The Practice of Parenting

Parenting is more than technique. It is really a skill set. And to do it well it must become a practice. The practice disposes us to allow something to take place. Take for example the gardener. The gardener does not actually grow anything. Gardeners practice certain skills that facilitate growth (or kill the growth). But growth itself is beyond the gardener's direct ability to control. Growth itself is up to the plant to make use of the elements needed.

There are other practices as well that predispose us to experience it that which we desire or seek, such as spiritual practice. The practice itself does not make things happen or guarantee any result. It is merely putting our best effort forward to allow the highest and grandest results. A fool with a tool is still a fool. Don't be fooled. All the parenting tools in the world won't give you the results you want. It is with wisdom and love that we proceed with our best effort of guidance - always intent on nurturing the relationship that will allow for the greatest and grandest result in the life of our child as they see it - not as we see it.

Our parenting practice should not add baggage to our children that would slow them down and add barriers that they will eventually need to discard, some with great effort. Our practice should allow them the freedom to live the life they choose. If we choose love and act with wisdom in our parenting practice, our children may choose the same route, and pass that legacy on to their families. Love and wisdom do not control, do not dominate but offer guidance that can be accepted or rejected without judgment. We would do well to offer the same gift to ourselves. Practice does not make perfect as is sometimes said. Although without practice, little is accomplished. So let our practice begin.

Have a Happy Holiday? Maybe, Maybe Not…

I recall one Christmas where one adopted RAD son had an absolute meltdown at my in-laws Christmas Day huge family gathering. Although I don’t recall how it began, I can imagine it began like most other “out of control” events, with a simple little, even maybe tiny thing or incident that I, in my parenting ignorance fanned into a bonfire of mess. We eventually had four adults each grab one of my son’s limbs while he screamed bloody murder, fighting, kicking trying to bite as we carried him back into the house with some of the family members shouting things like - I know a local cop - want me to call him? or Should we take him to the hospital? None of this was necessary. In fact, once I calmed down and let him just calm down, he played by himself in a room till all was well. He just wanted to be left alone. I have come to see that a little bit of Bryan can go a long way from keeping 'all those itty bitty little things' from turning into weapons of mass destruction.

Talk about embarrassing… The family, kind enough with their intentions, knew that our adopted son was of course to blame and offered us Santa-Lettertheir condolences for our situation. And this was after we had met Bryan Post. As impressed as we were with his new paradigm parenting approach for children with trauma histories, it was just not enough to “Get my Bryan on” and do the right thing. Even after years and years, and working for the Post Institute for seven of those, I still have trouble doing the right thing. How do I manage all this failure? By realizing that there is no “right thing”, just the next best thing that I can do - and a lot of it turns out not so good. But a lot turns out good. And this is why I do this work.

I know how not to do it. I just need more practice, more reading, more understanding, more love… more Bryan.
So to help you with with your holiday season, to help you to have a Happy Holiday rather than one like I describe above, here are some tools,tips and techniques that can help you Get Your Bryan On this year. We will be offering these over the next couple of weeks in emails, our Facebook Page and our Blog. Let us know what you learn this year and how things work for you.

Have a calm and peaceful holiday season.

Choose Peace.

Mindfulness – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

  3 Steps to Becoming More Mindful

“Mindfulness. If you’re still thinking this is merely a touchy-feely trend practiced by yogis, creatives and the business elite – you’re way behind. Thousands of people in organizations around the world are now benefiting from the improved performance, communication, relationships and self-mastery being mindful brings. More than 40 universities now offer ‘mindfulness in medicine’ training. ‘Mindful schools’ have touched over 300,000 students in 43 countries. Law schools are in on it. Even the US Special Forces has a ‘mind-fitness’ training program.”

4 Pillars textMindfulness is one of my favorite topics and one of the essential tools for your Parenting Toolbox. In fact, I consider it one of the Four Pillars of Post Parenting. Although it may be perceived as new age mumbo-jumbo and is often presented as a meditation technique or practice, it has a life of its own as a basic self-awareness tool for getting to know oneself - as was written on the temple wall at Delphi in Greece 2,000 years ago - "Know Thyself". It is as old as Jesus (actually older) and as modern and practical as an iPhone 6 - even more practical when it comes to parenting. If we are not mindful, we end up mind-less and parenting (living) on autopilot and reinforcing the old reactionary paradigms and traditions that have been passed down from generations. Mindfulness is an idea whose time has come.

