Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sometimes I need my own advice

In January of last year I wrote a post on shame. In it I said:

I have worried that by addressing shame and doing a quick "redo" or a "fix" that my kids will blow off the severity of ALL they do, and won't heal and won't change their behavior. I very clearly remember the day I took a deep breath, and thought, "These people who are advising this aren't just pulling it out of their butts. They have healed it. They have walked with families. Some of them have been unattached and/or traumatized themselves. They have seen it with their own eyes, and they know it works, which is why they keep telling more and more people to do it. They're not gluttons for punishment."

I had to trust their experience and try it, or say, "Screw it. My kids are somehow magically different."

I took a step of faith. It felt horrible. Many days it felt like it wasn't enough. The behaviors actually lessened, but that felt like I wasn't coming down on them hard enough - like I needed to see their misery. Some days it is SO HARD. It is SO BACKWARD. It's not like there aren't consequences, but I WOULD FEEL BETTER IF THEY WERE BIG, FAT CONSEQUENCES BECAUSE SOME DAYS THEIR STUFF IS SO CONSTANT IT IS OUTNUMBERING OXYGEN MOLECULES!

Today I was talking with someone on FaceBook about this article and said something I thought was brilliant. We were discussing the importance of agreeing with our kids when they are mad, even if they are saying we are giant turd heads. Now, I'm hoping I'll actually remember it for myself on a consistent basis:

"Success is not getting them to admit underlying feelings. Success is us learning to actually stop and hear how they are feeling and how they are experiencing the world. The expression of feelings will come along as attachment grows. But they have to feel heard over and over and over and over again before they feel safe enough to start stating those truths with regularity."

I'm now bookmarking this post for future reminders. In case you ever thought I blog for any of you ... um ... no.


Kerrie said...

I am a TOTAL turd head. Working on this.

dcorey said...

Wow. I needed this post and the original today. We just got our first assignment, if you will, from our attachment therapist last night. Yep, no more shame and fewer choices (our kid is not at an emotional/developmental place yet where she can make choices).

The no shame part is really hard for me; I am also a shamer, apparently. I have been doubting what our therapist said all day, and really wondering what things will look like if we completely parent without shame. How will we get her to cooperate, behave, do what we want? BUT we've been trying it anyway and our kiddo made it to school today without a total meltdown for the first time in weeks. Guess I'll just have to trust it, go for it, and retrain myself.


jillianlauren said...

Bookmarking this one, too. Exactly what I needed after a cheerful day of getting tossed out of pre-school (again), this time for good, By people who sat us down and stressed the necessity of consequences and used the word "regular" a lot. As in,"We can't have him threatening the safety of the regular kids." Thanks for this and for being your beautiful self.

Trauma Mama said...

Wow, I needed this post. My 7-year-old keeps expressing his feelings like we have taught, but I keep trying to change them and he is getting frustrated. I need to STOP and just let him FEEL!

And yes, you do blog for me and I love it!

Integrity Singer said...

i hear ya - blogging is for me. it's so helpful to go back and read what I've written and learn from myself.