Bryan Post Attachment Parenting Blog

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Good at School/Bad at Home? Bad at Home/Good at School?

Behavior Chameleons

Q.

My 16 year old adopted a daughter has been diagnosed with Attachment Disorder while incarcerated in a juvenile jail. This led me to read two of your books which I found very helpful and insightful. My wife does not believe she has such an disorder because she behaved very well during incarceration. She believes the bad behaviors we experience are choices. Can a child with such disorders behave while incarcerated and exhibit behaviors associated with such a disorder as soon as she returned home? God bless you & yours.

A.

This is similar to children who behave wonderfully at home or school, and do the opposite in the other. The issue is, where does a child/person/adult feel most threatened or stressed.  I have an adopted son who is now in jail and he is very comfortable there because he doesn’t have to do anything other than what he is told.  It is a “safe” place for him where the world at large is not “safe”.  Identifying the threat though is not always obvious. For example, the home may be thought to be a “safe” place but if the relationships/attachment could be threatened due to behaviors, then the home may be perceived as ‘not safe’ for the child and be a trigger for behaviors. Start with, if the behaviors are negative, there is stress/threat. Then, figure it out from there to reduce the threat or stress. One can view behaviors as ‘choices’ but not really at a ‘conscious’ level. The choices, if there are such, are based on ‘what can I do to survive?’. These however are reactions rather than responses and, as such are not really choices.

Unconditonal Love: What is it and how do we get there from here?

We have talked about unconditional love many times.  but for most of us, it is just an intellectual pursuit. We really have no idea, no concept, no real experience of unconditional love. I often wonder how we can teach this to parents who have no model other than their own very limited “conditional” parenting imprints passed down from generation to generation. So we try this and that, diagrams and descriptions. Unconditional love – that which there is nothing a child can do to earn, and nothing a child can do to loose. We don’t even treat ourselves with such love and respect, let alone our spouses, family and friends. Michael Brown, in his book The Presence Process, presents to us all a way into this state of love that is one of the finest ways to open our hearts and minds that I have seen. He eloquently summarizes this journey in this quote below. His book is a 10 Week Process for helping us to get comfortable with our discomforts and begins to move us into an appreciation, application and an experience of love and freedom like no other. This is not an intellectual read. It is a week by week series of exercises designed to free us from the past and the future allowing an ever expanding experience of the present. This is not a religious approach. You don’t need to believe anything. It is strictly based on a psychological paradigm that is easily understood and digested if you take the time. His words are simple, powerful and profound. You will not be the same person after enjoying this book. Pretty much guaranteed.

Our journey into uncovering the nature of this great mystery called love starts with being unconditional towards ourselves by feeling what we are authentically feeling without judging the experience in a any way, and without trying to fix, change, understand, heal, or transform it. Being willing to integrate our own discomfort – to perceive it as valid and hence required, and behaving toward it accordingly – is the root of experiencing forgiveness and realizing peace.” Presence Process book

You can buy it here on Amazon if you like. Let me know how it works for you. Choose Love. — B

IEP and The Law: Your 9 Parenting Rights for Helping Your Child Succeed in School – Attorney Jamette Pruett

With Bryan Post and Jamette Pruett, Attorney You must know and take action for assuring your child has the best chance to succeed in school or home school. We have an excellent resource – IEP and The Law which features Attorney Jamette Pruett and I which provides lots of valuable information, tips, and specific Federal […]

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

The fact that our children’s behaviors affects parents so personally and deeply is a critical issue. It is heart wrenching, heart breaking and depressing at times to have to “put up” with our children’s behaviors – especially when it affects us so directly (hitting, spitting, hurtful words etc). It takes a lot of personal work […]

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The End. Not.

Bryan often talks about process versus outcome. Outcome is the end. Process is ongoing. It never ends. This process is observable, knowable, and predictable. The more you observe, the more you know and the more you can predict. The more you can predict, the more you can be proactive in your parenting approach. I know […]

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To Spank or Not To Spank

Ever wonder if there just might be a better way? I  heard a mother threaten to smack her child if he didn’t stop crying, and a father yelling at his children to sit down and shut up! Professor Murray Strauss of the University of New Hampshire has conducted research which indicates that 94% of adults […]

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Integrating or Healing?

You might try thinking of your child as “integrating” rather than healing. These two words have very different intent. Healing makes an assumption that something is wrong and in need of fixing. Healing often attempts to get rid of whatever it attempts to heal. Healing is often more of a “reaction” to what is. There […]

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Baby, You Are a Parenting Superstar (Pt. 2)

(…click here if you missed Part 1) How many life lessons must you learn? When will this school of life hold a graduation ceremony? When will you be able to sleep a full night, stress and worry free? When will you go through a day with ease and grace, loved completely by your family with […]

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Baby, You Are a Parenting Super Star (Pt. 1)

Go in the bathroom and stand in the mirror, I have something to tell you. Ready? You are a magnificent parent. You are a wonderful human being. You are bold, brave, courageous, passionate and most of all full of love. You have taken all that life has handed you and still yet, you stand. You […]

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Parent Calm Thyself First

I was recently lecturing at the Michigan Association for Adoption, Foster, and Kinship Families in Lansing, Michigan and an adoptive mom asked this question… “What do I do when my 8 yr old becomes aggressive with me?” I asked her to get up and come to the front of the room and demonstrate exactly what […]

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