We are always pleased to find articles and information that puts mindfulness in a league of it’s own and shows how valuable a tool it can be no matter what fields of interest, professions, traditions, religious beliefs or considerations and opinions about personal development or Google Quote v4self-improvement may be. Without it we are the blind leading the blind.

Mindfulness has been popularly defined by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) which says that is it paying attention, in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgementally. Another definition is "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. However you say it, mindfulness is a lifetime engagement - not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.

Melcrum Ltd. recently published an article Success from the Inside Out which says just this. “It’s this quality of mindfulness, or ‘executive presence’, that helps people to see their current reality more clearly; to distinguish more objectively what’s going on and to be more mindful of their internal reality – the thoughts, feelings and what’s happening in their minds and bodies – as well as how they’re leading their organizations. Mindfulness enables us to monitor more, so we can manage our internal and external resources more effectively.”

We hope you enjoy this perspective and, as always join the conversation and let us know what you think.

Have a calm and peaceful day. -- David

Reprinted with generous permission from Melcrum Ltd. Learn About Melcrum
They’re in the business of smarter Internal Communication.
Melcrum works with leaders and teams around the globe to build skills and know-how in Internal Communication. Our strategic advice, analysis, tools and training help you excel at connecting with your people. When you do this well, you unlock powerful business results that give your company a competitive edge. Learn more about Melcrum here.

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 many of us feel that our children are unpredictable. But really… once the David Journalbehaviors, the meltdowns, the disruptions are over, do they not leave a trail of logical steps that having known all this, we could have easily done much to prevent many of these occurrences?

The process with our special children may never end. But that is not a life sentence for them or us. It is merely an observable fact and the more you observe the more you know and hence the more you can predict and prevent. Many parents like us fear that our children will never grow up, never leave the house, or in some way shape or form always be our responsibility. This is a real fear. This does not mean that it is a real fact. But again it is a real fear.

Our children truly are gifts. The trick comes in appreciating and being open to what they have to offer us. There are many of us that just cannot stand anymore, cannot take it anymore, are done with it, through with it and over it. This is not our children’s fault. To blame them for our reactions is to take on the victim role, and the only way to win is to become a victor. In order for us to be a victor there must be a victim or a loser. This is not the role we want for our children. The gift that they offer is the opportunity to be free. Free from our self imposed reactionary life and a life of being "free to choose" who and what we want to be. And that dear parent is the pearl of great price!

Reactive behavior is based on a belief that the world is happening to us, and it is therefore our duty either to defend ourselves or to impose our will on what’s happening. This appears real because our attention is almost exclusively focused on a reflected past and projected future. Love based parenting teaches that “stress causes us to react from the past to project the future that may not be in our best interest”. And in most cases is not in our best interest. Nor is it in our children’s best interest. As long as our “buttons are being pushed”, our “triggers are being activated” and we are getting upset–we as parents are not learning our lessons.

We have two lessons to learn:
#1 is to remember who we really are.
#2 is to choose who we want to be.
The answers to these two questions will determine the path of our parenting approach.

In every moment we have an opportunity to choose. Bryan says, “choose love”. I add to this, choose who you want to be. Not who or what you are currently experiencing with the behaviors you display in any moment, but in fact who you want to be–then just do it. Some say, “that is just who I am”. This response is limiting and is a "life sentence" so long as you believe it.

This process of choosing and doing is a gift that can have eternal consequences for us. The change from reactive to responsive behavior is the single most important adjustment to our perception of the world, and therefore our interaction with, that will benefit our entire experience in life.

For those who seek outcomes, results and only behaviors that are acceptable to them, they will never see “The End”. And it is likely that they will be frustrated time and time again in their parenting efforts. For those who see the process, progress, and are able to observe, learn and predict more accurately, they will be better prepared to accept and love their children for who they are not just for who they want them to be.

David Durovy is the president and the janitor of The Post Institute. He tries very hard every day to bring Bryan's message of Love Based Family-Centered Parenting to the world. He and his wife Susan have fostered around 27 children and adopted four children at 6, 16, 17, and 21 years of age from the Virginia Foster Care program.

Thoughts for the New Year | Understanding Challenging Behaviors

The only time we see things as abnormal is when they stand outside of our own perceptual understanding. Remember this when reacting to your child's behaviors.New Year 2013
Thank you for you interest in the work of Bryan Post and the Post Institute. Because of you, there is a chance for a better world, a better future. All because you choose to love more.

We hope that you find great value in this information over the coming year, for bringing love, peace and harmony back into your family so that your child can once again be a source of joy rather than irritation, anger or worse. RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Autistic Spectrum, Aspergers, PTSD and other diagnoses all spell the same thing for you and your child - stress. Understanding Bryan Post's Stress Model approach to challenging behaviors may be the answer to your prayers.

