Category Archives: Emotional support

Dealing with Disappointments

3 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Disappointment

Sometimes reality falls short of your expectations. This time of year (first of December) we are in the middle of holiday gatherings, activities . . . and expectations. It seems a lot of pressure to meet the expectations coupled with expectations of our own can often end up in disappointment with ourselves and with others.

Setbacks are a part of life, but how you respond to them can soften the blow. Try these 3 strategies for dealing with disappointment.

First:  Avoid Exaggerating

We often make disappointments seem bigger than they are. Remove unnecessary stress from your life by keeping things in perspective.

Use these strategies to avoid seeing your disappointments as bigger than they really are:

1. Embrace change. When you have your heart set on a particular outcome, you may forget that the effects are likely to be short-lived. What seems like a major loss today could be insignificant in 6 months.

2. Stay calm. Discomfort may be easier to bear when you try to stay composed. Take a deep breath or go for a walk outside. Give yourself time to process what’s happening instead of reacting automatically.

3. Depersonalize the situation. You can wind up feeling ashamed when you interpret a disappointment as being a reflection on yourself. Resist the urge to take it personally. (Difficult, yes!)

4. Be specific. Overgeneralizing is another hazard. Tell yourself that this is a single temporary event rather than a permanent downward spiral. Projecting into the future that if my kid steals something today they’ll end up in prison a few years down the road helps no one.
We are told in Matthew, chapter 6, verse 34:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Second:  Moving On

Fear of disappointment can sometimes become so intense that it holds you back from taking risks. You’ll have a more fulfilling life if you can persevere even when things turn out differently than you hoped.

These actions will help you move on from disappointment:

1. Start small. Bouncing back from small reversals will teach you skills you can apply to tougher challenges. Be grateful for opportunities to practice.

2. Learn from experience. There are other lessons too. Disappointments can teach you more about yourself and what you really want out of life. You can use them to clarify your goals.

3. Find motivation. Living through an experience you don’t want to repeat gives you an incentive to change. This could be what you need to point you in a more positive direction.

4. Take control. While you want to avoid dwelling excessively on the past, there are helpful questions you can ask yourself. Determine what you could have done differently, so you’ll be prepared for similar situations.

5. Build your self-confidence. More than thinking positive, take every thought captive and hold fast to the truth. Understand your worth in God’s eyes and that he is willing and able to work in and through you even with your shortcomings.

Take care of yourself as a good steward of the treasured gift that you are. And keep adding to your knowledge and skills as a life-long learner.

6. Cultivate support. Having family and friends that you can count on for encouragement and reassurance helps too. Spend time with your loved ones and be open to honest feedback. When those around you aren’t willing or capable of providing emotional support, find it elsewhere.

7. Seek counseling. If a past traumatic event is holding you back, help is available. Talking with a therapist could give you new insights and coping skills. Caution: Be choosy. Therapists are not all the same and do not have all the answers. But they can often offer helpful “tools” and strategies to help you gain perspective. If a certain counselor is not a fit, keep looking.

Third:  Adjust Your Expectations

Are you seething with resentment because others let you down? You may be sabotaging yourself by holding onto unrealistic expectations that are too high or too low. They may have lagging skills and abilities, or be overwhelmed, themselves. In any event, a reality check can help moving forward.

Consider these ideas:

1. Check your defenses. Fear could be the reason why you expect too much from others. Name your fears and bring them into the light.

2. Know your worth. On the other hand, you may be dissatisfied because you’re investing too much in relationships with little reciprocity. A healthy amount of give and take is a reasonable expectation. You may want to back off a little and invest some of your resources elsewhere.

3. Advocate for yourself. Maybe your relationships are basically sound, but it would help to work on your communications. Assuming that others can read your mind sets you up for disappointment. Practice asking for what you need tactfully and directly. Back to basics!

Disappointments can make you stronger if you deal with them constructively.

 

Hey there,

I’m Dawn and I enjoy helping parents and advocating for orphans!

I founded Yesterday’s Orphan, an outreach to support parents and caregivers, especially moms, of adopted and foster children and also step-children.

If you liked this post and it is helpful to you you might like to join the small but growing Yesterday’s Orphan Facebook group for parents and caregivers. The group is free to join but closed — members only.

Please comment and let me know if you found value in this post and feel free to share.

How to Write Your Personal Value Statement & Why

Do you ever doubt yourself? Your value as a parent, spouse, person?

