Bryan’s Top Book Picks for 2016

It is not often that Bryan give me a book to recommend to our network. This year however, he has two that he feels strongly about. We hope you take the time to read them and let us know what you think. Maybe not too late to even ask for them for Christmas! — David Durovy

secrets-of-successful-adoptive-parenting_v2The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting: Practical Advice and Strategies to Help with Emotional and Behavioural Challenges by Sophie Ashton

By far one of the best all-around adoption books I have ever read. I can feel the real-life, in the trenches experience of the author come through with deep wisdom and understanding. If there were an adoption parenting road map for establishing love and relationship in a home this is it. Please read and reread. Books at this level of true applicability and parenting guidance are rare." - Bryan Post

Are you in the process of adopting and feeling out of your depth? Do you already have an adopted child and are feeling overwhelmed? Sharing the secrets that will enable you to face the challenges of adoptive parenting with confidence, Sophie Ashton offers tips and strategies which have worked for her family. She discusses preparing for the journey ahead, parenting with empathy, facilitating your child's attachment, helping your child feel listened to, and providing structure and consistency in order to successfully integrate your child into your family and go on to have a stable happy family life.An honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent, this practical hands-on guide will help you prepare for the highs and lows of being a parent and give your child and your family the best chance to flourish.
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Surviving Compassion Fatigue: Help For Those Who surviving-compassion-fatigueHelp Others by Beverly Diane Kyer

"This book is perfect for both parents and professionals - highly recommended" - Bryan Post

If you’re a Human Service Worker, caregiver, or you work with at-risk populations as a parent,counselor, social worker, parole officer, medical or mental health professional, or in any of the dozens of helping professions, Surviving Compassion Fatigue: Help for those who help others is for you. You will learn about one woman’s physical and emotional descent due to years of self-neglect. You will also learn about her recovery as well as how to serve and care for others without forgetting to take care of yourself. This book is full of practical wisdom and advice for those in the helping professions and caregivers. It tells Beverly’s story, as well as the stories of others who have neglected their own self-care. But more than that, it educates those in the helping professions and in caregiver roles about the importance of strategies for consistent self-care. Find out how you may be putting yourself at risk and learn skills, techniques and strategies to restore and maintain self regulation, physical and emotional wellness and inner calm while still caring for those in need. You owe it to yourself.
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What Is Oxytocin Parenting?

4 Elements of Oxytocin Parenting

What's in your parenting behavior plan? I know we all have goals for our children's behaviors — what we'd like to see from them — but how about YOUR behaviors? Do you have a plan, with specifics that are motivating and fulfilling to you? Think about these things as you read and make some notes. What changes do you want to make in YOUR behavior?
— David Durovy


Oxytocin Parenting is an approach that focuses on helping your child's brain to develop a strong oxytocin response, that is, the ability to love and trust appropriately. There are four elements of Oxytocin Parenting:

1)    Relationship:
Parent from a place of calm and connection. We're social mammals who need skin-to-skin contact and emotional connection at every age. Through a process called co-regulation, you teach your child learn to cope with stress and to connect with love through your own behavior. This approach may require you to do some work building up your own coping and connection skills. When you're angry, stressed out or depressed, for example, it's really hard to be open to your child's needs.

   2)    Influence: Show, don't tell. Instead of trying to change your child's behavior by telling him what you want him to do, guide him through your own actions. This guidance includes modeling behavior such as getting up on time or saying thank you, as well as letting him watch you respond to stress calmly.Oxytocin Parenting

   3)    Understanding: Parent the stage, not the age. When we're stressed, we regress to an earlier stage of emotional or cognitive development. This is especially true for children. When you understand your child's developmental path, you can learn to give your child what he needs right now, not what you think he needs based on his physical age.

   4)    Flexibility: Give what's needed in the way it can be received. Your child's unique communication style may make it easier for her to take in information or emotional meaning in some ways more than others. Moreover, what works with your child on Tuesday may get the opposite response on Wednesday. Yes, this is frustrating. But the ability to alter your communication and action until you connect is essential.

Put these in your parenting behavior plan and let me know how it goes.
Choose Love,
B


Want to Learn More? Get Bryan Post and Susan Kutchinskas e-book for only $1.99 Kindle format on Amazon

The Single Most Important Tool for Interrupting Stress – Bryan Post

The Power of Breathing
Spend 3 minutes with Bryan as he shares why breathing is so important and how it impacts your and your children's regulatory state. Learn to use this undervalued (yes, if you don't use it life will be uncomfortable if not short) and incredibly powerful tool every parent - person - other should be using intentionally and consciously daily if not moment-ly. Breathe, Love Will Enter, Peace Will Follow. - David Durovy

 

 

Listening Practices: Tips and Traps by Sherri Boles-Rogers

Are You Listening?

