Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to love a child .............. (more grandparent visit pics too)

 I wanted to help uplift all of you that have come out of the woodwork saying that you have a child that is hurting.  One that is sometimes harder to deal with.  Oh let's be honest sometimes downright just HARD WORK! 
 Well if you have read any of what Paul wrote in the Bible you would know you have been BLESSED!  What?  Really, dealing with hard behaviors all day everyday is a Blessing?  YES!!!!!  Because at the root of loving is something spoken of throughout the Bible UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  If you are having a tough time right now.....know that there are many many many other families out there like yours. 
 What a relief it was for me the first time I realized I was not out of my mind.  Well you know I was- but that is a whole other blog post :)  Especially when others don't have the privilege of seeing the behavior like you do.  I think that really got me.  I am like- really - yeah they look and act like an angel for you.  But you don't know.  And they give me a look- don't know what?  Yeah, well let me tell you!
 (oopppsss baby tried to crawl through a tight spot- you will be glad to know she moved the chair and released herself)  This is what we have to do.  Release ourself- let ourselves know that we are not alone.  We are not imagining things.  This behavior is NOT your child.  That you are not insane for not having all the answers when your child is raging.  That it is ok to feel frustrated. 
So if you are feeling this way.......don't consider it hopeless!!!  The first step after realizing that you and your child (ren) are NOT PERFECT ANGELS :)  FIND HOPE!!!!  There the word is out- THERE IS HOPE!!!  Maybe repeat that to yourselves several times before continuing. 
 There are many things to do for you and your child (ren) to help regain hope :)  My tips - trust me they are not genius nor is this list any where near a complete list, but here goes:

PRAY!!!!!  There is nothing to help you and them out more than this - PRAY and SEEK GOD!  There are hundreds of books on different kinds of behaviors, but PRAYER and SEEKING GOD- ONLY ADVICE YOU NEED!!!!!!  These things are not a side thought, but should be our only thought!!!!!!  I mentioned this in a previous post as well.

UNDER react to it all- as in try not to  react at all.  This is a huge thing and is very very very hard for me, but when I do it- it helps A LOT.  Make it a mind game of your own to see how many times you can do this :) The reason I think this is powerful is because manipulation is what they want.  They want to control you.  This does not come from God.  Release yourself from this. 

Do something silly to release your tension and dispell the meltdown.  A bloggy friend said about singing opera- made me crack up- but it is effective.  If your child pees when they are upset- throw some peas on the floor (got that one from a book).  Count backwards from 100, sing a silly song, break out in a happy dance, laugh hysterically.  Whatever can help you relieve that tension and not get upset because anger is never the answer.  TRY IT!

Try anything and everything to win them over.  As in if it takes giving them candy, treats, special hug times, cuddles in a rocking chair, special 10 minute times during the day just for them, rubbing lotion on their feet- your feet- WHATEVER!!!!  I used to think my other children would be jealous, but we have all agreed, it helps!  They see the difference not to mention we try to do things with all of our children as much as possible too!  Whatever you can do to get them to not be stiff when you hug them, to help get that eye contact even if for a few seconds to start with. 

Whatever you do DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY!!!!!!  This is another toughie!  Seriously how do you not take it personally when your child all but ignores you or if they talk to you it is all fake.  When you say to them over and over and over I love you and they don't respond or if they do it is "ok".  When you have done everything you can to give them attention and the 50 snacks a day to make sure they know you love them and they ignore you like you don't exist.  TOUGH, but again remember THERE IS HOPE!!!!!!

Work on 1 thing at a time!  This has really helped us....he he he.  If you try to work on the lying, the stealing, the kissing strangers,  the lack of eye contact, the manipulation, the blank stares, the meltdowns, the explosions - ETC. all at once it will only give you and them FRUSTRATION!!!!!  So pick one thing.  Make it small- like a few seconds of eye contact or no explosions for an hour.  Seriously- start small......and then gradually sometimes more than others expect more.  And you know what will happen- there WILL be set backs.  Times when you feel like what you just worked on is down the tubes- THERE IS HOPE!!!!!  So start over.  As friends have pointed out sometimes the set backs are things we forget.  Anniversaries of things that happened to them.  The brain is a very complex and wonderful thing- and even if you don't think your child could possibly remember - THEY DO!  There is a reason I know this :).  

