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Listen. Just sit quietly as your with your child. Perhaps your child is throwing quite a temper tantrum. Just listen. Try to hear what is really going on. Don’t react and just be in the same space with them while they are having an emotion and see what happens. When we truly open our ears we hear much more than what is being said and we may have more insight as we listen.
Added by Ken Thom on December 31, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments
Play-in the snow, at home, a game! The number one way kids communicate is through play. Everyone feels less stressed when they are playing. Maybe it’s doing a puzzle or playing a board game. Maybe it’s setting up a video game tournament with everyone in the house…parents included! Perhaps you love playing outside…go sledding or skiing or snow boarding.
Added by Ken Thom on December 27, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Try to be in the moment with your child and our family. Do you wake up thinking of all the things you have to get accomplished-"I have to get this laundry done, I need to clean this room, I have to vacuum, I need to clean the bathrooms"…this list goes on and on. This moment will only be here right now. Be flexible in your expectations of yourself, your loved ones, and your home. It really is more important to spend time with your children and be present with them than for them to have the…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on December 24, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments
Spend extra cuddle or hug time together. Are you the type of person who likes hugs or shies away from hugs? Most kids loved to be hugged…even if they are teenagers! All kids need to know that they are loved and hugging is one of the best ways to do this. Hugging your loved one can send them a message of love and acceptance, of security and safety.
Added by Ken Thom on December 20, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Create a special ritual that’s just something you do in your own family. Maybe you go for a walk every evening or read a special book to each other. Maybe you have a secret handshake or sing a special song. Ask your kids what they want to do. Maybe you call a new family member each day of the week. Perhaps you talk about your dreams or wishes each night before you go to sleep. Rituals give kids structure and structure helps kids feel safe. Once kids feel safe, negative behaviors decrease and…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on December 17, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Be of service and teach your child to be a servant. Give to others. This season is about giving to others. One of the best strategies to do this is to teach children how to give to others. Color a picture, make a craft project, donate used toys, or volunteer. Many people are in need of something and sometimes knowing that others are in need helps us put perspective in our own lives.
Added by Ken Thom on December 13, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Laughter is great medicine. I have never once had an experience where I got finished laughing and thought, "I’m so bummed I just did that. I never want to laugh again." That just seems silly, doesn’t it? So often, as parents, we are caught up in controlling things and trying to manage behavior, we forget to laugh. Rent a funny movie. Play a funny game. Tell each other funny stories. Tell a good joke. This will help you and your children laugh. Do whatever it takes for you to laugh!
Added by Ken Thom on December 10, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Cook together and eat as a family. Let the children have some control over the menu and making the table look festival. It’s true, food really can bring people together. Let his holiday season be a time of bringing your family together. Yes, the dinner table may be chaotic. Yes, kids will refuse to eat. Yes, you will want them to eat and may be frustrated. Focus on the togetherness and not on the eating. Focus on listening to the rhythm of your own house. Ask your child what happened in…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on December 6, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Ask for help, talk with other parents. Maybe you have some things you need to get done this season…like shopping or cleaning. Call a friend and take turns watching each other’s kids so you can both get done what you need to get completed. You will feel good getting your stuff done as well as helping your friend out. Your children will be excited to have a play date at someone else’s house.
Added by Ken Thom on December 3, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I recently talked with a mother who was very distressed about her adult daughter. Her daughter’s drug addition had gotten worse. So had the consequences for her daughter. As we talked, it was apparent that the mother was experiencing secondary trauma as a result of her daughter’s behavior. She came to me because of my experience with addictions and because I’m a Christian counselor. As we talked, she disclosed that her support system kept telling her what to do. They kept giving her…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 29, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I received an e-mail from a foster mother who was very distressed. I could feel her desperation and urgency. Amber and her husband John have two foster children, ages three months (Sally) and three years (Rod). Rod will soon be leaving to go back to his biological mother. Amber and John have plans to adopt the three month old, Sally. Without knowing any history of either one of the parents, think about the triggers for fear. Here’s just a few. Grief of Rod leaving. Fear of how his biological…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 26, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Be sure to take time, be mindful, and enjoy your family this week end. Give thanks and praise in and for all situations.
Added by Ken Thom on November 22, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I recently spent a few days visiting my "adoptive kids" Trey and Chenoa. Trey is a "love miracle", crack cocaine baby. Trey was adopted at birth. When he came home he was greeted by Ella. Ella was a very large, cuddly dog. Trey’s mother, sister, and Ella loved him into health. Ella became a big part of Trey’s emotional safety and regulation. Ella tragically died three years later. This was devastating for the entire family. They are still grieving this loss. While I was there, Trey started…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 19, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
This may seem like a very odd or unusual question. If the answer is no or you doubt this about yourself, it will be a challenge along your parenting journey. November is Nation Adoption Awareness Month. My work focuses on helping families have successful adoptions. The definition of a successful adoption is probably as varied as the number of families with adopted chidlren. An essential ingredient for a successful adoption is how parents feel about themselves. In the DVD - Trauma, Brain…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 15, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. With it comes the mention of the negative aspects of adoption. The story about the parents who returned their adopted children to Russia has re-surfaced. Unfortunately, there are failed adoptions. Most any parent whose child has challenging behaviors has reached the end of their rope. This can also happen with parents whose children may not have these challenging behaviors. Where does a parent find hope? The only true and consistent source of…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 12, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
This real life adoption story comes from a foster mother. I’ll call her Tina and her 3 year old foster child I’ll call Sam. Tina is new at utilizing the Post Stress Model in her foster home. Sam has been with them for approximately six months. He’s made fairly good progress and at one time Tina and her husband were considering adoption. That did not materialize because the biological mother has stepped up to the plate and there are plans for re-infatuation in the next month or so. Sam had…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 8, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
November is Adoption Awareness Month. This provides me with an opportunity to write about real life adoption situations. I’ll call this adopted 6 year old girl Abby. Her adoptive mother, Gretta, is very much on board with the Post Stress Model. Abby is struggling in school. There are several situations in school that are overwhelming to her sensory and neurological system. Abby is very bright and does not have any external scars. She internalizes her stress reactions. This has made it…Continue
Added by Ken Thom on November 5, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments
All behaviors arise from a state of stress. In between the behavior and the stress is the presence of a primary emotion. It is through the expression, processing, and the understanding of that emotion that we can calm the stress and diminish the behavior. Bryan Post - Great Behavior Breakdown.
Added by Ken Thom on October 29, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Many times crying becomes intolerable to parents. This probably due to them not being allowed to cry or if raised by the Dr. Spock philosophy allowed to cry without being consoled. Crying is a communication that a child has reached a pint far outside his window of tolerance. It’s an indication of being swept away by a swift current and having nothing to hold onto. Change your paradigm from crying being weak to crying being a call for help from a very scared child.
Added by Ken Thom on October 25, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Anger is usually the most focused on feeling. This tells us that we are fearful in nature. We are scanning our environment for anger because it is threatening and causes threatening behaviors. If we look for anger we are going to find it. Change your paradigm to look for fear in your children. See fear and you will see love and comfort as the answer.
Added by Ken Thom on October 22, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments