The Problem with Teens

The problem is that we usually go into raising teens with so much anxiety about their future that we actually forget about raising them in the present. There is no stage more important in all of development for securing a relationship with your child than in the teen years. Yet, most of us lose the relationship with our child during this time. Our anxiety and fears turn us into demanding, threatening, and controlling dictators rather than into the compassionate, understanding, and flexible guides that are needed, and oftentimes required. It's funny to think that if we really wanted to understand the essence of teen parenting all we really need to do is reflect back on our own needs during that stage and time. Not compare your child to you at that age but rather ask yourself, "When I was a teen what did I need most from my parents?"

Because society places so much emphasis on the teen years and due to the fact that it is the stage before adulthood, we typically enter it with all sorts of parental fears and hopes. It's the final stage before we unconsciously determine whether or not we have successfully taught our child everything they need to know about the world. Well guess what? We haven't. The very act of determining whether or not you have equipped your child with all the lessons he'll need throughout life is a distortion. In fact, the teen years is much like a college education, it's not till after you get the piece of paper that you are actually really going to learn.

Teen Agers Still Spitting?

Someone asked about teens spitting, and I thought it would be good to share this when viewing all behaviors - Why do teens spit? Because they are no different in that moment than a two or three year old who has learned to spit as a defensive measure. If you've noticed the time they are most likely to spit is during times of peaked stress and dysregulation. No different in this manner than many animals in the animal kingdom that spit to ward off a threat.

The teen years don't have to be that tough and certainly not anything you need to fear. But because of the way we were raised we will be challenged to do something different. It all comes back to understanding, for action without understanding will only lead us back to confusion.

When I was a teen, I needed someone, anybody to pay attention to me emotionally, to be present and engaging. I needed my dad to tell me that he was proud of me. That he was impressed by my independent work ethic and drive. And that he looked forward to seeing me successful. I needed my mother to be affectionate, supportive, and nurturing and I also needed her to hug me and tell me how proud she was of me; to ask about what I was thinking, focusing on and where I was headed. Not in a judgmental way but in love and curiosity. It is all about the relationship and not about judgement.

Mindfulness can Kill a Thought – In a Good Way

Alice G. Walton, Contributor to Forbes Magazine, writes about her experience with Mindfulness, and a Neuroscientist's work in this meaningful yet often mystical practice.
Neuroscientist and mindfulness expert, Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, has done some beautiful work in his lab at Yale on the neural (and behavioral) changes that come from mindfulness practice. Not only does he study it, he’s lived it: He knows firsthand both how challenging it can be to bring attention away from the negative chatter, and, fairly recently, how rewarding it can be when it does work. As I and many others have found, it’s not a magic switch that you can flip to free your brain. It takes some practice, and Brewer recommends building that muscle intentionally – not when you’re in the midst of the stress, but when you’re slightly outside it.

In other words, practice before you are in the middle of a battle with your kids. Or not, as the case maybe - since applying it may be the only way both you and your child can win (i.e. maintain the relationship)! Parenting is hard enough when your kids have all the wiring they need, but when you are loving kids with trauma histories, adopted or in foster care - not to mention multiple diagnosis, you MUST have some extra help (or superpowers which most of us lack)  To read Alice G. Walton's Forbes article click here.

Always Choose Love and Always B Mindful - B

Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child part 6 of 6: How to Overcome Lying by Bryan Post

Click Here for Part 5

Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child part 6 of 6: How to Overcome Lying

Conducting a coaching call with a desperate parent one afternoon regarding her five-year old son’s chronic lying behavior, I attempted to explain to the mother The Three Step Lying Solution. Upon hearing that she must, "Ignore the Lie, But Don’t Ignore the Child", she loudly exclaimed over the telephone, “Oh no I could never do that!” I responded by asking, “Who lied to you?” Without hesitation she replied, “My father used to lie to me all of the time when I was a little girl!”

When a child tells a lie the parent experiences fear. We fear that if our children lie to us they will grow up to tell lies. We may be reacting to past adult experiences such as a dishonest spouse or parent. And a very common feeling is that if our children lie to us then we are not being good parents.

