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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How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 10 Epilogue

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Epilogue | This holiday season, your family is going to experience more peace this holiday season than any of the other families you’re going to be in contact with. This is going to be the most peaceful holiday season of any holiday season you’ve had up to this point because you are taking these necessary steps.

Number one, you’re honoring that window of tolerance. Number two, you’re going to be checking in and doing time-in. Number three, you are being proactive. Number four, you’re going to recognize that you can’t always be there and that’s okay...and when you’re not there and you needed to be there, you’re going back to time-in. You’re going to go right back and recognize that window tolerance and that’s being proactive. You’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for the rest of your family. You’re doing it for your children. You’re doing it for your spouse. You’re doing it for everyone.
You know what? You’re going to do all these things because you are a great parent. You are a really great parent. There’s a little Biblical verse that says, “Let us love not in word or speech but in truth and action.” This holiday season we’re going to operate in truth and action. Remember, it’s not what you say or do. It’s how you feel when you’re doing and saying it. Remember to breathe, four, seven, eight, four, seven, eight, four, seven, and eight. Stress, stressed, spelled backwards equals desserts. We’re going to take being stressed out this holiday season and we’re going to turn this holiday season into the dessert of our lifetime.

Santa JesusI want to say to you and to your family may God Bless You and wish you the happiest holiday season ever, ever, ever, and ever! You are a great parent. Thank you for joining us and caring enough to make a difference. Don’t forget to visit us at www.postinstitute.com. After you’ve read this e-book or listened the audio program, send it to the rest of the family. You can make copies of it. You’ve got my permission. I want all of your family members to have peaceful holiday seasons. Thank you for following How to Turn Stressful Holidays into Peaceful Family Time.

Choose Love,

B.
If you have enjoyed this series, we have a home study course for parenting attachment challenged children that goes so much deeper into our love based family centered parenting approach. Click here to read more about it.

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 9 Mealtime

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Mealtime | Let’s also discuss mealtime. Mealtime is always an overwhelming time during the holidays. Why? Because we’re stressed. S-T-R-E-S-S, that little six letter word that causes so much havoc and so much chaos during the family
season. But guess what? You can turn stressful holidays into peaceful family time. Mealtime is going to be different this year. This year, twenty minutes before it’s time to eat, you’re going to pull your child out the stress. You’re going to pull yourself out of the stress too. You and your child are going to get out of that house. Whatever house you’re in, it’s likely stressful. You’re going to get out of there. This is where you’re going to get in some of that time together with your child. Spend some of that time together and you know what will happen? Your child might not like it! You have to honor that.

You have to say, “I know honey. You are playing and you guys are having fun and you don’t want to leave. I understand and I would be upset too, and it’s okay for you to be upset. But I know that we’re going to be getting ready to eat soon. I want you to be able to eat the food that you want to eat and then I want you to be able to play with your cousins after you’ve eaten.”

You’re going to honor that, you’re going to recognize that, you’re going to acknowledge it, twenty minutes before mealtime. You’re going to pull your child out because when you’re doing that you’re creating regulation. You’re creating an opportunity to be calm for yourself and for your child. So that’s mealtime. What about sweets? Let your children have sweets, but not too much. Talk with the rest of the family. After you’ve finished eating, put the food away, especially, the sweets and the soda.

Have you ever noticed how kids go in and out of the kitchen all day long during the holidays? At the end of the day, you find little pieces of pie here, half glasses of soda there, and spilled cans of pop everywhere. Have you noticed that? Guess what we’re going to do this year? We’re going to put the soda away and you’re going to tell the kids that if they want more dessert after dinner, let an adult know.

Better yet, come and let you know. Take responsibility for your child. You’ll be setting an example for other family Holidays are not normalmembers to take responsibility for their children. You’re really going to be regulating their sugar intake. Some sugar is good. It’s helps them to actually feel a little better. But too much sugar sends them over the edge. One point to keep in mind is that we are not conditioned for holidays. They are holidays. We call them holidays for a reason. It’s a special occasion in the middle of the year, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month. What happens is, we are conditioned to be going places like school or work. We’re not conditioned to be spending all of that time together. You
usually spend all that time apart. Now you’re spending all that time together.

DisneyworldRemember that window of tolerance? Keep that in mind. Another thing to really keep in mind is all the stimulation.  Sensory overload can be experienced by both you and your child. If you have been to Times Square in NY, recall the first time you were there—the huge buildings, the lights, the 250,000 people that cross through there every day—and the noises! For any first timers, this is an overwhelming experience. Or, seeing Disneyland for the first time as a five year old! This is what much of life is like for these children. And that is on a normal day. So you must be mindful of the jingles, the malls, the Wal-marts, the turkeys, the pumpkins, the Santa Claus and all of that stimulation. Be mindful of that. Be aware of over-stimulation.

Be in tune with your child. That’s the dance between the parent and the child. Be in tune with your child recognizing his internal state. Recognize when they are starting to get out of their zone of comfort. When you do all of these things, you’re honoring stress and fear. You’re not denying it. You’re not sticking your heard inside the turkey. You’re actually honoring the stress and the fear. You’re honoring the fact that according to the stress model, all the negative behaviors
you have seen over the years arise from stress and fear. You’re going to acknowledge, you’re going to understand, you’re going to appreciate and you’re going to feel enlightened by the fact that your child, God Bless his or her soul, has a very, very sensitive system. You’re going to honor that. You’re going to set your child up to be successful.

Coming Up Next… Epilogue

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 8 The Arrival

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Arrival | Okay, you arrive at the in-laws house. You pull up into the driveway and stop. You tell everyone to take a deep breath. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Remember you’ve been breathing the entire drive so this is easy for you now. You’re going to say to your child, “Okay, honey, I know it’s going to be kind of stressful in here. I know there’s going to be a lot of activity but we’re going to be fine. If you find yourself becoming really stressed or really scared you come tell mommy, and we’ll take a little break and we’ll take a little walk. Mommy is going to do the same with you. If I start feeling myself really stressed, if I start feeling scared at all I’m going to come and get you and you can help me feel safe, okay?

We’ll take a little walk together and then we’ll go back to doing what we were doing but we’re going to need to take that little break.” Have that communication with your child and then you’re ready to go in. Next is when the window of  tolerance comes into play. Before you go inside and everyone starts to acclimate themselves with one another, even before you get out of the car, you’re going to tell your child it’s okay to stay with you as much as she wants. They can  come and sit by you. They can come stand in the kitchen, sit in the kitchen close to you. They can do that at any point.

You’re going to make sure they understand that. I know, you may not like that thought. I understand that but you didn’t like last year either. That’s why you don’t want to do the same thing you always do. Mr. T.D. Jakes says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve already been.”

We’re going to do something different now. Let your child know its okay. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe. As  soon as you get in, your child, of course, will probably take off with all the other kids. You look at your watch. By now  you have a real good idea what their window of tolerance is. You know their window of tolerance and how much they can  handle. So look at your watch and start timing them. After about eight minutes, get up and you go check on your child. Call them over, look them in the eye, kiss them, pat them, ask if they’re having fun and they will say, “Yea, mom.” Then say, “Okay, do you need anything?” They will say, “No mom.” Then say, “All right have a good time!”

“Give your child’s brain an opportunity to regulate and prepare for the next transition”

Let them go back and play and you go back and continue doing what you were doing. It’s going to take you ten seconds to check in with them, but look at it this way. It’s a ten second investment, a ten second investment that’s going to pay off for fifteen minutes. That’s powerful. By investing that ten seconds, your child will be able to play approximately fifteen minutes without another contact. Then start your timer again. Remember that what you’re doing is you’re recognizing, understanding, respecting and honoring the window of tolerance. You’re not setting them up to go outside their window
of tolerance. You’re meeting them before their window of tolerance expires. As soon as you make contact and meet them before their window of tolerance expires, it resets itself and it adds another half of the existing window of tolerance.

Now you’re up to fifteen minutes. Keep checking every fifteen minutes. What’s going to happen if you let it go longer than fifteen minutes before checking in? Within sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen minutes, your child will be yelling. Another child will be yelling. There will be a fight breaking out. You’re not just being proactive for your child, you’re making this Holiday season better for the whole family by being  proactive. You’re taking responsibility. Every time you go and make contact with your child, that’s going to have an influence on everyone else’s child too.

I know this is a lot of information; take a deep breath. Yes, you’ll have an impact not only on your child, but on everyone
else’s child too. You’re going to do this repeatedly. You ’re going to make another contact with your child. You’re going to go and hit that window of tolerance again before its eclipsed and each time you do that you can buy yourself a little more time. What you’re going to find is that you’ve gone through the entire morning and afternoon with no problems.

You’re going to do this three times. On the third time, you’re going to say to your child, “Honey, come here for a minute.” Then say, “I’m feeling a little stressed right now. Would you mind if we took a little walk outside real quick. Then you can come back and play.” Most times they are going say, “Sure.” They may protest and you’re going to tell them, “I really  need it, I really need it. I’m feeling so stressed right now. I just need to spend some time with you. Give me five minutes.”