Things like stress overload, overwhelm, mental/physical disability, etc. can make a parent second-guess themselves and wonder if they are really even making a positive difference in the lives of their family members. I know for myself, I have had moments of self-doubt and feelings of failure that overshadowed the positive impact and value I bring to my family and people in my life.

If you ever have similar feelings I have an activity to help you, and an example below.

Begin by asking yourself three questions.

  1. In what ways do I benefit my family?
  2. How does my family show me they
    appreciate me?
  3. In what ways could I be an even more
    beneficial presence in my home?

Answering these questions will give you the content to write out your own value statement to read, re-read, and remind yourself of your real value in the lives of those you love. Win the battlefield of your mind. God’s Word has a lot to say about the need to take steps to manage our minds. I’ve listed a few verses below (and in the workbook):

Colossians 3:2 directs “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

And 1 Peter 1:13 gives us the long-range view – “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Free Workbook

I designed a workbook which you can print and use to create your own Personal Value Statement. It includes these three questions plus some more content and an anonymous example of what a Personal Value Statement can look like. Of course each person’s would be unique to them. You can get the printable workbook with the button below.

Do you feel stuck and hopeless, like you have no purpose in life, or that you are helpless to fulfill it? Satan would love for you to continue in self-despair, but when you focus on the truth and God’s Word, you can break free!

John 8:32 – “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I’d love to know how you like this post and if the activity and workbook are helpful. Comment and let me know what you think!

Time for an Empathy Self-Audit

Teach Yourself to be More Understanding and Empathetic

“Everyone that hasn’t suffered a brain injury or mental illness is capable of empathy.” – – so I read.

But some of our children DO have brain issues that impact their ability to show empathy. And it seems so easy to spot in them, and even easier to become exasperated at their apparent lack of empathy.

I’m guilty of this.

And so I end up being “the pot calling the kettle black” with my own lack of empathy.

Some of us are in touch with this ability, while others could use a little practice. If you’ve found yourself exasperated over your child’s un-empathetic behaviors, how about taking an empathy self-audit?

What is empathy?

Empathy is the concern for the welfare of others. It’s the ability to detect or predict the emotions and thoughts of others.

It’s easy to see why this would be a handy skill to master. Empathy has an impact on your relationships. This is true for both your personal and professional relationships. Empathy can make your life easier and more fulfilling at home and at work!

It’s an ability that our children need to become competent in. And our modeling empathy to and before them is crucial.

So after your empathy self-audit if you find you need an empathy tune-up, I have some empathy tune-up tips for you.

Empathy Tune-Up Tips

Try these tips to increase your empathy for your child/children and others:

1. Avoid making assumptions.

Your view of the world is limited. Your experiences are just your own. Others have lived a different reality.

If you’re from a well-off and intact family from the United States, you don’t really have a clue what it’s like to deal with the weight of growing up in an orphanage in Ukraine. If you’ve never lost a job, avoid assuming that you know exactly what that experience feels like.

Making assumptions only gets in the way of developing empathy. When you catch yourself making assumptions, question them. Prove your assumptions to be true or false before making any decisions.

2. Ask questions.

One way to understand others is to ask questions. Develop a genuine interest in them. Enhancing your communication skills assists your ability to connect with, and to understand, other people. Ask open ended questions.

3. Listen intently.

I used to think I was a great listener! But I’ve found myself only half-heartedly listening and dividing my attention with my kids. Yikes! What types of messages does that send to them?

I’ve also been trying to help a couple of my children learn to pause and wait for my attention before they start blasting out their message and getting frustrated at me then. If they want understanding they need to learn to wait for my attention. Plus that’s a clue to me to give it.

Listening intently is related to asking questions and avoiding assumptions. We also seek to understand the emotions that the other person is feeling. Asking questions and then listening to the answers is a pivotal part of creating empathy within yourself.

4. Learn about a group of people outside of your experience.

You could learn about people of another religious background or culture. If you’ve never been poor, you might learn about the homeless and how they live day to day. Read books and talk to people. Strive to understand what it would be like to be born a part of a particular group.

5. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

One way to relate better to others is to imagine yourself in the same situation. This can be painful. It’s not enjoyable to imagine that your spouse has died or that you’re completely out of money. Ask yourself, “What would I be thinking and feeling if I were in this situation?” Just asking yourself this question is the biggest step you can take toward being empathetic.