One of the greatest tools in a parent’s toolbox is… ears. Yup. Didn’t hear that one coming did you? (Did you ever notice that the word hear has the word ear in it?) It is amazing to me how little we listen and how Earmuch we talk to our children. Listening could be compared to a superpower of sorts. Not only listening to what our children are saying but also what they are not saying, and listening to what is between the lines. Sherri Boles-Rogers, Parenting Coach & Family Communication Specialist (and a contributor to our Indiegogo Campaign offering an Intensive Listening Course at over a 50% savings) offers some fundamental steps to increasing your already present superpower. Make it a point this coming week to actively and intentionally apply these to your work and family life and see if you can notice the difference in what you hear, and in how people feel about you. You may be surprised on both accounts. This is important stuff.  Take a Listen – David Durovy


Have you ever noticed how GOOD it feels to be really listened to? It’s impactful, validating and gives us a sense that we’re significant, we matter. There’s an art to listening and, like any art, it takes practice.

According to statistics by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, known for his pioneering work in nonverbal communication, only 7% of communication happens through your actual words (38% comes across through tone and 55% through body language). That’s why it’s important to hone our skills to listen at deeper levels. To listen not only with our ears, but also with our heart. When we can listen to our children at these deeper levels we ingrain in them a sense of significance and self-worth.

A good place to start is by understanding the three listening levels described in the book Co-Active Coaching, by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House and Phil Sandahl.

Listening Levels

  1. Level 1–Internal: We hear the other person’s words, but our focus is on what it means to us–our thoughts, feelings, judgments and conclusions. I dare say most of our day-to-day listening is at this level.
  2. Level 2–Laser-Focused: Our attention is focused like a laser beam on the other person, with little awareness of anything else. With such strong focus, we are curious, open and have little time to pay attention to our own feelings or worry about how we are being received. Our own mind chatter disappears with such a sharp focus on the other person.
  3. Level 3–Global: Our attention is spread out like an antenna with a 360-degree range. It allows us to pick up emotions, energy, body language and the environment itself. Intuition heightens as we tune into the deeper layers of what is going on.

All three levels are necessary. However, when we spend too much time in self-focused Level 1 listening, our communication with our child can seriously suffer. Engaging in Levels 2 and 3 can improve how we listen–and highly impact the connection and the relationship with our child.

Listening Blocks

It’s also important to be aware of these traps we can fall into even when we have set an intention to deeply listen. These come from Richard Anstruther at HighGain, Inc who trains business people in listening skills…but I think they’re just as relevant for parents who are intent on listening to their children in a more deeply satisfying way.

  • Tune Out–Listeners are not paying attention to the speaker due to disinterest in the speaker or subject, thinking about other things or multitasking.
  • Detach–Listeners are emotionally detached from the speaker, concerned with content only, not the feelings behind it. They may be only half listening, not really interacting, and miss the message’s underlying meaning.
  • Rehearse–Listeners are concentrating on what to say or do next, rather than focusing on the speaker’s message.
  • Judge–Listeners have a different opinion that causes them to block out new ideas and information or lose track of the conversation. They analyze and interpret the speaker’s delivery or message, missing the point. They criticize, give advice and make assumptions.
  • Control–Listeners don’t allow the speaker to talk at his or her own pace. They constantly interrupt with comments or questions, and don’t allow the speaker to finish a point.

The first step to developing artful listening is to choose to truly listen. As you continue to develop your listening skills, your communication and your relationship with your child are likely to become increasingly satisfying and rich!

♥♥♥ LOVE IN ACTION ♥♥♥

  1. Experiment with Levels 1, 2 and 3 listening, one at a time, to fully understand the dynamics at each level. This was eye-opening for me! I learned that the level at which I listen is a moment-by-moment choice.
  2. Spend some time noticing how often you fall into tuning out, detaching, rehearsing, judging or controlling. What can you do to keep from falling into these common listening traps?

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications


SherriSherri Boles-Rogers is an ACPI Certified Parenting Coach.  She is also a graduate of the Center for Nonviolent Communication’s Parent Peer Leadership Program, part of the Peaceful Families, Peaceful World Project.  She has been a parent educator and parenting workshop facilitator since 2005.

Sherri provides one-on-one and group coaching to parents.  She also facilitates parenting classes and parenting book study groups based on the models of attachment parenting and Nonviolent Communication™.

As a working mother of two boys, ages 19 and 17, she knows firsthand about the challenges of integrating conscious parenting into daily hectic family life.  In her work with parents, her goal is to provide awareness, understanding, and non-judgmental support for families to cultivate “power with” relationships based on mutual respect and trust.