When a child tells a lie the parent must first breathe. Breathing will help interrupt the initial stress reaction. Second, remember that all of the fears noted above could occur however, they are all projections about the future. Stress and fear do three things: Cause us to react from the past; obsess about the future, but takes us out of the present. Worrying about your child telling lies ten years from now will not help him stop telling lies today. In fact, it can make it even worse.

Using The Three Step Lying Solution will help you address the fear and stress your child is experiencing in the moment. Yelling at him will only increase this fear which will then only lead to more lying. You must respond calmly assuring your child that whatever thing it is that he feels the need to lie about is not nearly as important as his relationship with you. Help your child to understand that the only time he is dishonest is when he is stressed and scared. Not in a blaming way, but in an understanding way. This will help him to feel safer when faced with the threat of being honest.

Remember, in your child’s experience regarding lying, the worst thing that ever happened to him is threatening to happen again. Don’t increase his stress and fear by yelling or getting angry, instead practice The Three Step Lying Solution until you have gotten really good at it. By that time your child will be lying much less

Choose Love,

B.

Have you read Bryan Post's FREE e-Book How to End Lying Now: Why Kids Lie and What You Can Do to Stop It?

Post Weekly Contest Giveaways on Facebook! Make sure you stop by our Facebook page often as we are giving away books, DVDs, CDs and more each week for a full year. This is a chance to learn, play and interact with other committed parents and professionals and WIN! http://www.facebook.com/postinstitute

About Bryan Post


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Holiday Peace: Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time CD by Bryan Post - Help the Holidays Be Happy Times rather than Stressful Times with Bryan's 4 Point Plan!

"Classic" Bryan Post delivers tips, hints, wisdom and what not to do to help your family have a better holiday with his 4 Point Plan. Don't let the holidays "just happen". The Holidays should not come as a surprise. Plan ahead on how best to help your challenging child - and yourself, stayed regulated. Don't let your anger and frustration or your children's behaviors ruin your holidays. Use the Stress Model to bring Joy to the World, Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward All!

Get a FREE download of the e-Book (pdf) as a bonus with this CD! -- only $9.95 or just get the e-Book for FREE!
————————————————————————————————
For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • www.postinstitute.com – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com – A Parenting “Hands-On” Home Study Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids and many other challenging behaviors and diagnoses.
  • www.oxytocincentral.com – Resource site for the latest info and research on Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for attachment and bonding.
  • www.postinnercircle.comWhere Desperate Parents Come for Solutions and Support. You Are Not Alone. If there were a way to personally interact with Bryan Post on a regular basis, would you be interested? If there were a community of other parents and professionals who wanted peace and harmony in their families as much as you, and you could learn from them, would you be interested in joining them?

Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child part 5 of 6: How to Overcome Lying by Bryan Post

Click Here for Part 4

Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child part 5: How to Overcome Lying

Telling the truth is very difficult. If telling the truth was an easy thing there would be few incidences of lying. When an individual, unconsciously, is fearful of being rejected, abandoned, ridiculed, or shamed, the prospect of honesty becomes daunting.

To continue our story from the previous article, following two weeks I had not heard back from the parents. Finally after six weeks I received a phone call, it was from the mother. She exclaimed, “Hello Dr. Post its Sharon from California. I know it has been longer than two weeks, but you won’t believe it, my son has made a complete turnaround! In fact, he has even gotten a job at the local swimming pool. Hallelujah.”

The recommendations were not magical. What is magical is when parents are able to see things differently. Two of the recommendations alone: Spending 20 minutes uninterrupted with their son each evening and telling him he’s never going anywhere, could have made a significant difference by themselves. In the United States the average amount of quality parent-child time is 13 minutes! They almost doubled that. In addition, John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, stated that the threat of loss is equal to loss itself. In other words, you should never threaten to send a child away because of their behavior. If so you are going to create more fear which will only trigger the rejection they’ve already experienced. This will lead to depression, anger, and the need to lie better.

