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I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

WHEN WE THINK WE ARE RIGHT.......


A long time ago, when Miss Anna was around 6, I took her shopping with me.  She loved going to the store, and had become especially fond of bringing her own purse.  Daddy had made her an ID which said, "Mama's Helper" on it; and he had been giving her those fake credit cards that you get in the mail and usually throw away.

This particular trip, we had gone into Hobby Lobby to look for scrap booking stickers.  She found some she really liked and asked if she could purchase them herself.  Of course I said yes. She was getting allowance, and she was very excited about being a "big girl" making her first big girl purchase!

When it was her turn to place her items on the counter and pay for them, she smiled at me so proudly.... then the cashier told her that it would be $2.14.  She seriously looked at the cashier and said, "I'll be putting this on my charge today"; then she confidently pulled out one of those FAKE credit cards!
I could barely contain my laughter... but the cashier and I made eye contact and she packaged up her stickers and finished her transaction, which I then paid for.

When we got home, I had to explain to my sweetie that even though she thought she was VERY RIGHT, and she was even PROUD of her efforts to be a big girl, she was actually very wrongly informed..... Her credit cards were not REAL..... and she couldn't REALLY use them.  I explained to her that I didn't have the heart to tell her at that moment because she was being such a brave girl to buy her first stickers. 
But I had to set her straight on the issue, and she then payed me back for the stickers.

Our daughter was CONFIDENT in her thinking that her credit cards were real. 
But she was WRONG!

How many of us, in the process of adopting our children and trying to educate ourselves in how best to parent them, get WRONG information, then THINK we are VERY RIGHT in how we are parenting our children, only to find ourselves at the check out line with nobody to back us up.  We wind up in a very bad place, and our children are HURT because of WRONG information!

We READ a LOT of books and attended MANY classes before bringing our children home.  Some of those books we put in the REJECT.... and SOME we put in the ACCEPTABLE pile. 
Some we had to read more than once to get a good idea of what they were talking about.... and then still felt there was not enough good in the book to keep.
These books are from REPUTABLE "specialists and counselors" in the area of adoption!

Not every counselor gives good information and many times, I have found their information to be DEAD WRONG.
Worse, is when a parent does not educate themselves at all but BELIEVES they understand what SCRIPTURE has to say on a subject BASED upon FALSE TEACHING.

Yes, they go straight for the Proverbs STRIKING verses, think they have the interpretation down and then add to that a few books written by people who are on the extremely legalistic side of parenting and try it out on their newly adopted kids. 
The RESULT?  STAGNATION.  Sometimes even MORE TRAUMA than before, but most likely..... A BROKEN NON EXISTENT relationship that is based upon FEAR upon FEAR.  And it is HEARTBREAKING TO SEE.

PLEASE DON'T spank, yell at, or consequence your children into the ground!  There is a BETTER WAY to parent them.  And it WORKS! 
It does NOT lead them AWAY from the Lord... and they learn SELF DISCIPLINE!

DISCIPLE YOUR CHILDREN.... Come along side them and TEACH them.  Give them positive instruction, lead them by example!
Not every behavior a child comes home with is a SIN! 
Orphanage behaviors that are ACROSS THE BOARD COMMON are SURVIVAL SKILLS learned from NECESSITY.
These behaviors could include, tantrums, hoarding food, collecting all sorts of things, hiding food, lying, wetting, disorganized behaviors, lack of hygiene, extreme defensiveness, (fear of being rejected)  over emphasis on protecting oneself, lack of eye contact, trust, easily angered, easily distracted, bad food habits, wearing dirty clothes, hiding dirty laundry, or clean laundry, demanding things, begging for things in the store,  chewing with mouth open, not wiping hands, arguing, not understanding that their needs will be cared for, lack of trust...... and MORE!

Just as the person running from the bear that wants to eat him, reaches the safe cabin and locks the door......the adopted child's heart does not cease beating out of his chest.... he doesn't cease being AFRAID and NOT TRUSTING once he is in the safety of a new home!