Sherri lives in Atlanta with her husband, Greg and her two boys, Jake and Jeremy. You can visit her and learn more about her valuable training and workshops at www.ParentingHeart.com.

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.

What you see is not what you get

We’ve been taught to see children and their behaviors in a certain way, and change it seems is never easy. Think of it this way, what you see is what you have learned to see — not actually ‘what is there’. When we see a behavior, we tend to add the ‘baggage’ of our learned understanding. This often just goes to prove what we already thought was the case. We have to interrupt our understanding enough to be able to question what we are seeing, and what it means. Use this against the new paradigm measuring stick — ask, what is this child trying to say with this behavior?

Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Pt 8: Love

P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L: Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship - Component #8 Love is the ribbon that ties patience, IMG_04231empathy, acceptance, compassion, encouragement, forgiveness, and understanding all together.

Love is not a feeling - it is an action.

Love does not just occur or present itself – it takes effort.

Love is not a noun – it is a verb!

Your child will not just feel loved because you say you love him.

He/She must feel it through your actions.

This may take the form of a hug, a smile, or a kiss; but it takes some action before love can be experienced.

It will do your child no good to talk about how much you love him if he does not experience your love through your actions.

All else pales in comparison to a child feeling loved.

Children need this love above anything else.

The practice of love is difficult.

The process of expressing love is displayed through the actions of showing patience, connecting in empathy, providing acceptance, approaching with compassion, offering encouragement, showering with forgiveness, and seeking to truly understand your child.

If you have enjoyed P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L., the eight components of a peaceful parent/child relationship, then I would like to know.
If this series has had a positive impact on your life, take a moment and send me an e-mail: info@postinstitute.com

Choose love,

-- B

How To “Un-See” Negative Behaviors in Children

NoseWhile standing in line at the USPS office today, I noticed a woman with a big nose come in. Then I noticed myself commenting to myself about her nose (thinking… Wow! What a big nose!). After a short go-round with my thoughts and judgements, I began to wonder why I was judging her nose? It is not like I have never seen a big nose before, in fact I have one of those schnaz’s myself, along with a couple of ears that were always too big for my head. Yet it was instantly clear that my big nose was better than her big nose.

So I began to wonder what it would take for me to see her nose (or mine for that matter) as just a “nose” without the judgment attached. And where does that judgement arise from?

After a bit of back and forth, I came to the conclusion that it was my culture that somehow defined big from little or normal along with many other judgements about physical appearances along the way. And, not to blame anyone, but in an effort to “be who I really want to be” (a person without judgement – who accepts people as people equally (and noses as just noses), I had to admit that I bought it – hook, line and sinker as we use to say. I bought the judgement and made it my own. I bought the lie that big nose’s are bad and normal size noses are good. Just like for many years, ashamed as I am now to admit, I “thought that tattoos are bad, earrings in one’s face are bad, in fact earings anywhere but in your ear are bad” etc. etc. etc.

The issue here, is not whether noses are good or bad, not about tattoos or body piercings, but how do we go about changing things once we decide that something no longer serves us and where we want to go with our lives. How to do a better job of parenting where we are not so consumed with judging our children’s behaviors, ourselves or others parenting styles. How do we break out of our old parenting paradigm that Bryan often talks about so that we can move into a truly love based parenting approach – which is not what tradition has taught us as THE BEST WAY to parent?

Big-Dipper_v2The Big Dipper Challenge: So here is a challenge. Look at the Big Dipper but don’t see the Big Dipper. Can you see simply stars. Not easy is it? Because of our upbringing, we “see” what is not there – a big dipper. And we believe it. Or perhaps we believe it and then see it. That is what changing our paradigm is all about. A paradigm is the way in which you see the world. The lens through which you view all people and things and all events. It is greatly reinforced by society, culture, upbringing etc. In order to change your paradigm you must be willing to challenge your beliefs. You must ask questions rather than taking for face value what has been said because many others have said it or believe it to be true. You must question in order to challenge your belief system, in order to lead to a change in your thinking, and then in your behavior. When this occurs then you will be changing your paradigm. It is in some ways really very simple. All we have to work with are 3 basic tools – thought, word, deed (or action). We can catch these patterns anywhere along the way, but the most effective way is to catch it at the thought level. That way we can choose to change it before we say it and long before we act it out. If we are mindful, we can see it at any one of the 3 expressions.

Take a look at the Big Dipper from the side view, which doesn’t at all resemble a dipper, and in fact the distance between those stars is big-dipper side viewenormous in terms of light years apart. Yet when we view them from our earthly perspective, and that is all it is – a perspective, (not right, not wrong, just is) projected on a two dimensional back drop of the dark sky, it is easy to “see” a dipper.

In terms of behaviors in our selves and our children, what we are really seeing are neural patterns firing often as habitual reactionary expressions of thought, word and actions on an unconscious level. For most of the time, this means we exhibit very little control, choice or free will as we would like to think. We must be willing to stop, look and listen not only every time we cross the street, but with every thought, word or action we take and ask, “will this thought, word or action serve me as I really want to be?”.

So how do we un-see our children’s negative behaviors? Bryan has a simple answer, look past the anger/behavior and see the fear. The judgement we place on the behavior is just one perspective – mostly tradition, culture and upbringing – like looking at the Big Dipper which isn’t really there. In other words, our paradigm. Oh, there’s something there of course. Just different. We have to see “past” things, or to be more accurate, we have to “look at” things mindfully, just as they are, non-judgementally with present moment awareness both at our own behaviors, thoughts and words and of our children’s. Dr. Daniel Siegel likes to say, “what you can look at disappears”. What disappears is the perspective, judgement, conclusion, feeling states such as fear etc. or other reaction you might experience. What you are left with the the ability to simple “respond” based on what works, might work, or any other new or novel approach that would not be considered in a typical habit reaction that allows us no time to intercede due to the speed of neural connections.

IMG_04231Why is this so important? Because as Bryan puts it…
“the way in which we parent stems from our paradigm. It is dominated by traditional thought at every level, engrained into our unconscious, our psyche, essentially defining who we are and how we relate. Go to a grocery store and ask your child to yell at you or mis-behave in some way. Some of you may not have to ask! And then rather than smacking the child, shaming, or yelling back, stop and breathe. Calm your inner self and observe those around you, feel their energy. You will be shocked by the negativity that is generated from the traditional paradigm. They don’t know you yet they will judge you harshly. This intensity of negativity permeates our society and our relationships. There is love here, but often we have to work to find it.”

Why Pro Athletes are Trying ‘Mindfulness Training,’ and Why You Should Too

Baseball MinfulnessA big article in June 3, 2015 USA Today says, “Mental Coaches Are Next Step in Conditioning as Baseball Teams Try to Tap Into Players’ Heads”. If professional sports is focused on this mushrooming practice, why not us parents? Read this quote and notice the similarity to what many, including us, have been promoting – “New York Mets rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki said his organization’s psychologist taught him to use a deep breath as a reset button, a trigger to stay in control of the moment. “You can get kind of amped up, and breathing, as corny as it sounds, can really slow things down for you… It’s helped me out. Whenever I feel things speeding up, I just take a deep breath and refocus.” Corny? We don’t think so Kevin.

Way back in 2014 the application of mindfulness was in high gear on Pro sports. High performance psychologist Michael Gervais, who works with the Seahawks and with other teams in the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL, defines mindfulness as “the practice of being present4 Pillars text … a way of being connected to the present moment without judgment.” He also describes it as an “awareness of how I’m doing within myself, how I’m engaging in my environment and the interplay of the two.”

The mental benefits one can realize over time “can be life altering,” Gervais says. "With practice, mindfulness provides a clarity of your own thoughts and a training ground to be able to guide your mind, as well as access incredible, truthful insights.” For more on this discussion click here.

Mindfulness is one of the Four Pillars of Post Parenting.
Parents – Breathe, love will enter. Peace will follow. Repeat as needed

How to deal with the trauma of dealing a traumatized child

Mindfulness can help parents deal with the trauma of dealing with their traumatized child. Here is a short but elegant medical/scientific explanation of how memories work and affect our state of mind. Professor Levine (Brian Levine, Ph.D, is a professor in the departments of psychology and medicine, Division of Neurology, and a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences) says ...

"These days, we’re constantly being encouraged to “live in the present” to reduce anxiety and improve well-being. It’s good advice, but pushing away bad memories — or being cut off from them is unproductive. Nobody would enjoy living in the permanent present tense with a negative past memory experience. Being stuck in time is like prison. We need access to the past in order to be free from it.

People often talk about the need to “process” something bad that happened to them. At the same time, we all know it’s unhelpful to dwell, or ruminate. Many people struggle to understand the difference between the two, and this is where we run into problems.
Be Mindful
Memories are stored in the connections between brain cells, referred to as “traces.” When we recall an event, that memory trace is reactivated, then stored again along with events that are happening now. This process is known as reconsolidation. Rumination reinforces the bad memory by pairing it with negativity, digging it deeper into the brain and giving it a more powerful hold on us. On the other hand, when memories of past events are observed in a non-judgmental way, they can be reconsolidated and stored without being evaluated as bad or good. This technique puts ideas, thoughts, feelings and perceptions into perspective, placing a bit of distance between you and the event. This can help to heal from trauma and depressive thought patterns. event...to read more click here