6. Be present. Give your undivided attention to others. You can’t be empathetic if you’re thinking about something else. This goes along with number three above, but extends to family activities, meals, meetings, etc. We are so tempted to multitask and it’s an even bigger temptation these days with our smartphones and other tech at our fingertips constantly.

Related: Be interested.

You’re not as good at hiding your disinterest as you think! You miss most of the information, verbal and non-verbal, communicated to you if you’re not paying attention.

7. Have more meaningful conversations.

Talking about sports is fine, but it’s not a deep and personal topic. One way to get the ball rolling is to talk about something that’s important to you. The more you share, the more you’re going to receive in return. Be open, and others will be more open with you. (Maybe.)

But don’t forget to give the other person a turn. One sided conversations are counterproductive to mutuality and connectedness.

Empathy is an important skill. It can greatly increase the ability to communicate and connect with others. Being able to understand their feelings and thoughts will boost your rapport with them, whether it’s your children, your spouse, or those outside the household. Enhance your relationships with empathy and you’ll benefit in many ways. And you’ll be modeling this important skill to your child or children!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep”

Romans 12:15

First Things First

When our more basic needs are unmet is can put the brakes on empathy. If you feel unable to access your empathy or otherwise feel like you are missing out on basic needs such as safety I implore you to seek the help YOU need, putting your oxygen mask on first as it were, to address those needs and free up mental and emotional space for empathy.

Find More with Facebook Group

Free closed Facebook Group for Parents & Caretakers of Yesterday’s Orphan community.

If this post is helpful to you you might like to join the small but growing Yesterday’s Orphan Facebook group for parents and caregivers. The group is free to join but closed — members only.

Posts in the group touch on a variety of topics that may affect you if you are caring for a child with a history of early childhood traumatic parental loss and possibly other serious trauma in their background.

Hello, Trello – – So Nice to Meet you!

So Trello, I wonder why no one has ever introduced me to you before (?) Perhaps I was just not paying attention or was otherwise engaged . . . but now at long last I am so happy to have finally found you!

Do you know about Trello?

I just started using this free resource and it looks fantastic! (There are paid options for their Business and Enterprise levels, but with unlimited numbers of board, lists and cards, the free version is not just a tease, but a well-rounded tool right out of the gate! And did I say free?!)

With Trello I can finally organize my life. (Yes!) And you can too. I’ve already started with a few boards and have been scoping out examples of more ways to use this fantastic tool for family, business, projects, whatever . . .

Get Trello for yourself here.

Trello Boards

If you’ve ever used Pinterest you are familiar with “boards”. Trello also uses boards as the main sections. Within your broad category boards, you then add “lists” and “cards”. These can be labeled by color and further modified for a variety of needs and uses. And you can share boards, lists and cards as well as switch up cards from list to list and board to board (or duplicate them)! Are you getting excited yet?

As I said, there are tons of uses for Trello and Trello boards. Want to make a Vision Board? Make it on Trello, or make several! Got a project to plan, or a joint project? Make it and share tasks on Trello!

How I am using Trello right now (and expanding):

I’ve set up Boards for primary areas of my life so far:

My Starter Boards in Trello

Family (with lists for each family member) – I do plan to separate these out into a board for each person. Plus you can color coordinate your boards if you like, even upload your own background photos for each one.

Business – Working from home is an amazing opportunity. I already see how Trello can help me integrate work with the rest of my life without dropping (so many) balls that I juggle. I can bounce from work to child to dinner and not lose my place now (smile).

My parent support ministry (You’re here! Yesterday’s Orphan); I am excited to plug the beginnings of some future plans into Trello to keep moving forward on them. Stick around to see what’s coming up!

My upcoming mission trip to Russia; no stressing over the to-dos for this trip. Just plug into Trello, set a due date and get’er done!

My Mission Trip Board

I plan to add a weekly schedule board to house repetitive items particular to days of the week, and some more project boards.

Key to Success with Trello

One key I already discovered is to add a due date/deadline to anything you can. This will bring up that item (card) in your daily “What’s Next” list. No matter what board or list they are on, the due date will pull up whatever you’ve scheduled in order. (No flipping back and forth between calendars and lists!)

Trello for Back-to-School

It’s that time of year and I am so happy to have found Trello in time for back-to-school. Not only can Trello keep my life organized, but my children as well.

Keep the (perceived) nagging away when you share tasks with them through Trello. They can check off as done and you’ll be able to see when an item is marked completed. (I would have loved this for home-schooling!) There’s even an application to save the ist of completed assignments to a spreadsheet on Google Drive. (Record-keeping? DONE!)