Thousands of parents have utilized The Three Step Lying Solution effectively. More than a handful of parents have reported using it just one time and their children have not told a lie since. Though it is simple, simple does not mean easy. In the next article we will discuss both why it is difficult to put into place and why it can be effective once you finally use it.

Choose Love,

B.

Have you read Bryan Post's FREE e-Book How to End Lying Now: Why Kids Lie and What You Can Do to Stop It?

Post Weekly Contest Giveaways on Facebook! Make sure you stop by our Facebook page often as we are giving away books, DVDs, CDs and more each week for a full year. This is a chance to learn, play and interact with other committed parents and professionals and WIN! http://www.facebook.com/postinstitute

About Bryan Post


————————————————Advertisement—————————————————
Holiday Peace: Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time CD by Bryan Post - Help the Holidays Be Happy Times rather than Stressful Times with Bryan's 4 Point Plan!

"Classic" Bryan Post delivers tips, hints, wisdom and what not to do to help your family have a better holiday with his 4 Point Plan. Don't let the holidays "just happen". The Holidays should not come as a surprise. Plan ahead on how best to help your challenging child - and yourself, stayed regulated. Don't let your anger and frustration or your children's behaviors ruin your holidays. Use the Stress Model to bring Joy to the World, Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward All!

Get a FREE download of the e-Book (pdf) as a bonus with this CD! -- only $9.95
————————————————————————————————
For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • www.postinstitute.com – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com – A Parenting “Hands-On” Home Study Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids and many other challenging behaviors and diagnoses.
  • www.oxytocincentral.com – Resource site for the latest info and research on Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for attachment and bonding.
  • www.postinnercircle.comWhere Desperate Parents Come for Solutions and Support. You Are Not Alone. If there were a way to personally interact with Bryan Post on a regular basis, would you be interested? If there were a community of other parents and professionals who wanted peace and harmony in their families as much as you, and you could learn from them, would you be interested in joining them?

Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child part 4 of 6: How to Overcome Lying by Bryan Post

Click Here for Part 3

I once received a phone call from a distraught parent, “My fourteen-year old son lies non-stop about everything. It’s so bad that if he keeps this up we’ve threatened to send him to boot camp!” I thought, “That must be some serious lying!”

The teen had been adopted at the age of two, some early trauma was present. The father was a retired Vietnam veteran, which is typically an indicator at the very least, of exposure to a traumatic environment. Nothing significant stood out concerning the mother’s history.

As well as lying the child had been skipping class and wrestling practice, I gave the parent’s three suggestions to follow for the next two weeks:

  1. Make sure that your son is attending all of his classes daily. Call the teachers, e-mail them, do whatever you must to ensure he is attending. If he is not, then we must focus on this issue first. Let him quit wrestling if wants to. Continuing to wrestle and being stressed out is not worth the positives that might be gained at this time. (This topic alone is fodder for an entire article!)
  2. Spend 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with your son every evening, allowing him to talk about anything he would like. Turn off the television and put down the newspaper, just listen to what he’s talking about.
  3. The main part of the Lying Solution: When he lies, take several deep breaths. Look at him with sorrow in your eyes because you now see the fear driving the lie. Ignore the Lie, but don’t ignore him and say, “Son I love you. You are not ever going anywhere, and everything is going to be alright. Do you understand?” Once he nods in agreement, turn and walk away. Never mention the lie. Wait one hour. Once you are calm, go back to him. Interrupt whatever he is doing. Take him by the hand, look him in the eyes and say, “Son, you know I love you right? I love you very much. When you tell me a lie it really scares me. It hurts me as well, because it tells me that you don’t trust me. Then I worry that I can’t keep you safe. I need you to know that you can trust me and everything is going to be okay. Do you understand?” Once the child nods his head in disbelief, you have officially completed the Three Step Lying Solution.

In the next article we will discuss the outcome of the 14 year-old and why The Three Step Lying Solution works so effectively. To be continued.

Choose Love,

 B.

Have you read Bryan Post's FREE e-Book How to End Lying Now: Why Kids Lie and What You Can Do to Stop It?

