The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting to the Heart of It

Christine has put up some awesome video clips regarding therapeutic parenting and traumatized kids.

In the maze of RAD, Bipolar and Autism Spectrum Disorder that we have here in Loo Loo Land I try to attend what workshops and seminars that I can. One thing that really helped me to let go of feeling that I had not been doing things just right for my child and that I was a bad parent was a behavior workshop that I attended to help parents with kids on the Autism Spectrum.

I tend to make everything my fault. It's a self-destructive habit and it doesn't help my kids. The reality is I have not caused my kids problems. But they are MY kids and so I would internalize their problems as my doing because I am their Mom and I felt I should be able to fix them.

The woman speaking was from CARD and really knows her stuff. I really felt she was a total blessing to our family and to me. She came to our home and met with us regarding Mr. She also happened to know our CBA and said, "Do what he tells you and you will be okay." When his recommendations have felt foreign to me I have reflected on that statement.

She also works with the police departments in our county and teaches them how to deal with autistic people as well as those with RAD. So when she made this point that really helped me get past where I was stuck, I felt confident that she knew what she was talking about. She said to the group, "You aren't wrong, your way of parenting is not wrong but... it isn't getting you the result you want. So what does that mean? It means you have to change what you are doing."

That really helped my confidence and to stop beating myself up. I wasn't wrong, I wasn't a bad parent but I did need to learn a different way to get the results I was looking for. Boo-ya! I could get that through my head.

Sometimes I could not see the forest for the tree in my immediate way. I was afraid of letting something go at the moment and not teaching the long term lesson of how to be a good upstanding person. And so much of what Christine has shared is just dead on with what I have learned too.

One of the first people that I learned from was Nancy Thomas.  One thing that really spoke to me when I was able to go to a seminar with her was, "You gotta love them anyway." I was having a hard time getting past some of the abuse that was perpetrated on siblings. I felt caught between that Mother Bear instinct of protecting my young and the fact that the danger was coming from another one of my young.

It was hard because she fought attachment so in reality she felt like a visitor to me instead of my child. That doesn't feel nice to share and it isn't true now but it was true way back. Focusing on that statement, "You gotta love them anyway" in part helped me past that. When I felt negative feelings and thoughts toward my child I remembered that I had to love her anyway. She was not the behavior she was displaying. I could love her with out liking the things that she did.

Some of Nancy's phrases that she used with her kids helped me until I got my own phrases so that I did not get sucked in to the fight. My child healing from RAD used to LOVE to fight. Sadly it was her comfort zone. It has been a longggggggggg road, but she is moving in the right direction.  Although today was no picnic with Miss.  Sigh.

I too have learned that the lesson has to be taught at a later time. We can talk about the big feelings that were behind the behavior, I can ask "How did that work out for you?" but later.  Also play therapy at home with Mom and siblings has been a great way to help teach the lesson at hand, but later.

To all the parents that keep on keepin on here's a big (((((HUG))))) to you!


Jill said...

Fabulous post. Wow. I know what you mean. There are days that I wonder if my twins were better off in the orphanage in Ukraine. I make mistakes as a parent and my daughter, who has FAS, is a big struggle for me to parent, but day by day things get better. :o)

J. said...

I have a different mantre, I think I can, I think I can... it helps me in the moments when I feel like I can not get any where with the boys.

The LaBelle Family said...

Right back atcha, girlfriend...I feel you both NEED and DESERVE one, so, here it is.. ERRRRRRR! :)

marythemom said...

This post reminds me of my favorite song, Anyway, by Martina McBride. Do it anyway! It's my mantra!

Mary in TX