TRUST TAKES TIME and RELATIONSHIP requires that we STUDY to KNOW OUR CHILDREN.
Don't assume that your children are just being naughty....
Behaviors that are common to children from extreme situations are common for a reason!

DON'T BUY INTO THE LIE that some groups give on EXTREME CONTROL.... HARSH TREATMENT... WITHHOLDING OF FOOD,  EXTREME EXERCISE or HOLDING POSITIONS...
There is no tender, gentle love in this.... and PLEASE DO NOT SPANK HIT YOUR CHILDREN!
It can cause irreparable damage to their spirit.  And in some cases, DEATH.

There is a famous PSYCHOLOGIST out there that says you "Break the Will" not the Spirit....
I disagree.....
I remember reading his book when our boys were little.... and All I could think of was.... "If I do what this book suggests, one of our boys would wind up dead."   He was our tender hearted boy, disguised in  tantrums and stubbornness.  I am SO GLAD THAT I THREW THAT BOOK OUT!

I WANT TO PARENT MY CHILDREN TO SUCCEED! NOT JUST SIT AROUND CATCHING EVERY THING THEY DO WRONG AND PUNISHING THEM FOR IT!

It is MUCH better to study them, find out what makes them tick and then  gently GUIDE the will to be in compliance.... Don't FURTHER BREAK down your child!  Breaking the WILL, CRUSHES THE SPIRIT!
Instead, remove your preconceived ideas about your child and LOVE THEM.

We can guide our children to better behavior choices by modeling the behaviors we want them to have.
We can sit down with them and encourage them... exort them, correct them, guide them all in tenderness and gentleness.
Sometimes they do not respond right away.... but I GUARANTEE they are listening!
And slowly but surely, they WILL follow!  And they will follow in LOVE and ADMIRATION!

Our Heavenly Father guides us ever so gently and patiently.  We can learn SO MUCH from the Word of God about raising our little ones.  

We can show our children the GOSPEL by LIVING it out for them, in front of them and in every area of our lives.
SHOW YOUR CHILDREN UNCONDITIONAL, PATIENT, KIND, LOVE!
And you will be leading them to the Savior.  The one who can REALLY change  and heal their hearts.



5 comments:

Aus said...

Great couple updates - and I love seeing the sisters together - born of the heart for sure!!

Turning to this post - I have little to add except to commend your "correctness"! A quick story - our middle adopted daughter will "wither" (emotionally AND phsically - she actually seems to "shrink" and get smaller) at simply the word "no". Not a "harsh" no - at simply the word...but only from her parents. Her teachers / friends parents / and observation with her sibilngs - it's not an issue - but from Mom or Dad - wow. However, if we look at her and speak with a "Mei mei - I'd rather you not do that" - we get nothing but compliance. Adopted at 18 months of age I don't know that she suffered personally (she could neither crawl or roll over when we got her) from mis-treatment - but she certainly observed others getting it - and as a result carries maybe even a "preverbal" memory that translates into this behavior even 5 years later.

As bad as it was? No - but it is still there.

And that ain't covered in any of the books or classes you attend - but it is learned by the parents observing and really "getting to know" what makes our adopted kids tick!

hugs - aus and co.

TheCoffeys said...

I loved what you said about studying our kids! I have found this to be so true. We too have a child that is so sensitive and it comes out as arguing, the inability to admit wrongdoing of any kind. Truthfully, I have not got this one figured out but I just keep praying for wisdom and doing the last thing the Lord told me to do:)

fiveandthree said...

Christie, as usual, you are right on. Though it's a really simply 4th grade book, I find the book Pictures of Hollis Woods a very good portrait of what our adopted children need. It's worth the read.

Nothing about the first year home is easy, but persistent, patient love pays dividends in spades.

Blessings, kc

Dawn said...

Amen. Thank-you for wording this so beautifully! There IS redemption for the broken.

Erin Kaine said...

That is so true! You can read your child like a book if you let them speak their mind and pay attention. Every child is different and will need a different approach to problem solving.

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