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 :).
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! :)