Photo courtesy of Martin Wessely / Unsplash.com
To those struggling and trying to find their way… Do not despair. Our girls are 15 and almost 17. Our 14th anniversary is next week. Big girl came with much trauma which still re-activates from time to time. Little sis has FASD and just finished her 9th grade year. I think next year she will be in a more sheltered special education class. Less mainstreamed.
They are fully attached in spite of trauma and FASD. They are moral people with good character. They are unique and interesting.
Really some of my favorite people to be with.
About 8 years ago I discovered Heather Forbes work after having absorbed much Bryan Post second hand. I was so glad to find a way to get consistent results on behavior. I was glad to come to understand “backsliding”–Not as the collapse of all my hard work, but rather a heads up that kid(s) were out of regulation. I, as a product of contemporary culture, totally bought into the sticker charts, the consequences, the power struggle. I was not happy. I did not like older girl much, and because I adored the little one, I also felt lots if guilt! I was tense and quick to anger. I wept in church because I did not want “trespass and trespass against us” to be about me and big girl every single Sunday.
Once I learned to always “error on relationship,” I got to be the mom I always imagined I’d be. I can use humor in most situations. Now that have my kids have connected, they respect me, so they usually accept my guidance. Last year with big girl was a challenge, but at the core was the sad truth I’d drifted from my principals. I’d bought into popular parenting culture. However, we got back on track and are rock solid these days.
Dare yourself to be different! Dare to step off the not so merry merry-go-round! Dare to see you already have the power and authority! Parent from a place of love, and, here is the hard one, give up the parenting from a place if fear! Fear will not get you where you want to be! As a parent, family, society…We have to give up the obsession with fear. Do I have fears? You bet… More today than usual since both girls are facing difficult health issues just in the diagnostic phases. But fear will only paralyze me and love is strong enough to be there with us even as the fear seems too big.
I was sure our kids were too extreme, too difficult. They were not. They are full of love and grace, wit and concerns. We can, and do, talk pretty openly about almost everything. I have worries, and I’m always working on strategies for both girls’ future…very different concerns and plans. I wouldn’t change a thing. Because without the suffering before I learned to parent for relationship, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I’m a flawed work in progress for sure, BUT It’s A Wonderful Life which I enjoy every moment of. I could wish no less for any if you.
Find your own path. Give up on things that aren’t working. Trust love.
Do you have a story of hope to share?