Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Traditional Parenting vs. Parenting a Child from a Hard Place

 This post is not from Christian Alliance for Orphans- although there will be more on that, and they did have breakouts with this topic.  Today's post is just a little hint of the why behind changing your parenting styles.  Pictures provided by fun at Busch Gardens ;) 
 When we first started our adoption journey....I would say that we didn't know at all what we were doing or getting into.  Probably much better that way too!  The thing is that we never even knew we should or the why behind not doing just traditional parenting.  Which is fine.  This post is not to put down traditional parenting at all! 
 Instead I would like to challenge some of my own ideas.  My parents raised me in a traditional home- traditional parenting.  They said it, you do it, or you get a consequence.  Now I know some people get freaked out by spankings (of course for obvious reason when a child has been through trauma), but it is what it is.  Sometimes it was a loss of privilege or something along those lines.  I do have to say "grounding" was popular when I was growing up, but my parents didn't do that. 

For the most part- this worked in our home.  However, our home was stable.  We had both parents, no real ongoing trauma of any kind.  My parents were over the moon excited when we were born!  We were told we were loved daily, given hugs daily, and our parents would come to all of our events (and we were involved in a lot).  My dad during a large portion of my life was a truck driver so he was gone during the weeks, but he made it a point to be home 80-90% of the weekends.  When he was home- we spent all our time together, and only rarely went out with friends later in the evening on Friday or Saturday nights. 
 So that is my background in a quick nutshell.  It worked, I loved my childhood, and grew up happy!!!

However.....for every single one of our children they have gone through loss!  EVERY SINGLE ONE!  They are not in a "traditional" home in the sense that they have lost the ability to be with their biological parents.  Some of our children have been exposed to alcohol and drugs in utero, some have been malnurished, some have come through foster care and lived in "limbo" for a year to three years.  Some have been in abusive homes.  Some have not been "expected".  Some were born with a birth family going through a really tough time. 

Every single one of the above.......makes it harder for them.  I 100% believe they have all healed in sooo many ways!  They are really great and we couldn't love them any more!  However......if we completely ignore the fact that they have experienced these things we are not doing what is needed.  If you were to ask me one thing in raising our children that if I had a do over- what would it be?  It wouldn't be anything to do with our children, but I wish I knew there was another way to parent to help my children MORE! 
If we would have known that slightly different approaches would have helped our children more through the years- WE WOULD HAVE DONE THAT LONG AGO!

Theraputic Parenting, Empwered To Connect, Non Traditional Parenting- can be seen by some as - weird, not practical, not "firm" enough, kooky, some even say it isn't Biblical (which I don't believe after learning more about it).  What I am going to share is that I am specifically talking about Empowered To Connect (there are differences).  And for us it has helped our children in ways I never thought possible.  Were our children out of control all the time maniacs- NO!  Did they need additional healing that wasn't happening before- YES!

Does every child that has been adopted, been through any trauma, or anything from the above list need Empowered To Connect.....possibly not.  Do I think there are benefits - ABSOLUTELY! 

Which is why we are thrilled to be able to get to attend this summer Empowered To Connect's - Train the Trainer!!!  WAHOOO!!!!!  We just found out today :).  We are so very excited!!!!  Why?  Because we want to encourage more people locally to adopt/foster.  I think if we want the Body of Christ to rise up we need to give them tools.  Tools to help them better connect with their children whether with them short term or forever.  There is a need and we want to help other families like ours who are ready, willing, and able to take in children, but need a helping hand! 

So hoping to blog more about it in the future and share with you things we will learn as we read, watch, and go to the train the trainer course!!!  Praying it will be a blessing to many!!!  :)


  1. Check out my book give away.

  2. What an AWESOME opportunity!! Empowered to Connect helped me so much with our last adoption--I send everybody in foster care and adoption that direction. My husband and I talked about doing the training so we could help our area...I will be looking forward to your posts on what you have learned and how you are helping people! Love reading your heart;)