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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Unconditional....

I was talking with a friend today about the training seminar I went to last week. My brain has been locked tight with loads of information floating around in there looking for the proper filing folder to jump into. Once it is all filed away, I can open the drawers to get share what I have learned, or what has been confirmed in my heart. I think it is finally starting to happen. :)

I went to Colorado the last weekend of June to the Beyond Consequences Logic and Control Advanced Training Seminar, with Heather Forbes and Eric Guy. I am now a Certified BCLC trainer. :) Yea.

I wanted to say how very much I enjoyed the training, meeting new people and having a few things confirmed in my heart.

When I was there, the words that were swirling around were "unconditional love". You can't go wrong with love. etc. That is so very true. But what I have found, is that many parents so very much LOVE their children, but still have a very difficult time parenting them.

As I was talking with my ever so wise friend today, she said something very profound.
Unconditional love yes, but also what is needed is "unconditional focus".

That is such a valuable statement. That unconditional focus and commitment to see our children through to success is what it takes to be a successful parent!

When our children need us, we do need to focus our attention on them. That whole thing came out in the seminar. For years people have been saying, "if your child is trying to get attention, ignore them, or focus on the one who is behaving well."

In BCLC, they say, if a child is acting out for attention, they NEED attention, and by giving them what they NEED, the acting out will stop.

I have found with our own girls, that focusing on their needs and responding with love has made all the difference in the world for them.

I was reading a cyber-friend's blog yesterday, and she was modeling exactly what I am writing about here. If your child needs you, your focus should be on them. It is hard sometimes, as we have to put ourselves and our desires aside. We may want to be doing something different, but our job is to bring our children to a place of love and acceptance and set them on a firm foundation. We cannot do that if we do not provide for their very basic needs of attention, acceptance and love.

I was thinking back about how much we had to Focus on Anna when she first came. Our days were filled with focused love towards her, teaching her, keeping her world very small, and guiding her into a new life. If we had not concentrated and focused on her needs, I'm not sure where we would be today. The same went for Sarah and Erika. Each child's needs were the same ; the need to be loved and accepted. But the way to get there was different, as no one person is the same, but quite individual.
That is how God made it to be. He doesn't send instruction manuals bound to the foot of each baby born into this world, but He did give us general instructions to follow in His word. He wants us to be dependent upon Him in prayer and seek out wisdom and understanding.

I think my good friend had it right. Unconditional Focus, is very important. You cannot do a 1/2 job when it comes to children, especially children with special needs.

As my mental filing cabinet gets settled and organized, I'll post more about the conference.

BTW- I stayed at the Denver Sheratan West and it was a REALLY nice hotel.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Great thoughts, CM! I agree that Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control is a parenting approach rooted in unconditional love. What an impossible task without God! Living out unconditional love also mandates being "people-focused" vs. "task-oriented", I think.

Being a task-oriented person (vs. people-focused) makes loving any person unconditionally a greater challenge...given the tendency to focus on processes, principles, and end results, rather than on people, personalities, and feelings. It may also explain why my mom, who retired from teaching, said teachers become better teachers after they have their own children. The expression that people don't care what you know until they know that you care relates to both teaching and parenting, IMO.

Adoptive parents who didn't "sign up" for a special needs child often struggle to come to terms with dreams dashed and hope lost...perhaps no differently than those who birth a child with great needs.

I have to wonder if AP's who counted the cost and chose a special needs adoption, begin from a place of unconditional love, focusing on the positives, and celebrating every achievement as a victory. Regardless of the make-up of a family, a glass-is-half-full perspective has to create a happier family with healthier dynamics! (As "they" say..."You get what you get, and you don't pitch a fit" either way, right?!)

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