Lesson from the Spider

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children, Fostering, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Lesson from the Spider
Sep 212017
 

I went to the sink and was surprised to see that a spider had crafted a web over part of the sink bowl, like it now belonged to HIM. I don’t know how he pulled that off.

When you make up your mind to love and stick with a traumatized child, behaviors they throw at you are like that spider’s web. The child may surprise and shock you with their sheer craftiness and obstinacy. Beware, though, of becoming entangled in the web of their antics . That happens so easily when our emotions and tempers explode. I know! Remember when my halo  cracked?

Another word to whoever will listen. My love may not demonstrate like your love, or the love that is politcally correct. Take care of yourself . . .and never stop loving.

-Nealie

Guess What I Bought?

 Fostering, General Humor  Comments Off on Guess What I Bought?
Mar 252017
 

Wonder Woman

I just bought my first Lego set -for me! When I saw this one, I had to have it. WHY?

Because all parents of special needs kids know that you have to put on the super hero suit to fight the “Doomsday” in our lives. My suit just happens to be Wonder Woman, like lots of other moms.

You dad’s have a lot more choices, lol! Superman, Batman, Captain America…

My Lego set is now all put together, in plain view in my office. Sometimes we need reminders of who we are, with God’s help.

If you need this, you can get it for about $10 at Amazon.

-Nealie 🙂

What is Therapeutic Parenting?

 Foster children, Fostering, Uncategorized  Comments Off on What is Therapeutic Parenting?
Jun 112016
 

Therapeutic Parenting means parenting in a manner that brings healing to the child. That’s my definition. I have a confession, though. I used to see the “peu” in therapeutic and think pe-u, because it’s HARD to be therapeutic. It’s work!

Here is an excerpt from Chasing Lilly that demonstrates therapeutic parenting:

The teachers looked weary and relieved to see me because their classroom had been turned into a three-ring circus. Lilly had taken off her shirt and thrown it, chewed on her undershirt and pulled at it until there were holes, threw her shoes, peed on the floor in several places, blew snot out of her nose, fought with the teachers, and cussed them out.

Miss Coops started to gather up the scattered clothing from the floor as well as a jacket, and she brought them to me. I took the items but said, “Evidently she didn’t want to wear these in class, so she won’t be wearing them home. It’s kind of cold out, but she made her decision.”

Mrs. Firm looked awed and said, “You’re even tougher than I am.”

I marched my little charge down the hall, through the crowd, and outside toward the car. More than a few stared at us and (I’m sure) wondered at the homeless-looking urchin in bare feet, but I was getting used to being Lilly’s mother.

I didn’t scold her, but asked if she’d like to hold my hand as we walked to the car. At first she said no, but after a few yards, she grabbed my hand and sadly said, “I’m not a good girl.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I don’t want to tell you,” she said with her head down.

“I already know, Lilly, but I still love you.”

When we got home I told her that I was going to rock her.

“I don’t want rocked,” she said.

“Well, I’m going to rock you anyway.”

“Why do you have to rock me?”

I looked at her little face and responded, “Because I want you to know that I love you, and I am so proud of you when you are a good girl.”

Lilly paused to contemplate that statement, and she then climbed into my lap. We rocked quietly and the only sound was the chair creaking on the hardwood floor.

She sighed and said, “I am so worn out today.”

 

There are time that I have failed miserably being therapeutic. Other times, I’ve seen great success when the extra effort was spent, and healing and progress would result.

Dr. Karyn Purvis has excellent information on parenting in a way that brings healing.

Therapeutic parenting takes time. You can’t do this in a day. Keep at it! -Nealie

 

 

Apr 242016
 

For a long time every morning I would pass a sign that said, “Miss a Day, Miss a Deal.”

I hated that sign. I don’t even shop there. But that slogan … it made me slightly anxious, because it implied that I was missing something.

Stupid, I know. It goes in the same category as comments such as, “Why did you do that?” Why did I do what?

I remember being at my sister’s house when she was dying. She ordered me to pack her things in boxes, and to use packing tape to seal them. I haven’t been able to hear that rip of packing tape without sadness since that day.

Think of something that causes a little anxiety for you. If little things like these can get us going sometimes, imagine what might trigger a traumatized child.

The color of a room may bring back bad memories.

A certain noise may be a trigger. Maybe it preceded abuse.

Seasons, holidays, people with dark hair/light hair -who knows? We need to be sensitive to the things that may seem to be triggers, and not just chalk-up behavior to disobedience or defiance.

If there are problem behaviors that defy reasoning, then maybe something like this is at work. Pay attention to repeated reactions to certain people or things. Trauma kids often don’t even know why they get upset, so we need to help them by paying attention. Say a child has a memory of dropping their ice cream cone and getting beaten for the mess it made. It would be easy to assume that ice cream could be a trigger. Who would think that something that is good and fun to you, could be a negative for a child?

Keep a log of episodes and what went on those days. What season was it? Where were you? Any sounds in the background? Any different foods served?

A therapist with trauma training and knowledge can be valuable.

Listening to other trauma-parents can also be helpful.

Love my readers, Nealie