Example boards for homeschool parents:

Personal parent/teacher boards with Master Lists, Student boards, Weekly Routines, Resource Links, Current and upcoming lesson plans; Materials checklists; Extracurricular activities; Field trips; Library books (with due dates)

Trello for students:

Homeschool or not, students can have their own project boards with checklists to break projects down into manageable tasks. My high schoolers can set up their own Trello boards for each subject at the start of the school year and add in their projects and due dates, tests and study schedules. Plus any other links to resources or important information.

Trello is compatible to various devices and so I can work on my Chromebook and also see the app on my phone when out and about.

Pressure Relief

For the family with intense kids, parents need to be able to communicate in a way that won’t promote internal pressure. (Sometimes even a look can do that with my teens!) Trello is a way to do just that. You can collaborate and share information in an organized way that doesn’t seem like you are just barking out random commands. And the engaging tech is the go-between!

Let me know, have you used Trello for you family and found it useful? What’s your favorite benefit so far?

Free Parent Resource

If you have intense kids who have a hard time with transitions and if back-to-school season is stressing you out just thinking about it (!!!) – – then you’ll like the following free resource, my tips for being the chill parent during back-to-school season, even with intense kids. Get yours with the button below.

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Emotional Alarm System

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Sometimes parents of emotionally and behaviorally challenged children can get to a breaking point where something has to give. There is a point at which you realize you are either stuffing your feelings and you are paying the price or your emotional outbursts rival those of your child. Ouch! You must be the adult. And that means taking whatever measures you need to to ensure that your emotions are not out of control. Emotions are good indicators. We need them. But they shouldn’t be driving the car.

When your GPS gives good directions it is super helpful! A great tool. But when the directions are off for some reason, we need to be aware so we can make the needed corrections or we can end up in a completely wrong location.

Internal GPS

It’s the same with our emotions. They can be great indicators. They can inform us when we may need to take a detour. They can help us choose between options. Our GPS may show us a list of restaurants in the area and a little bit about them, so we have good information from which to make a lunch choice. Similarly, our emotions can let us know something doesn’t seem right. But it’s up to our thinking brain to take that information and do something about it.

When we feel an alarm of emotion we may not need additional information. We may know exactly what to do when a certain emotion pops up. But in other situations we do need more information. For instance if our child’s frequent sleep problems are not responsive to the measures we know and have tried, we may need to investigate further. Feeling tired and frustrated at the sleepless nights may prompt us to know something’s not right and needs to be addressed right away. But feeling tired and frustrated may also hinder us from thinking clearly if we are already stretched thin and it goes on for a while.

Think Outside the Box

My youngest adopted son screamed himself to sleep after coming home and normal soothing measures did not work. Occasionally we could get him to sleep by rubbing his back with lotion. Then we learned that melatonin supplements would help him relax. He also needed a night light and to be in the bed with someone, not alone (not even in the same room in a separate bed), because as a deaf child he needed to be able to reach out and touch someone for assurance that he wasn’t alone. Oh how I wish we had gotten him to sleeping better sooner. But my box of sleep tools did not cover his particular needs at that time.

Thinking outside the box might be needed to keep our emotions from gaining control. When emotions prompt us to action or to seek out will be effective in a given situation our feelings are great sidekicks. When we stuff our feelings though, we disable their usefulness like a broken GPS system. We also disarm our thinking brain’s ability to supervise our emotions. So they can easily get out of control.

Emotional Alarm System

What if we think of our emotions as an alarm system. Different signals can alert us to different things. When there is an distress signal we know we should take quick action. We do not just ignore the situation and turn off the alarm. The alarm is not the problem. It simply alerts us to the problem or potential problem. We can turn off the noise of the alarm but we also have to assess and address the issue that caused the alarm to sound.

Turning off the alarm or ignoring it is like stuffing our emotions and feelings. And disregarding the underlying cause. Nor do we want to overreact to the alarm and fail to notice what set if off.

Free Parent Resource: A Christian’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Control

I’ve compiled a Guidebook that you may have for free, “A Christian’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Control”, jam-packed with information and ideas for steps you can take to keep your emotional brain in the passenger seat while your thinking brain does the driving. This is a free, parent-to-parent resource for parents who may have a lot of emotional upheaval and feel a bit overwhelmed. I hope it is helpful to you. If you know anyone else who can use this resource please direct them to this blogpost to get their free copy as well. Just click the link below for your free copy.