You’re going to take those five minutes. You’re going to go outside. You’re going to walk down the driveway and you’re going to come back. It’s that simple.

Hey, Santa! We’re not buying into stress this year! You’re going to take those five minutes and then your child is going to back to play. You’re feeling good right now. You’re feeling good because you are having a successful Thanksgiving Day. You are having a successful Christmas, okay.

Now what happens if you’re child begins to act out and the seeds of a problem begin to appear? Because you’ve been checking in regularly and honoring that window of tolerance, guess what? They don’t blow up. If you walk in there, you’re child is in the corner, arms crossed, angry look on their face, then you just walked in at the best time! Hooray for you. You just cut off a potentially bad situation. Now you can go in and sit down by your child and whisper, “What’s up?”

“You’re taking responsibility. Every time you go and make contact with your child, that’s going to have an influence on everyone else’s child too.”

“Well, Johnny took the toy from me and Johnny always does this every single year.” Remember their kids do the same thing. They are conditioned. We’ve done a good job as parents of conditioning children. So now you’re going to say, “Let’s go out for a little bit.” Now, you’re interrupting your child’s stress.

Success, success, success! If your child begins to act out, then you do time-in. The only difference from time-out and time-in is that you bring your child into you in time-in. Time-in can be the walk down the driveway. Time-in can be  bringing your child in while you’re sitting down talking with the in-laws while watching the football game or while the turkey is basting or while you’re digesting that last piece of pecan pie, which was probably not the last, but was actually the third piece, which point you finally decided was the last piece! But then not quite. You’re going to have one more sliver before you retire for the night or head home. That’s just the kind of thing we do during the holidays, right?

So you’re going to bring your child in and you’re going to have her sit with you for a while. This is what you say. “Why don’t you just hang out with me for a while? When you are feeling better you can go back and play.” Allow your child to own a little bit of what most children can handle...”when you are feeling better you can go back and play.”

Most children will sit by you for twice as long as they would if you would have given them the time-out requirement. Not only are you respecting and honoring the window of tolerance, you are practicing time-in. You’re being proactive. Even though you check the window of tolerance, you do time-in, you worked at being proactive, sometimes your child ends up
running around screaming. Then the other little cousin is running and screaming right behind him. One of them is yelling, “He did it!” The other is saying, “He did it!” You know how that story goes. What happens now?

You breathe. You take a deep breath and you begin to breathe. You practice your four, seven, eight. You say to your child, “Its okay. Come here. Sit down. It’s all right.” Your child is trying to defend himself because they are all in survival mode. This is an important to know. In times of stress, we constrict into survival. In times of stress, the cells of our body actually constrict into survival. The moment you become stressed out, you are in survival. You’re no longer present for your child because stress does three things:

  1. • Stress causes you to react out of the past. Stress says, “Oh no. It’s going to be just like last year!”
  2. • Stress causes you to obsess about the future. You think, “Oh No! This year or next year will be the same. We’re NEVER going to have a good holiday season ever, ever, ever and ever.
  3. • It takes you out of the present. As soon as it takes you out of the present, you are officially no longer in the here and now. As long as that is happening, as long as you are not in the here or now, you’re not anywhere. So breathe and stay present. Breathe and stay present.

“In times of stress, the cells of our body actually constrict into survival. The moment you become stressed out, you are  in survival”

So far, what you’ve been able to do is honor the window of tolerance. You’ve been able to do time-in. You’ve been able to be proactive. When you can’t always be there, you’re going to recognize that that’s okay. You’re going to take some deep breaths. You’re going to pull your child into you and you’re going to say, “Son, just sit down here with dad for a little bit.”

You know what? It may be time to actually take a break and spend some time with your child. Go outside, toss a ball  around. Make sure you bring one with you, like a basketball. Go for a walk down the street. Take a drive to the store. Go to the park. Sometimes you’re going to need to do that and I’m going to recommend you do that at least twice during the day. Your child is going to need that one on one contact time with you because that helps them to regulate.
Got that? If you can do these four things you will have a different result:
• 1. The window of tolerance.
• 2. The time-in.
• 3. Being proactive
• 4. Recognizing that you can’t always be there and that’s okay; and breathe using the four, seven, eight count
when you can’t be there and you are on your way to success!

Coming Up Next… Mealtime

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 7 The Morning

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Morning | All right you’re going to get up. You’re going to wake your children up slowly. This will help their Circadian rhythm, an area in their brain, a body/mind experience controlled by a little area in the brain. This helps their Circadian rhythms turn on slowly and wake up. After you’ve done that, you give them five or ten minutes. I teach a parenting technique called Ten-Twenty-Ten. It gives your child ten minutes of quality time and attention first thing in the morning before they wake up. They receive twenty minutes in the afternoon when they arrive home from school or you get home from work. Finally, give them ten minutes of quality time and attention in the evening. If you’ll do that, it will have a significant impact on your child’s behavior. It will have a significant positive impact.

Once we have our children fully awake, they start getting ready. They’ve been calmly awakened. They feel good. We’re going to give them a nutritious breakfast. A tasty, nutritious breakfast will start their systems activated correctly. Then they are going to get dressed and we’re going to be heading out the door early this time. We’re not waiting until the last minute. We’re leaving early. For some adoptive or foster parents, there might be additional considerations. They might be afraid to get into the car.

What are you going to say to a child who is afraid. The child could be ten and under. They could even be twelve and under. Typically, teenagers can handle this transition a little easier. What you’re going to say to your child is, “I know getting in the car can feel scary but we’ll be back and you’ll be okay. We’re going to have a good time, and everything is going to be alright.” Reassure your child that everything is going to be okay.

Travel
Now, here’s the part about sacrifice. If you know anything about investing, you know sometimes you have to invest upfront to get a payoff on the back end. Too often people want the back end payoff but they don’t want to spend time to invest upfront. Here’s the first really significant investment in your child. If you’re a two-parent household, one of the adults rides in the backseat. I know. I know. You want to spend this time with your spouse. You were hoping to be able to talk and hold hands and enjoy driving to Thanksgiving dinner...not be stuck in the back seat. Get over it. You did that last year and what happened? Ten minutes down the street you were pulling over.

We’re going to do something different this year. One parent sits in the backseat. If you are a single parent, you’ve got one child, let your child sit in the front seat with you if they’re old enough. If they’re old enough, let them sit in front with you because that will allow you to have contact with them. Even if they’re old enough to be in a car seat facing away from the airbag toward the seat, let them sit in front with you. That will allow you to have contact with them.

If you have two children, have one sit in the front and one sit in the back. The one sitting in the back should sit on the side behind you on the driver’s side. Why? We don’t want any kicking of the backseat bothering the child sitting up front. Because that’s just more stress. You’ve got one in the front and one in the back so now you’re ready to drive. Have coloring books and other activities for them. I am not against the DVD players. I am not against the CD players. However, my opinion is if you’re going to use those things, you have to cut them off at least a half an hour before you arrive at your destination. If it’s a long drive, I’d say one movie tops. Otherwise you have to cut off at least a half an hour of the movie before your destination. That gives your child’s brain an opportunity to regulate and prepare for the next transition. Keep that in mind. I think the DVD’s and games can be lifesavers. Even so, the Game Boy’s and iPods must turn off a half an hour before arriving. Just let your children know that at that point, you are going to play ‘I Spy’ or sing songs or something else together. By doing this, you are helping them transition and be calmer when you arrive.

Coming Up Next… The Arrival

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

 

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

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.

The Difference Between Knowing What To Do vs Doing It

It is significant and important when parents take these simple principles, put them into practice and get results that years of therapyKnowing vs Doing and lots of $$$ have not done. One mom's experience of 'having it in her head but not being able to get it into practice' is a challenge we all face. It is the difference between 'knowing and doing' knowledge and wisdom and ultimately success and failure. Although familiar to many of us, this short story can offer hope and encouragement to those of us who know what to do, but are still having trouble doing it.

I'm learning that if I do not react in a negative way, they usually turn around and do what I've asked. I have to work on it because I hate being told no. Lol. And no is the primary response. But if I can see past that, it resolves itself. My old mindset was to be offended by the feeling of being disrespected. But now the feeling of them figuring it out and doing it without me yelling is wonderful. They actually choose to do it. That feels way more like respect than me trying to force it and the blood pressure stays even too which is a huge benefit.I could never have got this far without you guys! You guys and the grace of God. I had it in my head but couldn't get it into practice. My reactionary feelings would jump out of my mouth. Lol but it's getting better. It's about time since my oldest is now in college! I think my biggest accomplishment is that now when I get mad at them, I can stop and not walk away myself and feel defeated. I can wait a minute and then they come in for a hug which is huge for us because in the old days they would be mad, I would be mad and we'd go in separate directions me yelling and them talking back. I'd feel disrespected and unheard and their anger or fear would escalate as well. It would set the tune for the evening. Now I can immediately let it go and be present while they come in for the hug. It's the greatest blessing in the world."

