Mar 162018
 

Bruce and I were in a Burger King when Lilly was about twenty. While we waited in line she had her thumb in her mouth, simply because strangers were all around and she was nervous. An old gentleman was watching her and he said, “You know you shouldn’t have that thumb in your mouth. You’re putting germs from everything you touched in your mouth. No sir, you shouldn’t be doing that.”

Lilly removed the thumb. It’s a good thing for him that Lilly wasn’t agitated or he could have had a fist in his mouth, LOL!

When Lilly is disregulated, she doesn’t realize she’s sucking her thumb. When fearful and in public, I use a hand motion that brings what she is doing to her attention without embarrasing her. Other people don’t notice, but she takes the cue and removes the thumb. If she is agitated, I never tell her to stop the thumb-sucking, because we don’t like to see her get even more agitated and possibly out of control.

If you’re addressing a bad habit that your child has be careful that you:

Don’t ask them to accomplish something they are incapable of because they don’t have another way to cope.

Don’t address the bad habit during a time of duress. It’s pointless.

Don’t ever embarass them in any way.

Work on a secret signal between you and your child that is barely noticeable to others, and only use it when your kid is not greatly agitated.

I’d be interested to hear from other people about their situations and what they have successfully (or unsuccessfully) used.

 

Love my readers! -Nealie

 

Mar 022018
 

Lilly was a handful whenever we went ANYWHERE, but going to a restaurant was particularly challenging. She loved “McDannel’s,” and so McDonald’s was the place for some of our early outings with her.  It’s a relatively safe place to take a child with a tendency for wild rages. The best time of day for an outing with a child like that is about two or three o’clock, because the restaurant is not as busy.

Rehearse the rules ahead, and the main rule is that if there are any outbursts, “The food and drink go in the trash, and we go home.” Eating out is not a right, -it’s a privilege!

We actually did throw food and drinks in the trash receptacles and left the restaurant a bunch of times times before Lilly got the idea that we weren’t kidding.

One time we were at a sit-down restaurant and she was agitated that it was taking too long. She began to get loud and unruly, and when our meals came, I took her plate from the waitress and set it aside, out of Lilly’s reach. I said, “You may not get this. You can always have left-overs at home.”

If she wanted her food, she had no choice but to settle down, and she did.

And then there were the trips to the car when there was the beginning of a scene at a restaurant. It was hard work, and I am sure other people thought we were being mean to the cute little girl.

Lastly, make sure that you discuss what the child is allowed to order before you go in, and make sure you leave a good tip if it is a regular place with wait staff.

Lilly is polite when we go out to eat today because we stuck with it. Good luck with YOUR wild child.   😀  Nealie

 

Brave Bart: Don’t Underestimate This Kid’s Book!

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children, Fostering, Life's Difficulties, RAD parenting  Comments Off on Brave Bart: Don’t Underestimate This Kid’s Book!
Jan 122018
 

Brave Bart Book by Caroline H. Sheppard about childhood traumaI recently purchased a wonderful book for “traumatized and grieving children,” and wanted to share it with my readers. I saw Kathi Beadle today. She was Lilly’s therapist early on, and I showed her the Brave Bart book. She smiled and said she had used that exact title and the therapy puppet cats that can accompany it when she worked with Lilly so many years ago!

I cannot wait to show the book to Lilly and re-read it with her, even though she is in her twenties now. She has been going through a rough patch for several months, and this could be just what she needs.

And if you were traumatized as a child, then I think you would also benefit from reading about Bart. (Yes, you.)

I love my readers, and want this year to be more peaceful than last year. -Nealie

P.S. A side note on the Amazon Audibles version of Chasing Lilly that was in production… the narrator’s equipment was trashed by a worm or virus to the point of no return. I feel so sad for her, as she was 99% finished, and lost everything else in her system as well. I will have to resubmit the book and start over with another narrator. Keep you posted!

Oct 052017
 

Bruce wore tiger-striped reading glasses today. Some I picked up from the dollar store. He has no fashion sense and doesn’t care, so it’s amusing when he is accidentally in style.

He needed a bandage because he just had something on his face treated by the dermatologist. So I heard him yell, “Don’t tell me this is all we have for bandaids?”

I responded, “What? You don’t like bright purple ones? Lime green? How about the ones with hearts? Oh, and we have some with Minions on them!”

Tiger stripes framed the resignation in his eyes. He must have sensed what was not fashionable right then. Imagine that. 🙂

Bruce has always had my back. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did with Lilly without him. Working with a traumatized child is an uphill climb, and you have to have some help along the way. Maybe the “Bruce” in your life is a close friend, a brother, or a group of parents supporting each other. Don’t try to go for any length of time by yourself.

Where can you find some support? Try your local foster agency, either county or private. They will know about support groups. Ask around if you belong to a church. Here are organizations that are helpful:

BEYOND Trauma and Attachment (BETA)  A Facebook open support group . They offer humor, information, and retreats.

Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN)   Great international resource with a crisis hotline: 888-656-9806.

The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children is on Face Book. TLC 

Institute for Attachment and Child Development IACD

See my RESOURCE tab on the home page for more help. <3 Nealie

*(Minions is a trademark of Universal City Studios LLC)