I want to express a few thoughts and see if they resonate with any of you.
You may know that within our family we have special needs, attachment disorder (and reactive attachment disorder which is the upper end of that spectrum) mental health issues in addition to that; language delays, social delays; just all these special needs type things going on, and Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and OCD , ADHD — and more alphabet soup!
What’s a mom to do!? I’ve learned that if you are all wrapped up in the family, the children, their special needs, and the relationships that attachment disorder has really put a negative spin on (with multiple kids and family members!) then it can really put you in a rotten space. If you have your own identity all wrapped up in the nature of being a parent of the alphabet soup, special needs, chronic illness and all that goes along with attachment issues that is.
The children are growing up and trying to forge their own identities. Some have additional issues with identity — identity crises — because of their past.
Now think about the parents. Moms in particular (and dads, I am not trying to exclude you but you know, I can relate most to moms).
What about your identity?
Your identity cannot continue to be wrapped up in the relationships and in the roles that you have — the roles that are changing — the roles that are up one day and down the next — the roller coaster ride that is this life, without some real damage, without losing yourself, without losing your own identity.
So, you MUST regain and/or hold onto your identity in Christ.
Your identity as God’s child.
Your identity as someone of value and intellect and purpose.
You can hold on to your true identity:
Whether or not a particular relationship goes haywire;
whether or not a particular illness continues or gets worse;
whether or not you have to deal with a mental health crisis that day;
whether or not behavioral issues pop up;
And whether or not other people judge you as someone who should handle things differently than you do, or should parent differently than you do, or is even the cause of some of the behaviors or issues with your children.
And so, who are we doing this for? Are we really just doing it for ourselves? No.
For our children? Yes! But not just for them.
If you are like me, then you agree we are really doing it for God.
And for our love of God.
And in obedience to God.
So we do it for our kids – yes, but as God gives us love and loves our children and our families through us he gives us the ability desire. And HE is the one we are really doing it all for!
He knows your heart.
He knows it all.
He knows these children.
He knows their background and he knows their needs. And furthermore, God is able to take them, continue to work on them, and maybe do it through you or maybe through other people or other ways. So it’s not all on your shoulders. Put it back on his, where it belongs.
That’s all of my rambling thoughts. I hope you ae encouraged. If you are, feel free to share and follow Yesterday’s Orphan for more.
Are they discovered, taught, built or attained? Finding myself, figuring out what makes me tick, discovering who I am . . . sound familiar? Is this really how our identity is forged? Or is our identity something we learn from our parents and others who teach us “where we come from”? Are you a “self-made man” (or woman)? Is your identity something you build for yourself? And once you have found, learned of or built your identity is that it? Or is it something that is fluid and changes over time. And is there something of your identity “out there” to attain?
Most people tend to have questions about their identity at some point in their life (or many points). Those who have been orphans may question their identities even more. As parents and caregivers what can we do to help them? As to the questions above, I think all of the above would be my answer. And each can form a part of the identity quest.
Let’s take them one at a time.
Kids can discover a lot about themselves and begin to have a sense of their own identity as separate from others as a baby when they acquire the ability to comprehend and understand object permanence. Ever play peek-a-boo with a baby? They are learning that even when they don’t see your face, you still exist and will return. As kids continue to learn and grow and develop their own sense of self – – what they like and don’t like, how they are different from others around them and have different needs and desires at times they are discovering some of their identity. We can help them clue in to their favorites and their special talents and strengths.
As we teach them about their heritage, culture and family values we are teaching identity as well. We can help our kids to connect with these aspects of their identity. We can help them to understand that while there are good points as well and negatives in their backgrounds, that there are many parts of the fabric of their identity that are woven together in a unique way. We can help them to learn about positive aspects and how even negatives can provide opportunities to rise above.
It is important to help our children to understand that their identities are not soley made up of things that are out of their control. They can build into their identities as well. Choices they make, big and small, build into their character and lead them into who they are becoming.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Helping our children to understand and embrace how God views them and their identity as children of God (and how to enter into his forever family) is the best way to help them in the identity quest. Identifying themself as a child of God, just as they may embrace their identity in their new adopted family, is both a present identity and a future attainment. It is ours now, and will be fully ours in the future.
What are your thoughts on the quest for identity and how we can help our children. I welcome your comments.
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 “essential emotions” 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 video and then follow up to see what you think.
“All my needs” . . . what does that cover?
ALL is the sum total, leaving nothing out. And “my needs” includes financial needs, daily food, shelter and clothing. I think it also includes the needs I have for relationships and belonging, purpose and value.
The Bible verse I have on our kitchen wall tells me that all my needs will be met (provided for) by God. Not my husband, my child, my friend, my pastor, my parents, my government or my local church.
Philippians 4:19 New International Version (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
I think it is important to understand that while God can use any or all of these people and these avenues to meet our needs as he chooses, that’s the key phrase, “as he chooses”.
I copied a quote from one of the older Bibles we have, the WOW Student Bible article “The Twelfth Man” on the tradition of Texas A & M University football (a good read, but I won’t go into that here). This led to the story of Melchizedek, Biblical Priest and fore-runner to Jesus, the perfect 3-in-1 LEADER – – Prophet! Priest! King! Each of these, the Twelfth Man, Melchizedek, and Jesus arrived in an uncommon way.
And here’s the quote:
“Help doesn’t always arrive in the proper uniform.”
Of the many ways that this quote may be applicable, it has reinforced something that has been driven into me in my life recently. God has allowed my expected sources – – people I have counted on to meet some of my needs – – to dry up! Leaving me flipping out like a fish out of water, I had to settle down, breathe and wait for God to show me what my next move needed to be. Talk about HARD!
But my God came through as he always does and showed me that leaning on him – – and him alone – – was the answer. And enough. Because he has the solutions to whatever I need. He has the solutions for you as well.
Another hard thing was recognizing that all my flipping and flopping like a dying fish was prolonging the agony and keeping me away from the solutions he had waiting. I needed to focus on him and be ready to take the next step when he showed it to me.
Help may look different than what you expect and if you aren’t careful you might just miss it – – or delay it – – while you keep trying to wring help from the dried up sources you are holding on to.
God can use anyone or anything for his purposes. He seems to delight in blessing his people through unexpected sources. (When’s the last time you saw water coming from a rock, or saw a burning bush that was never consumed by the fire?)
I implore you, open your eyes, your heart, your mind and prepare for God’s unexpected blessings in your life. Get ready for the next step. He is more than able to meet your every need.
Real life is often emotional and kid’s from hard places often have overwhelming emotions. As a parent, I want to help my children learn to use positive coping skills and give them helpful tools.
I have begun using some fantastic essential oils and other products that make a big difference in helping some of my family members with often overwhelming emotions, to manage and focus better.
Hit Reply (if you are reading this in e-mail) or Contact (if you are on the website) above or below to learn more about our toxin-free natural plant-based personal care products and dietary supplements and how they can help you and your family, too.