Self-Care Parent “Bucket List”

How do you get your own bucket filled so you can pour into your family when you’re feeling like there isn’t much left to pour out?

 

Below I share a few ideas for quick pick-me-ups to help when you’re running on empty.  But I am fully aware that there can be such a deep dark pit that it takes more than just a few quick bucket-filling ideas to make much difference.  Please do not give up hope and do not give up searching and reaching for the help that you need.  It’s there.  Keep looking and keep looking up (to God and his help and ginormous love for you)!

 

I found some things were not so helpful before things began to be noticeably different.  Some things were helpful, but it took a while.  If you are interested in more of what helped me rise up out of the deep, dark pit I found myself in not too long ago, please reach out.  I know not everyone’s situation is the same and there will be different needs.  So I don’t presume to know exactly what your situation or needs are.  I’m certainly not a medical person so nothing I say here is intended to diagnose, treat or cure.

 

But I do know everyone needs Jesus.  And he is the great healer.  He can use all manner of resources or none at all!  That said, here are some quick and easy ideas for bucket-filling on days you need a little pick-me-up.

Self-care “Bucket List”

Dawn’s TOP Ideas for Re-filling a Poured-out Parent’s Bucket

As a mom of seven, I am familiar with the constant need for parents to pour themselves out for their families.  I’m also familiar with the feeling that you are running on fumes. That bucket is feeling pretty dry at times.

 

We sometimes tend to feel like we are being selfish to do something for ourselves that is more than tending to basic needs.  I’ve felt that way myself at times. But I’m learning that I am my own best resource. And taking care of me as a good steward of my resources is necessary to offer the best I can to those I hold most dear.  When taking care of yourself means taking better care of your family, I don’t think that’s selfish or self-centered.

 

What exactly is Stewardship?

 

“stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all-encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves.”  ~ Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics    

 

When our self-care is from a motive and perspective of stewardship rather than selfishness we can then understand that taking good care of ourselves is our responsibility.  As a Christian, I know that I am not my own. I belong to God and have a responsibility to him to do the best with what he has given me. If I am an emotional wreck or sleep-deprived shell of myself, I may need to do some adjusting.  

 

Without further ado, here are a few of my top ideas for getting that parent bucket filled.  You can use this as a jumping off point to add more ideas of your own that will likely be even better as they are personal to you.  This is by no means an exhaustive list.

 

#1 Connect with a (non-judgmental) friend.

If you can do it it’s great to connect face to face; otherwise take a few minutes to connect in the best way you can whether that be a call, text or video chat.

#2 Let something go so you can get more/better sleep.

However you do it whether you go to bed a bit earlier, sleep a bit later or slip in an afternoon nap it’s ok to get some rest!  Do you know that sleep time is very important for certain hormone production?

 

At night, I like to use essential oils to help me relax and get some shut-eye:  One of my favorite sleep blends is Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Lavender together in a diffuser or roller bottle topped with a carrier oil like olive oil or in a bedside cool mist diffuser.

 

#3 Read or watch something lighthearted.

Laughter is good medicine and can be just the thing to lighten your perspective.  Watching a fun movie with the family can be a good way to soften built up tensions with a shared experience.

 

#4  Indulge in a special snack.

It doesn’t have to be the most calorific snack or anything guilt-laden.  But just as a snack can diffuse the “hangry” in kids, it might help us too!

 

#5 Deep Breathing.

At one point, during a particularly stressful time, I set alarms on my phone to take a few moments and do some deep breathing throughout the day.  . . . In 2, 3, 4 . . . out 2, 3, 4 . . .

 

#6 Take a luxurious bath (or at least a long shower break)!

Self-care may be getting back to the basics if you’ve been in survival mode.  Using delightfully scented soaps, shampoos, and bath salts and following up with a light lotion or skin oil can make you feel pretty pampered.  

 

I like to use toxin-free soaps and shampoos infused with essential oils.  

 

#7 Get Moving!

Perhaps it’s not resting you need as much as to get moving.  Exercise, even just a little, can be a good pick-me-up. Plus, as an added bonus, exercise can even help you to sleep better —  provided it’s not too close to bedtime.

 

#8 Drink something.

Even slight dehydration can get you feeling yucky.  So drink water or another hydrating beverage to stay hydrated. *One of my favorites is Ningxia Zing!  

