

We employ Love & Logic and Bryan Post's methods, because each method works well only on one child.. we seem to always be trying new tactics to help them and ourselves.  Our goal is for them to have stability - stability they didn't receive in their early years, love - unconditional love, not love when a parent is feeling unloved, and success - complete and total success in all that they choose to do or be.

If only those "Muggles" could see just what we do and give for our children, the nights we have internal conflict over whether or not we handled a situation sufficiently.  The moments in therapy when the child confesses something so heart wrenching you later sit down and cry in silence for them.

So, if you have any techniques, pamphlets or advice I'd love to hear it... because right now I am at the point where I feel like the only thing I can do is turn the other cheek.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Be Silly to Get Unstuck

Like most children who struggle with emotional and behavioral issues brought on by the trauma they were put through early in life, Princess gets STUCK sometimes.  She got stuck A LOT when she first came home to us two years ago, age age 9.  A lot of healing, progress and hard work has taken place since then, but she still gets stuck sometimes.  We are just coming off a really rough patch while we were trying to find the right anxiety medication for her.  There were near daily meltdowns during this period.  Her separation anxiety was epic.  Getting her to school was a real challenge on several occasions. 

One morning I was about to lose it when she was refusing to go to school (again).  She'd been crying/wailing/screaming/kicking her feet toddler style for over an hour past when we should have left for school.  I took a little break and walked away for a minute or two to breathe.  Then I sat next to her, softly stroked her hair and quietly said our mantra to her a few times: "You're safe.  You're loved.  You can handle this."

She screamed louder to cover up my voice.

So I decided to change things up.  I belted it out opera style!  The louder she screamed, the louder I sang.  And the more off key! 
By the third round, she was struggling not to laugh.  By the fifth, she was singing along!  We sang it together all the way to school. 

I've pulled it out a few times since then with the same results.  Try it with anything you want to say. 

"It's time to clean your room." 
"Pee in the toilet not the laundry basket." 
"I'm never going to leave you."

Let me know if it gets your kiddo unstuck!

Here's a video of Princess and I reenacting it.  Ignore the dark, sideways image of dolls.  The audio is what we wanted to present!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And so it begins...

The school has been notified and acknowledged that they are out of compliance on her IEP.

Let the good times roll.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I missed you.

Well one day down. We are on a more structured routine than normal to create a less stressful environment.
She had a "yellow" day at school because she was not willing to do her class work cooperatively.
That's good by me. I knew she was struggling.

But she missed me and wrote me a note:

Monday, January 2, 2012

School anxiety

We need to get back to the school routine. We have established a whole new routine that we now have to shed.

She is both excited and anxiety riddled about tomorrow. She wants to see her friend. She is worried that she won't be able to hold it together.

She has a 3 hour cheer practice on next Saturday that she's also processing.

I am looking forward to routine- but as much as a typically enjoy my job- I wish I didn't have to go. I wish I could be a stay at home mom. But I am a single mom, so that's not in the stars for me right now.

I will be getting on the IEP business asap.

My main goals:

Supervised Bathroom
Better Math Instruction
Occupational Therapy
Speech Therapy
Ancillary Review

Wish me luck!

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

"Happy" New Year!

My sweet girl uses aggreSsion and anger in place of fear.

We have talked a lot about making a choice to evaluate our feelings, use words and chOose happiness.

We worked today on the concept of resolutions. She seemed to catch on after we tried a few times.

Attempt 1:

1. Go to the ice cream shop
2. Go to Best Buy
3. Go toy shopping
4. Go to target
5. Go to Dallas for 4 days

Attempt 2:

1. Go shopping in Dallas for 4 days too.
2. Go swimming.
3. Go to Grandmom and Granddads house
4. Go to my sisters house for 4 days
5. Go to my Uncles house for 5 days.

Attempt 3:

1. I will be a happy girl.
2. I will use my words.
3. I will be calm.
4. I will be kind.
5. I will use good manners.

My resolution is to be a better mom. That encompasses about 10 different things. I predict success. :)

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