Post Weekly Contest Giveaways on Facebook! Make sure you stop by our Facebook page often as we are giving away books, DVDs, CDs and more each week for a full year. This is a chance to learn, play and interact with other committed parents and professionals and WIN! http://www.facebook.com/postinstitute

About Bryan Post


————————————————Advertisement—————————————————
Teenage Nightmare? You can begin to see your teens in a completely different way and be the very best parent that you can be – and stay sane – while giving them what they need most!
Parenting Difficult Tween & Teens CD set by Bryan Post and Helene Timpone

  •      Develop insights on how the teen brain processes information.
  •      Learn about a chemical in the brain that will change how you see your adolescent
  •      Overcome the pressures imposed by their peers
  •      End the power struggles while knowing you are teaching them everything they need to live healthy productive lives

Within this program is what every parent or professional needs to know about raising and working with preteen and teen children.  To read more, just click here.

You'll never believe how it simple it can be until you understand what really drives your kids.
————————————————————————————————
For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • www.postinstitute.com – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com – A Parenting “Hands-On” Home Study Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids and many other challenging behaviors and diagnoses.
  • www.oxytocincentral.com – Resource site for the latest info and research on Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for attachment and bonding.
  • www.postinnercircle.comWhere Desperate Parents Come for Solutions and Support. You Are Not Alone. If there were a way to personally interact with Bryan Post on a regular basis, would you be interested? If there were a community of other parents and professionals who wanted peace and harmony in their families as much as you, and you could learn from them, would you be interested in joining them?

Hello, Here is a question for all of you. What do you do when your child won’t stop taking food from the pantry and hiding it in their room? Please read and answer the different questions that come up and add questions of your own that you may need help with so we can all get ideas from each other and help each other. My example: My 17 year old hides food and wrappers under his mattress even when he knows we will find it. HELP!!! —-Susan D.

A public thank you from a friend in the UK

To David Durovy & Bryan Post

Whom sent me copies of Bryan's books, "From Fear, To Love" & "The Great Behaviour Breakdown", both by email and hard copies by post.

Thank you so much.

I doubt many people in the UK will have heard of Bryan Post or the Post Institute (http://www.postinstitute.com/) but Bryan is clearly a generous man and a man of passion and a special understanding within his field. All parent's, whether of adopted children or whether biological parents, should read his books and watch his videos. The world is a better place because of people like Bryan, who truly understands the importance of love, compassion & understanding.  The books are not available through Amazon UK (and should be!!!) so if you are a parent, whether adoptive or not, and want a copy then approach the institute directly.

Amazon UK do have "Beyond Consequences Logic and Control" which is co-authored br Bryan.

I believe the single most important thing for the future of humanity, is working towards a true understanding of our nature, and Bryan is definitely one of the knights on that quest.

Sir, you have my utmost respect and gratitude!!

 

On Healing Trauma

Hey Bryan,

There is a lot of talk about trauma these days, from early childhood to soldiers in the Middle East. One cannot read the news it seems without seeing PTSD somewhere. How permanent is this stuff? Can it be cured? Can the effects be diminished over time? Is there really any help other than drugs? Just what the heck is it anyway? - Thanks, Dave

I recall as a teen being injured during basketball practice, actually knocked unconscious, and lying in bed when my mother got home from work. When she asked me what had happened I explained the best I could through my tears. My mom listened, turned my light off and then walked back out. Honestly I can’t recall if I was that injured or not, but when that happened it injured me worse. I moaned and cried out loud, begged and pleaded to go to the doctor, finally out of frustration she relented. I left the hospital in a neck brace and on crutches. I had sprained my neck, had a concussion, and torn ligaments in my knee.

Trauma is defined as any stressful event which is prolonged, overwhelming, or unpredictable. That means any stressful event, and stress can occur in more situations than we can possibly imagine. From pre-birth trauma to medical trauma, adoption, automobile accidents, witnessing a crime or murder, living in a stressful environment and everything else before, in between, and beyond, trauma can rear its very silent yet devastating impact.