The really good news is that your child doesn't need to change for you to have peace and harmony in your family. These come as a result of the understanding, patience and love that parents can bring to the relationship. The even better good news is that the more understanding, patience and love that parents provide for their children, the faster children will heal and the quicker their behaviors will change. Neuroplasticity in the brain is highly resilient in younger people and works more quickly. Parents who replace dominance, fear and authority with love, influence and relationship find that things can change very quickly and immediate results can be seen. Long term healing requires a change in parenting approach and may need years to overcome the trauma that your child may have experienced. Always remember that without relationship, you have nothing. The relationship is everything.
To learn more about Bryan Post's Stress Model, FREE Stuff (audios, article, videos and webinars), ongoing trainings, FREE parenting newsletters, inspiration, educational information, special offers and discounts, visit us often www.postinstitute.com

Peace on Earth symbol Want to see peace on earth? So do we. You hold the future of the world in your hands - your child. Broken dreams can come true. But they do need help. That is why we are here, and why we do what we do. Parents around the world have been using and applying the principles of love based family centered parenting. If you have not started on this journey of hope and healing, we invite you to try out this life changing approach. Although simple to learn, you may find it easier than it looks to apply it successfully. There is hope. There is help. Breathe, love will enter. Peace will follow.

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Parenting Toolbox 29 How to End Lying, Peaceful Parenting and Less is More

Toobox 29

Just a quick note to let you know that Post Parenting Toolbox 29 hit the streets this week. Here is a piece of it, and there is lots more about what is new at the Post Institute and what we have in store for you in 2013. It's Simple Really - Less is More...

I received a note from a caseworker that shows just how simple this love based model is and I felt I had to share it with you. Many of our parents wonder where to start. Wherever they are at any moment is a good place. Here is a simple clue.

She wrote saying "I had a mother call me telling me that her 7 year old daughter was "freakin out, throwing one of her fits".....Mom had put child in her room and closed the door and I could hear the child screaming at the top of her lungs and either hitting the door or throwing things at the door......I told the mother to go into the child's room and just sit on the bed and stare at the floor. Within 30 seconds that child was calmed down, not completely but almost.......in about 45 seconds that child was not screaming or talking loud at all and within a minute of that the child and the mother were talking about getting dinner ready". How simple is that? (Ed. note: For more of where to start, read Kirk Martin's (founder of Celebrate Calm) advice telling parents to Just Shut Up!

With all the email, e-Newsletters, Facebook messages, Tweets and Mobile text messages you get, we thought we would try to do things a bit differently. We will be experimenting for awhile with designs so please hand with us during our re-construction time. We know you want help for your family. You want it short and sweet, and you want it now. We will try to give you expert advice, timely news and information in bite sized pieces. We will as always also offer you such things as videos, audio recordings and links that you can take advantage of at your own pace. We are here for you and because of you. So, what do you need, what you want (and don't want) and how you would like it? Just like "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", if the parents ain't happy, Bryan Post ain't happy". So please let us know. Get Happy! You can reach me at david@postinstitute.com.

Also included is Bryan’s recent Q&A recording about school issues that two moms are facing, a revision of the How to End Lying is coming up and we’d like to hear from you. Included is a short video that Bryan did on Lying. To view the Toolbox click here: https://thepostinstitute.infusionsoft.com/app/hostedEmail/4160118/451ebb30ca174149

Peace or Stress? Mindfulness Tips for the Holidays #1 – I’d rather be here now

I'd rather be here now. There are a number of mindfulness (the non-judge-mental awareness of allowing "what is") exercises that are helpful in regulating ourselves so we can help regulate others - our kids. Besides, it just feels better. Frederick Burggraf created a wonderful little program called The Mindfulness Wheel (www.dayonepublishing.com). We will be sharing some of his quick and easy lessons over the next couple of days. Use them, let us know how they work and what you learn from them.

Breathe - Stop now.. and then, and take a few deep breaths. Follow your in-breath and follow your out-breath. As you breathe in, relax your body. As you breathe out, empty your mind. Stay with your breath and ride it like the tide of the present moment. Frederick Burggraf, The Mindfulness Wheel

Choose to Breathe

-- David
For more Love Based Family Centered Parenting information visit www.postinstitute.com and reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com. Also free parenting videos by Bryan Post on YouTube, and up to date information, discounts, weekly contests Like our facebook page.