BLESS THEM WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!!!!  This is one of the most powerful things you can do for ANY child!!!!  Remember the small things - yeah those tiny things that no one notices PRAISE THEM for it!!!  ANYTHING you see that is positive!!!!!!  I am not talking about being fake I am talking about praising them for something that most children just do automatically because you asked them to.  That is not fake.  If you experience behaviors like I have you are truly THANKFUL they have chosen to obey even in something small :)  I do a happy dance, jump for joy, and praise GOD with all my heart!!!!
 (notice Joanna go for the little bouncy ball and then in the end go for the cat?  he he he- yeah the little toys have been banned from "her space", but sometimes things slip in)
 Pictureka- another GREAT GAME for all of your kids to play together- they don't even have to know how to read!!!!!!  :)
So here is my ending thoughts on loving your children.  When we first started we had no idea what the behaviors were stemmed from.  We had no idea how to handle them without losing all our marbles.  Let me tell you things have changed A LOT!!!  We used to think babying children was silly.  Why would you praise this child for something you expect from your other children.

That is the GLORY OF GOD!  God chose to make us all differently and not the same. Of course HE did not plan for your child to be hurt, but they have been some very very very severely.  At the end of the day I praise God for not making myself and my many many many many quirks the same as my husband.  Otherwise we wouldn't "fit" together.  BUT I TRUST GOD!  I trust HIM in HIS infinite wisdom as HE placed our family together (and continues to do so).

My new favorite song- Chris Tomlin sings Our God is Greater - if you haven't heard this song- listen to it on the songs below.  My favorite part....

And if Our God is with us, then who could ever stop us?
And if Our God is for us, then who can stand against?

ANSWER- NO ONE!!!  NO BEHAVIOR!!! NO LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET no matter what they stand for!!!!!!!  Our God is HOPE!!!!  Lean on HIM!!!

And just before this really gets long.......We have seen improvement!!!!!  We have seen.....less lying, more attachment, more looking in the eyes, less tantrums, and while we have a ways to go.  Yeah- God says the same about me :)  So we are in the same boat!  :)


  1. What a great post full of wisdom! Definitely some advice I can use on occasion!
    Thank you

  2. I think this is the first time I have posted on your blog, but thank you for that post! Great reminders! We have 4 in similar situations and I was relating to a lot of the things you mentioned! thanks for such a wonderful blog! You have a beautiful family!


  3. Thank you! I needed to read that.... I sometimes feel such a subtle "but you chose this so you don't need help" attitude from others (or maybe it's a deceptive perception from the evil one).

  4. This is excellent! Thank you.

  5. SO many great tips, thank you!!!

    Much love,
    Future Mama

  6. Positively wonderful! You have the gift of encouragement, Dawn. Reality + God = Hope.

    Well said.

  7. Thank you so much for this post. I saw your comment on Jean's blog "There's No Place Like Home". Loved your comment and came to check out your blog. I SO needed this today. We just brought our youngest home from Russia two months ago and I think I was on autopilot. (Thanksgiving family in, birthdays and Christmas) I thought things were going so well.... and then it just struck me this week that our little guy is not really making good eye contact with me. This shouldn't be a surprise because this is our second adoption from Russia, but our first little guy was a year older and whole lot angrier. His meltdowns you couldn't miss... and we worked through them for months. So, our newest little man with his more easy going personality snuck in under the radar. You wrote all of that beautifully! I'm adding you to my blog list! Thank you again for your insight....and encouragement. ~Jackie

  8. "UNDER react to it all- as in try not to react at all. This is a huge thing and is very very very hard for me, but when I do it- it helps A LOT."

    I like that!! And I don't think you're alone as a mom when you say how hard it is to do. Ooooh, the number of times I have to coach myself throughout the day! :-D

    "rubbing lotion on their feet- your feet- WHATEVER!!!!"
    Love it!! :-D

  9. Love this post...great reminders!!! Especially taking on issues one at a time...I often forget to do that and then feel disappointed/incompetent! Probably good for MANY parts of life. :)