As parents, we need some 'skin in game'. Our actions, our willingness to lay down centuries of traditional old paradigm practices is what propels our way through the murkiness, the darkness, and hopelessness that things will never change, never get any better and the past will just continue to repeat itself. You know better. You may need to "just do it".

Yoda bwTo paraphrase Master Yoda,
"Do or do not, but do not just know. For that is mere knowledge. The wisdom is in the doing".

Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Pt 6: Forgiveness

P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L.: Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Component #6 Forgiveness of self forms the foundation for love and forgiveness of others.

In my work with families I encounter parents who have experienced deep pain during childhood at the hands of their own parents, and the first thing they generally say is, “Oh I have forgiven my parents.”

Without a doubt when I hear this I sense deeply within myself an individual who has not fully embraced the understanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a process of self-awareness and self-acceptance, which allows us to see our actions both positive and negative and take responsibility for them as opposed to feeling blamed, which leads to guilt.

In other words, it is the human condition to blame ourselves for all things negative.

Regrettably this takes the place in the form of shaming, and denial of ones feelings, and a building up of a sense of ones lack of worth. The abused child comes to believe that they are the reason for the abuse.

If only they could behave better.

The abused child as an adult comes to deny the feeling of not being good enough and reinforces this negative self-picture with a misconception of forgiving her parents. In fact, this only fosters her sense of shame and denial. Rather, the adult must come to the deeply emotional awakening that she must forgive herself for the years spent devaluing, blaming, and shaming her beautiful self.

Until we can forgive ourselves we cannot forgive others fully. All else becomes face value, simply surface. For parents in their interaction with their own children it is essential to see their own inherent parental shortcomings. We must strive to do the best that we can but also realize we will make mistakes as our parents also made mistakes.

When the mistakes occur, as surely they will, we must first forgive ourselves for our imperfections and then seek forgiveness from our children. Forgiveness should also come with the promise and effort to do better next time. As God forgives us so should we forgive ourselves and seek forgiveness from others.

Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Pt 1: Patience

P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L: Eight Components of a Peaceful Parent/Child Relationship Component #1 Patience

If I were asked to identify eight components essential for transforming the relationship between a parent and child, what might they be? Suppose that you could only pick eight and no more. Which eight would you pick?

This series was written to identify what I believe to be the essential components to a peaceful parent/child relationship. Let me qualify the articles by saying that I believe the true catalyst to change in any relationship stems from us as individuals - as parents and professionals. In our relationship with our children it is essential that we take the first step in being reflective of our own internal states thereby giving us the ability, without the distortion of stress and fear, to see clearly the needs of our children.

Scott Rogers states in his book Mindful Parenting, it’s not about raising your child, it’s about you and me: “When we are mindful, we see what is before us; when we are not, we see what is in our mind.” One reason Rogers says time seems to pass so quickly is that we are not aware of the moment as it happens. Want to enjoy more of your life? Mindfulness is the key to "more". It allows you to "be" there more for your children, spouse and yes, even yourself through both the good and the bad.

This is what I mean when I say stress causes us to “react from the past, obsess about the future, and miss the present. And when you are out of the present you are no longer here.” One could say that the more stress we have, the shorter our lives are—physically, due to the damage that stress does to the body, and mentally, due to not being present.

For instance, it has taken me approximately thirty minutes to write this introduction because my young daughter has interrupted me exactly seven times for various request, a hug, a kiss, a bit of rough housing, a search for her birth certificate, then mine, then my mothers, and most recently, nothing more than to throw her arms around my neck.

Are these eight components essential? Yeah, I think so!

#1 Patience is a process that comes from a deep sense of calmness and well-being. It is an absolute necessity in a parent’s daily interaction with a child. As a parent, when you are stressed, the task of being patient will be infinitely more difficult than when you are calm. This is not a gift. You do have to work at it.

In order to remain patient, you must first take into consideration your own stress that may be unconsciously driving your state of functioning. Next, you must make a concerted effort to be aware of your child’s needs at all times and consider what she may be feeling at any given moment.

And remember, you cannot be patient all of the time. When you do fail in the area of patience you can always apologize for raising your voice or lashing out, and promise to do better the next time.  Now, between now and component #2, notice your ability to be patience. Become acutely aware of when you are hitting your window of tolerance and make a mental note of what the trigger is. Remember to be be patient with yourself in this exercise.

Choose Patience,

B

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can benefit. Help to bring peace on earth and good parenting toward all children.