 

#9 Go Outdoors!

For eons, parents have known to send their kiddos outside for better health all over the world.  Guess what? It goes for adults, too! Fresh air and the sunshine vitamin (vitamin D) are necessary for each of us.

 

#9 – Listen to Happy Music!

Alone or better yet – – with the kiddos – – listening to music (and even sing and dance along) is a great way to bring on the smiles.

 

#10 Take time to read a Bible passage and pray.

This is important to me as a Christian.  The Holy Bible is God’s Word, his messages to us.  I speak to him through prayer and he speaks to me through his Word.  

 

Would you like to know more?  I’d love to share how you can become a Christian and have this personal relationship with one-on-one communication with The God of all Creation!  

 

And if you are interested in finding out more about how you can get started with essential oils and related products, let me know.  The ones I use and recommend have the Seed to Seal commitment that is an important quality control measure that puts them head and shoulders above the rest.  

 

See my Virtual Business Card for ways you can contact me for more.

~Dawn

 

Independence Overload!

Does your child with a trauma history seem to go to ridiculous extremes to avoid accepting your offers of help?  Do they seem to value independence over relationship?  I can relate.  And it can be maddening to deal with!!!

When they seem set upon personal failure in order to avoid compliance or obligation to anyone, it can be hard to watch them fail.  But failing forward may be the best teacher.  They choose not to participate in a family activity?  They miss out – – but it is set up in a way that they aren’t going to ruin it for the rest of the family.  And hopefully, they can do it with room to come back around.  I think sometimes my kids dig themselves into a hole and don’t know how to jump out – – how to change gears.

This type of planning takes some thought.  Birthdays, holidays and any type of celebration can bring on negative reactivity from some of our children.  By keeping plans low-key and flexible I am able to make adjustments to avoid their controlling (and ruining) the celebration time for everyone else.

For instance, for our daughter’s birthday, I was keenly aware that she had been incredibly oppositional and was apt to opt out.  It turned out that we had several in the family with accomplishments that were worthy of celebrating so I planned a family outing (we are party-sized without additional guests) to celebrate all of them including her birthday at the same time.  She was teetering on not going to the restaurant at absolute last minute.  We didn’t beg or bribe but allowed for her to stay if she wanted.  I told her she would still receive her present and we would bring food home for her if she chose.  Earlier in the day, I had given her a heads up so it wasn’t a surprise, and when she started in negative, just told her she didn’t have to decide right then, that it would be that evening and she had all day to decide what she wanted to do.  Either way was OK.  I think that was key.  She ended up going after all.

Of course, our disappointment or disapproval of the behavior sometimes shows, but be aware that what they may hear is that you are rejecting THEM, unaccepting of them — not just the behavior but the person underneath.  Because of this tendency, efforts to pressure them to change behavior by showing disapproval backfires.  The more you explain how wrong or hurtful their behavior is, the more they internalize rejection.  (So why do I keep doing it??? Insanity, I know!)  They really do want to please and gain your approval. (I know . . . REALLY!)

As we move full force into the Christmas season, I’m reminded of lessons learned; the “normal” separation and independence-seeking of my children given their ages; and the over-the-top independence that comes from their backgrounds.

The need for family and togetherness that is often at the heart of this season cannot be taken for granted.  It is there, but often under the surface of an outward stance of fierce independence which is fearful of depending on anyone else for anything, no matter how small.  Fearful of being/appearing vulnerable.  We can help them.  Help them anyway.  We can chisel away at the fierce exterior – – a little at a time – – here and there – – over time.  And allow their independence, their confident independence to grow past the fake independence that is a cover for their fear of being hurt.

Setting personal boundaries and keeping expectations flexible in the midst of progress toward relational goals is my go-to mindset for this season especially.

How about you?  I’d love to read your comments on how you are planning to navigate the holidays!

_________________________________________________________

Kids from hard places can have overwhelming emotions.  As a parent, I want to help my children learn to use positive coping skills and give them helpful tools.

I’ve gotten some great result in my own family since I’ve begun using premium essential oils.  Among the many benefits, they can make a big difference in dealing with overwhelming emotions, focus, and sleep.  

 

Hit Reply (if you are reading this in e-mail) or Contact in the menu above (if you are on the website) with “video” in your message to learn more about our premium essential oils and related products that you may want to add to your parenting toolbox.  

I’ll send you a short introductory video and then follow up to see what you think.  No Spam 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawn