In-depth 4 Week Small Group Coaching Program Now Forming…

Affordable Professional Support --  Adoption Parenting
I want to help you create healing for your adopted child. If you are the parent of a teen or twenty something,
Parenting Teens and Twenty-somethings
Indepth 
4 Week
Small Group Coaching Program
Only 10 Families
5 spaces remaining
read below for details

Kristi, thank you for putting this program together for our families, and for making it affordable.  A great opportunity. You're knowledge and experience will make this an amazing program. –David Durovy, Partner Post Institute

Register Today to secure your slot!
This is our chance to work hand in hand to create healing for your vulnerable children.

I'm Kristi Saul, the head coach for The Post Institute and the Leader of The Adoption Parenting Inner Circle
This is an exclusive offer. Because YOU said you wanted real help with your teenagers and young adults, I’ve put together a 4 week program specifically focused on Parenting Teens and Twenty-Somethings.

Each session will take place live via video conferencing and will be audio recorded for your future listening. This is a chance for us to interact to share your experiences and your fears and to get expert education, support, and proven effective solutions. A chance to be real with one another and create real healing.

If you are the parent of a teen or young adult you’ll want to participate in this 4 week program.

What we will cover:

  • An in depth understanding of the impact of pre-birth and early life trauma;
  • An understanding of why these early experiences are so important to understand during the "launching" process;Register Here
  • How to help your teen or young adult understand their stress and stress responses;
  • How to create a connected, in-the-know relationship that will be their safety net through challenges they face;
  • Understanding the family dynamics, parents leading the family in healing;
  • Each session will allow time for questions and discussion;
  • Each participant will receive 1 private coaching call as part of this program (a $100 value);
  • Each participant will receive 1 month email follow up.

Sessions Begin February 6th - All sessions will be recorded so that you can reference at your convenience. Inner Circle Members Get First Chance to Register!

$200  for more than 6 hours of professions in depth  education and support.

Questions? Email Kristi at kristi@adoptionparentinginnercircle.com


Who is Kristi Saul and what does she know about helping adopted children? Kristi is the head coach for The Post Institute.   Kristi is the founder and leader of The Adoption Parenting Inner Circle, the first online educational support for adoptive and foster parents and professionals, and is the co-founder of the Post Institute.  She is the hands on expert to the message of The Post Institute.  Her education and experience create an amazing voice of compassionate understanding and education for adoptive parents and professionals. She holds a master’s degree in Community Counseling from the University of Central Oklahoma. Kristi has worked in trenches with some of the most challenging families and children for the past 25 years. She has published numerous articles on topics related to parenting, and educating attachment challenged children. But more than that, her expertise is gained from life experience.  She has been surrounded by adoption her entire life.  Kristi is the daughter of an adopted, attachment challenged mother, her cousins were adopted, her former spouse, Bryan Post, an adopted child, and she has an adopted son. She has been behind the scenes in every aspect of the creation of the Post Institute, the development of the stress model and family centered regulatory parenting, the Inner Circle, and the Post Group Home projects. Every aspect of her life for the past 12 years has focused on understanding, and living the stress model and creating healing and harmonious relationships in her family. Her vast first hand experiences of living the stress model and creating healing for the most challenging children provides a refreshing down to earth application of neuroscience, child development, regulatory parenting, therapy, and an in depth understanding of family dynamics. Kristi lives a quiet life in Claremore, Ok where she raises her daughter Marley and her son Kevin.

Kristi Aug '15Much Love
Kristi Saul, MEd
Leader: Adoption Parenting Inner Circle
Head Coach: Post Institute

The Adoption Parenting Inner Circle is a support for parents and professionals in their journey to create healing for adopted children, based on the philosophies of Love Based Parenting and The Post Institute.

Anger Will Not Calm Anger

ANGER WILL NOT CALM ANGER. If a child comes to you and is angry and annoys you, and you get angry and annoyed at their being angry and annoyed and start acting angry and annoyed, it will not calm them down.

silouette finger pointingAnger is real. Anger is acceptable as are all our emotions. How we use it, and what we do with it are key elements to not only improving our parenting (all relationships) but in revisiting our own buried past. I sometimes feel that if I am angry when I give my children commands, it will be more effective because then they will KNOW that I am serious. What does serious mean here? It means that something worse is coming and you better fear this or else....

Let's look at the reverse. When a child is angry, they are serious. It is a red flag. If we don't help them here, we can expect an "or else" from them. David wrote an article in one of our Parenting Toolbox (#41) emails that addressed this.

"I heard about a parent recently who, when the child refused to mow the lawn, started the process of taking privileges away. The more she took away, the more out of control the behavior grew. This culminated with the child - now too big to physically handle - pushed the front windshield of the car out with his feet while mom was driving. Next step was either taking him to the police station, the ER or a psychiatric facility or ?. I know how this goes. I have been there. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this, when, if, we could just remember Bryan Post’s most basic teaching. Stress is at the root of all behaviors and bad behaviors stem from fear. So he says, scared kids to scary things.

To learn more about the debilitating effects of reacting rather than responding, click below to read more and to listen to two short audio clips on Negative Feedback Loops.

Feel Like You Are Going in Circles?
Maybe because you are.
Neurophysiologic Feedback Loops: The more we react, the more we react. It's really that simple.
To learn about this easy to recognize this phenomenon, visit here.

Neurological Feedback Loops #1 - 3:18 min.

Neurological Feedback Loops #2 - 4:38 min.

 

 

 

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 are scores of people who have integrateTemple Grandind their injuries, disabilities and conditions with no thought of ever healing them or making them go away. Think of painters with no arms who paint using only their mouth to hold a brush. Or world-class athletes with limbs missing. Or, more closely to our children, consider Dr. Temple Grandin, who although will be Autistic all her life, has learned to integrate her specific condition to propel her to Time Magazine's List of 100 most influential people in 2010. And with her condition has come some very unique talents and abilities that have added to her success. Let us help our children integrate rather than heal or fix the unique conditions and experiences along with the many talents and abilities they may possess. Think on this.

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 no tears, no anger, no fear? The answers to these questions you may never know but each moment, each hour, each day, you continue, and still find time for a laugh, for a breath, for a moment to be gracious. Baby, you are a Parenting Super Star!

Love becomes fear. Hope becomes despair. Joy becomes sadness. You cry. You stress. You worry. You toss and you turn. The school calls again. Another curse word, another broken possession, another disrupted family dinner. You wail inside and sometimes openly, "Oh Lord why has thou forsaken me to the desert barren of hope and peace? What have I done to be stricken by the one thousand locusts all wrapped into one ungrateful, defiant child? Where is my blessing?" And with each rising sun you get up and do it again. Baby, you are a Parenting Super Star!

For you see, fear is the common way. It is, in fact, the broad and wide. Many will travel this path. Love is the straight and narrow. There are few that will follow this path. Even fewer will lead their families down it. And there are many more that will judge you for traveling it. It is also a fact that this judgment will make your task even more difficult and this is as it shall be. Without the pressure, without the conflict, without the heat of the fire, the diamond could not emerge from the coal. Fear not your journey, your path, or for that of your child. Walk the path of love, the straight and narrow, and continue to get up after you have stumbled, as you surely will. You will see. You will see. Baby, you are a Parenting Super Star!

Choose Love,
B

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GBB Audio sIf you want in-depth understanding with challenging behaviors, start here...The Great Behavior Breakdown book began here with The Great Behavior Breakdown 13 CD Audio Program contains valuable and fascinating information about the roots and remedies of challenging behaviors. Covers specific tools and techniques for helping parents overcome some of the most problematic behaviors demonstrated by their children. To read more about this 13 hour CD program , just click here. (The Great Behavior Breakdown is also available as a paperback, Kindle  and PDF e-book - Click Here)

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 she meant.

I pulled up two chairs and sat her down next to me and I said, "Now tell me what the aggression looks like?” She said, "We'll be sitting next to one another often times in public and she'll elbow me so know no one else can see it.”

I said, “Okay great. I’ll be your daughter and you be you.” Then I elbowed her.

She looked at me and said, “I felt you do that and I don’t like it!” So then I elbowed her again. She got up. I got up and yelled at her and she said she was going to her room. At this point I stopped and said, “Now I’m you and I just went to my room, you follow me and do what she does.” She followed me. (Remember we are in a big conference room and now over on the side of the audience against the wall.) I act as though I’ve closed my door. At this point mom says, “I go into my room to try to calm myself but she’s now banging on the door, and while she’s doing that I’m on the other side telling her that when she calms down I’ll come out.” I said, "then you aren’t calming yourself down". She said, "what do you mean? I’m trying to tell her that when she calms down I’ll come out.” And I again I said, “Then you aren’t really calming yourself down.” I said, “Act like you are behind your door and I’m your daughter.” I start to bang on the wall as she’s trying to tell me once I calm down she will come out and then I start to scream and she’s still trying to tell me that once I calm down she’ll come out and then I start to scream and kick the wall in the conference room and yell, “Don’t leave me, don’t abandon me, don’t reject me.” And I’m screaming louder and louder until I can’t even hear the mom. Then I stop.

I looked at her and say again, “You aren’t working on getting yourself calm behind the door. You are trying to get me calm. Until you get yourself calm, you cannot calm me.” Then the light bulb went off and she got it.

It’s really basic brain science. When we as parents are stressed out we emit cortisol. When our children are stressed out they are emitting cortisol. If we don’t calm ourselves down and turn on our oxytocin hormone (the brain’s anti-stress hormone) then we can’t help our children turn on theirs.

This role play didn’t stop there. We went on for another ten minutes and had a second breakthrough. I’ll share that with you in a while.

Choose Love,

B.

Oxytocin | Love, Anti-Stress & Relationships

Oxytocin has been called the Love Hormone, the Anti-Stress Hormone & the Relationship Hormone. So which is it?

In her groundbreaking book The Chemistry of Connection, author Susan Kuchinskas writes, “Love not only makes us happy; it makes us healthy too. By means of oxytocin, love heals”. For centuries recognized as the hormone responsible for helping women to contract during labor, and subsequently to foster bonding between mother and child, oxytocin is quickly becoming acknowledged for its role in numerous aspects of human behavior.

When I first learned about oxytocin ten years ago it only struck me as a very important hormone for infant/mother bonding. It was not until being interviewed for The Chemistry of Connection and later reading the book that the full implications of this powerful hormone began to dawn on me. In fact, it wasn’t until I was interviewing Susan Kuchinskas for the Inner Circle that I began to put the possibilities in place.

I am going to take the liberty of sharing with you how I see this hormone applicable to parenting and relationships. Oxytocin is considered the “anti-stress” hormone. Every child with a background of trauma, especially pervasive emotional and environmental neglect suffers from a lack of oxytocin response. In a post-shell (my version of a nutshell!) when the amygdala (the brain’s fear receptor) is triggered and releases stress hormones, these hormones pass through the hypothalamus. Let’s think James Bond for a moment. Theoretically, the stress hormones are supposed to be messengers delivering an important briefcase of secret documents that need to be responded to. So as the amygdala sends the stress hormones through the door with the secret documents the hypothalamus is supposed to send its messengers, molecules of oxytocin, through at the same time in the opposite direction. The oxytocin messengers discreetly take the reaction and respond, thereby delivering the documents calmly and safely to their destination and communicating what important things are needed to save the world (your body mind). (To be continued...)

eCenter bannerMy original interview with Susan Kutchinskas in 2009 which sparked a collaborative effort in co-authoring the book Oxytocin Parenting, is now available free on our e-Learning Center. I hope you enjoy it as much as I havePower of Oxytocin over the years. It added a whole new dimension to my understanding of behaviors and how to heal our children as well as ourselves. Visit us at www.postinstitute.com/elearn/ and go the the Audios | Free and look for The Power of Oxytocin interview.

Tired of ‘Walking on Eggshells’ in Your Own Home? | Try Curiosity Instead

'Walking on eggshells' is a common feeling for many of our parents. A more effective reaction/response, when mindfully approached, can be one of curiosity, inquisitiveness and wonder on the part of the parent. (Pt. 1)

Kevin motioned for me to come into his room and he spoke in a hushed tone, “Did you get my text?”
“Huh,” I replied, “Probably not, my phone is charging”.
He said, “Can you check and see I just sent it?”“Just tell me what it is Kevin, we don’t need to go through all of that,” I question mark 2stated while standing a few feet away looking at him.

“Well I didn’t like what Kristi said about me taking a shower. I don’t like that. If you guys think I’m not clean you can just tell me to leave,” he stated with quiet seriousness.

A few minutes earlier after Kevin had exclaimed that he was going to go take a shower, Kristi exclaimed, “Great! Kevin’s gonna take a shower!” She did it in a playful way not uncommon to how any of us might respond to one another, but for Kevin it was embarrassing. Truth be told, we care very little about if and when he takes a shower. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had to tell him that he needed to. Now some of the other adolescent boys we’ve raised…absolutely! I would exclaim, “You stink, go get your butt in the shower, now!” But with Kevin, I’ve never had to do that.

Mindfully placing my hand on the side of his arm, I gently stated, “I’m sorry that hurt your feelings and I’m sure Kristi did not mean for it to be hurtful, but thank you for telling me and I’ll be sure to let her know that you don’t like it.”

He responded, “Okay, yeah I don’t.”

“Okay Kevin,” I said “No worries”.

Six months ago to a year that little experience would have led to days, weeks, maybe even months of silent treatment, agitation, and veiled threats to leave by packing bags and stomping around the house in frustration, and wondering when the next bomb would go off in Kevin. Walking on eggshells around him would be a common experience for all of us in the house.

Later that evening Kristi apologized and all was well. She even remarked, “Wow, Kevin took that so well, and it was only minutes.

What attributed to the change?

Of course constant consistency, reflection, awareness, mindfulness, and flexibility make a difference, but what is the real reason? What’s changing in his brain?

How does a child who has grown up on the streets learn to trust? He rarely does unless he has an opportunity to develop one very important response and that response is called the oxytocin response. It comes as a result of trust being built through the expression of love and acceptance and an approach of curiosity about just what is going on in our children's body-mind systems. We as parents have to admit that we just don't know, most of the time. We may think we know, but for our special children who bring a file cabinet filled with variables we may never come to know, our job is more of an investigator rather than a 'know it all' parent.

For the past two years I have been going on and on about oxytocin being the next revolution in parenting, education, and mental health. It is in fact, a revolution in life. It is the primary ingredient in the relationship factor. I will present to you in the next series of posts, an explanation of oxytocin from the Post perspective and explore many of its implications for parents, professionals, and all members of our society. (To be continued...)

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.

Books around the world

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Adoption UK
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Am I Too Consiliatory to My Children Using Your Approach?

Q: "I have read several of your books, love The Post Institute approach and try to follow your advice in parenting my children as much as I can. My concern is that I might be seen to be too conciliatory towards them. They are now 11 and 13. How do I get the right balance between managing their stress levels and ensuring that they feel understood and loved unconditionally and pushing them to achieve more, take more responsibility for their choices and actions, and step outside their comfort zone?"

A: “Excellent question. As parents I think we always worry about others perceptions of our parenting efforts, but in truth the only perception that matters is that of your own and perhaps your children’s. I will, hopefully, make this very simple for you as I suspect that you are already well on the right track.

The better job you do at managing their stress levels, ensuring that they feel understood and loved unconditionally, the more you are able to encourage rather than push them to achieve more, take more responsibility for their choices and step outside of their comfort zone. However, also remember that you are still helping them to build a foundation that they will stand on for the rest of their lives. They will have many opportunities for the things you desire for them. Be a positive model for them by being willing to take responsibility; striving to achieve more, and stepping outside of your comfort zone, so they can see first-hand what it’s like and that it’s not too scary. Above all else, make sure that your relationship with them is strong enough that they can trust their own abilities to step out and be who they were meant to be.”-- Bryan Post

Helpful Links:
Bryan Post's  Blog | The Post Institute | Attachment Parenting Home Study Course | Learn about Oxytocin | Products |
FREE Stuff | Contact Us | Free Weekly Parenting e-Mail Series | Post Youtube Videos | Post Facebook Page

 

Abandoned, Rejected or Adopted…what do you call it?

Day 1 - Abandoned, Rejected or Adopted…

I hope you’ve been well.

I’ve been going through a lot the past couple of years.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster.

I’d like to share a story with you.

Please don’t forward it…

Don’t facebook it…

Don’t tweet it…

It’s just for you and my other Post Institute Members.

Here goes…

How many times have you wondered…

What is wrong with him?

Why won’t he just act right…

Show us love…

Let us love him back…

Go to sleep…

Stop lying…

Just comply…

Sit at the table and eat…

What are we doing wrong…

Surely it couldn’t be us…

Maybe it is…

No it’s gotta be him…

????????????????????????????????????

40 years I’ve been living with this affliction…

This pain…

Insecurity…

Uncertainty…

Fearful of not being good enough…

Terrified…

Acting out…

Withdrawing…

Not trusting that God loves me.

Over the next several days I’m gonna share my story with you.

If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working

I’ve got a message you need to hear.