In his seminal text, Affect Dysregulation and the Repair of the Self, author Allan Schore cites the findings of a meta-analysis of societal trauma: 50% of men in our society have experienced severe trauma and 60% of women. If you consider trauma as occurring on a spectrum of mild, moderate, severe, then essentially every member of our society has experienced some degree of trauma at some point during their lifetime. It is also important in understanding that when traumatic events continue on unexpressed, unprocessed, and misunderstood, it has the potential to impact the person for the rest of their lives.

There are so many levels from which we are impacted by trauma. Yet, it is in our immediate past and present day experiences that we most often look at trauma. I am convinced that this is merely the tip of the iceberg especially when it comes to parents and children who have been impacted by traumatic experiences. First of all, most parents are unaware, in denial, and flat out resistant to considering the impact of highly stressful past events on their current life circumstances. We tend to want to take a very puritanical approach to our pain, thus not surprisingly this carries over to our child-rearing.

Did my mother approach me this way because she was uncaring? Absolutely not, my mother is one of the most caring people that I know. However, when it comes to us and our family it is very easy to rely on past imprinting of just “tough it out”. As much as the trauma we may have directly experienced in our past or present is the impact of the generational trauma that has impacted all most all of us. I always encourage the parents and therapists that come to my camps to think not current generation pain, but go back a generation, two generations and see what you find. In the 1960’s the pioneering psychologist Bowen coined the term “generational transmission of stress” implying that stress and trauma are actually transmitted from one generation to the next. Forty years later science has confirmed this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

A passionate and concerned mother asked me the other day, “How long will it take for our family to find peace in our home. For our children to be more normal and just have the day to day challenges of normal children?” She didn’t like my answer, “Find peace now, today. This is when you will find peace. Not in the next moment or year, but today. Accept that your children are who they are and love them as they are, this will bring peace. If you are waiting for some magical moment when peace and normalcy will arrive, or come knocking at your door, then you have an expectation for the way things should be as opposed to an acceptance of the way things are. The problem with this line of thinking is that when peace and normalcy finally arrive, because we are too busy waiting for what we expect to show up, we don’t welcome what does. When this happens then peace and normalcy leaves our home as unwelcomed guest because we were too busy waiting for what we thought was going to show up.”

Healing is a process. It is a journey through repairing damage that has been done long ago. When a child has been mistreated, abused, deprived, or neglected during their most critical brain stages, then their brain has been shaped differently. In many ways he becomes a stranger in a strange world of expectations and demands, like a foreigner speaking a foreign language when everyone else speaks in the native tongue.

Additionally, what of the imprints we carry from a generational perspective? To have been witness to an adult treating a child in a manner of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, is a reflection of how that adult was inevitably treated at some point in their own life. Not only is the child therefore victim to the adult, but also to the generations of mistreatment, abuse, deprivation, and neglect that came many generations before. Healing is therefore not merely about bringing one child or family into a sense of peace and normalcy, it is about changing the very fabric and imprinting of life. It is about what will be passed down through the DNA to the next generation of children. Healing trauma is a very big deal.

Let us not forget that life and love in and of themselves have the potential to heal. How many of us who have come from traumatic environments, circumstances, and relationships have been able to rebound and move forward? Maybe not finding perfect peace and harmony, who ever truly does, but able to experience the joys and wonders of the world, along with the sadness and grief that it offers, without ending up in jail, broken down, and alone. Many more have attained this than not. And what of the ones who have not? My personal belief is that as long as there is breath there is hope and everyone has a purpose and the value of that purpose cannot always be determined as it relates to the fabric of our lives.

Choose Love,
- B.


Can people see without their eyes? How people can hear without ears and other mind boggling healing stories and some of the latest onLearned Optimism healing trauma, both physical and emotional, see Dr. Norman Doidge's classic book on Neuroplacticity  The Brain That Changes Itself available at Amazon,com. Yes, it is brain science and yes, you can do your own brain surgery! For more on this exciting field you will want to read Martin Seligman's Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Both these books will provide the incentive, motivation and roadmap for learning to make the changes you desire both in your life and help to positively influence those in your family. Truly, you owe it to yourself. If you have a challenging child, you NEED help.

Also, if you have not been to our site, visit us at http://www.postinstitute.com