Posts Tagged ‘transition home’

Floors, Parenting and Procrastination

June 29, 2011

I just finished one of my least favorite jobs–cleaning floors.  I don’t mind doing laundry, dishes, gardening, even cleaning toilets!  But I really hate sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.  I put it off, am grateful for our hardwood floor that hides stuff and curse the older kitchen floor that shows everything.  When I finally make myself get started and just do it, I realize that it’s really not that bad and am glad to have clean floors when it’s over.

Today as I finished the hated kitchen floor, it occurred to me that this same phenomenon happens with parenting sometimes, especially parenting kids who have needs that go beyond the typical.  Here are a few examples:

Establishing a parent as the primary caregiver.  It’s hard to shuffle work schedules, put a career on hold, change jobs or start working from home.  It’s also hard to settle into change of pace and meet the new demands (and yes, sometimes boredom) of doing the hard work of daily parenting.  But, we know it’s so worth it to be there building those important foundational pieces of brain development and accompanying skills like trust, cause and effect thinking, impulse control, empathy, the ability to self-regulate emotions, etc….   I have never met a parent yet who regretted putting in the extra time with their child, just like I’ve never met anyone who regrets having clean floors.

Starting AND MAINTAINING Time In.  I’ve talked to many parents in the 13+ yearss since we first started presenting the idea of “Time In” in our live seminars.  Once folks understand why it makes sense and that it really does establish parenting authority, competency and boundaries, they are anxious to put it into use in their homes.  It’s not much fun to get started and it takes self-discipline and a commitment to see the job through, but it’s so worth it in the end.  Much like cleaning floors, only doing Time In halfway just highlights the mess.  

Utilizing professionals when necessary.  I don’t think any of us intend to avoid using professionals to help our families anymore than we intend to live in a pigsty and yet, when we put off actually making the appointment (or pulling out the broom!) in essence, that’s what happens.  Similarly, just as it’s not enough to pull the vacuum cleaner out and then not follow through actually vacuuming, it’s not enough to visit a professional and then not follow through *all the way* with a new parenting plan, therapy or other recommendations they have, provided they make sense given the research and what you know about your individual child.   

Being proactive.  This is the first piece of the parenting plan we highlight in Because They Waited.  It is so, so important!  Picture a small sticky spot on the floor.  If not cleaned up, it gets tracked around, dirt and gunk sticks to it and before long it’s just a bigger mess!   Same goes with issues that our kids have.  Most kids don’t come home severely impacted by their early months or years in less than optimal care–they come home with mild to moderate effects.  And yet, if we procrastinate parenting to those issues in a concerted manner, those issues usually just get bigger.  The look of them may change, but it’s often the same core issue just making a bigger mess.

Heart of the Matter Seminars

From Our In-Box

June 22, 2010

I just responded to an email that came to our general mailbox.  It brings up some great points about education vs. training vs. dispensing information:

I’m interested in purchasing the Because They Waited course.   My husband and I are adoptive parents;  our daughter (adopted from Ethiopia) joined our family last September at the age of 7 months.   We were careful to follow the attachment guidelines we’d read about and our daughter appears to have adjusted well and to be attaching well.   (more…)

Mother’s Day, Infertility and Other Waiting Mothers

May 7, 2010

Mother’s Day was once the most painful day of the year for me. There was a time when I struggled with infertility and then that one horrible year when my baby boy was waiting in a Russian orphanage.

Julie and I have talked about this often and she may chime in on this with her own perspective… but even now with 14 years worth of Mother’s Days as an active mom with kids in my home, I still find it to be a bittersweet day.

On Mother’s Day, many of us in the adoption community think of the women who actually mothered their child–birth mothers, foster mothers, orphanage staff workers… or even the child’s birth giver if she didn’t actually “mother” after the child was born.

It’s not that I don’t think of those “mothers” but my heart is really with the women who are longing to be mothers but who are confronted with a roadblock of some sort. (more…)

New trauma course: Understanding Trauma in Children

February 10, 2010

We finally got our course called “Understanding Trauma in Children” up and running.  This is not a new topic for Heart of the Matter Seminars, it’s just that other topics and webinars were taking up our time and trauma kept getting pushed to the back burner.  When we collaborated to bring a free webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry to families adopting or awaiting placement of a child from Haiti, it spurred us to get busy and put our course together. (more…)

Dr. Bruce Perry webinar for families adopting from Haiti

January 27, 2010

I’m so pleased to announce that Dr. Bruce Perry has agreed to provide a webinar (free of charge!) to families currently adopting from Haiti.  You can find more information about it here:   Dr. Bruce Perry Webinar for Haiti Families

Dr. Perry and the Child Trauma Academy have made a huge impact on our understanding of trauma as it relates to children and brain development and we are very grateful that he will be addressing the needs of these kiddos and their families.

Please note:  This live webinar is for parents who are in process or who have just recently brought their children home.  It is not for folks who are just interested in learning about adopting from Haiti.  A recording will be made available after the live event.


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