More coming.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 2 - I was born fearful and alone

Conceived in a womb that could only carry me to term

Wilma knew she had to give me up.

It was a painful and traumatic decision

One I’ve lived with for forty years

She recounted the story and I cried

Thirty seven years I’d lived in the dark

not knowing, ashamed, fearful…

sensitive…how else could I feel?

Perhaps grateful?

Grateful for feeling not good enough every day?

Grateful for feeling overwhelmed and ashamed?

Grateful for constantly fearing rejection…

like an invisible monster waiting for me…

lurking…

sharp teeth…

threatening…always…always right there.

How should I feel?

I learned to feel over time…

Lots of emotional processing…

Lots of crying and screaming…

But it wasn’t enough…

The monster only settled into the background…

Out of sight…never out of mind…

buried deep in the cells of my body.

Tomorrow I’ll share more.

Choose Love,

B.

 Day 3 - Hitting Rock Bottom

Adopted child grown up…

Savior of the world’s hurting children…

Light to their desperate parents…

And here I am divorced…AGAIN…

In capable of staying connected…

In capable of staying in relationship…

Always feeling better…

Safer…

Alone…

Never connected…

It’s not an attachment disorder…

It’s an attachment challenge.

I am constantly challenged to remain secure

in the presence of relationship…

To stand present…

To trust…

To feel…that I am okay…

that I am loved.

And that…

was the final breakthrough…

what I had been waiting for my entire life.

The moment…

that series of seconds…

when all of the pain and loneliness…

the shutdown…

the withdrawal…

the absence…

comes crashing into your soul like a spiritual tsunami…

from the depths of my being.

And like an infant child I lay…

in the middle of the dark room…

crying…weeping…racked with emotional pain.

And then I saw…

What I saw is what you need to know.

I’ll share it tomorrow.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 4 - Does your child feel this way?

Have you ever felt like your crying would not stop?

Would not cease?

Like it was pouring forth from you uncontrollably…

without any control…

feeling of safety…

security…

Just pouring forth?

That’s how I felt.

I was alone and I was mourning…

deeply…

I was grieving…

It was so unexpected.

My wife called and asked if she should come home.

I said no…I needed to feel this…

I needed to feel this pain…

deep within me…

And I did…I felt it and let go…

I washed deep into my memory base…

Down to the base of my brain-stem…

I was in the womb…

Safe…

Warm…

Okay.

And then…no more…I fought not wanting

to leave…

Knowing in my soul that I would never feel okay again…

Never feel safe…

Never feel loved…

And that was it…in that moment…

I realized…

For the first time in my life…

I realized…

That I never believed God loved me.

And that was the root of my mistrust…

If God couldn’t love me…

how could anyone else?

And I was washed away again with my grief.

What I felt…released…comprehended…

has transformed my life.

Tomorrow I’ll share what it means for you, your life

and your child.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 5 - Rejection is buried alive

Like an electric shock…

I knew I was free from a lifelong affliction.

I mourned a life ruled by fear and insecurity.

The hours, days, months, and years I had spent

craving to be okay…

Just wanting to be loved…

Safe…

Secure…

Connected…

Not alone…

But I had never been able to trust it…

I never could…

I never did…

I didn’t believe…

I didn’t feel…

I didn’t trust that God loved me.

And I realized that for the adopted child…

the pain is buried in the DNA.

They feel rejection…

Insecurity…

Threat of abandonment…

Fear…

down into the very marrow of their bones.

And that is me…

It still is…

But today I am better…

It has deepened my understanding of what adopted

children, foster children and those that try to love

them go through.

More specifically, adopted children and their parents.

I can speak to foster parents…

I can speak to biological parents…

I can speak to grandparents…

But it’s adoptive parents…

It’s their experience…

It’s the experience of their children…

that I truly understand.

And now I understand it even deeper.

I plan to share that understanding

In a special live webinar November 13th at 8pm EST, (This will be a long event - At least 2 hours, maybe even 3 hours long), If you want to truly know why you struggle to connect with your child…

Why you really struggle to have the loving relationship

that you desire…

Then you won’t want to miss this webinar.

There’s no cost to register or attend. This is a free trial. No cost or obligation to participate AND you will receive a free copy of the video recording just for registering. And if you don't like it you don't have to pay anything. Attendance is limited. For details and to register... To Register for this Event Click Here

Choose Love,

B.