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Foster Family Matters

Foster Family Matters

Author: CK Family Services

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Don't worry, we are professionals. Ryan, Lori and Shawn talk about parenting children in these complex modern times. Topics will vary and through it all you'll be informed, restored, empowered and entertained.
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Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue, LPC. Our show is a production of CK Family Services and we are a foster care, adoption, and behavioral health non-profit organization serving children and families in North and Central Texas. What Are We Chatting About Today? Today’s episode is part 5 of our 5-part series, The Four Tenets of Health Relationships. Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four tenets that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive.  The four tenants we are discussing are; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our discussions. In this episode, we are looking at the important role that negotiation plays in the context of healthy relationships. Discussion Points Needs vs. Wants Get Good at Setting Boundaries Compromises Prioritize Teachable Moments Debating vs. Negotiating Keep it Playful Realize and Understand What You and Your Child are Bringing to the Negotiation Negotiation is a Skill to be Practiced and Improved Win, Win or No Deal Mindset More "YES" = Better Reception of "No" Create Hope In the context of a healthy relationship, negotiate from the perspective of trying to meet the other person's needs.  You have to remember that you value the other person and that you want them to get what they want/need.  So negotiate with a win, win mindset where all parties seek to leave with Hope. Be mindful of your own identity and esteem.  Your voice needs and deserves to be heard.   Connect With Our Hosts The Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org The Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters Subscribe If you found value in today’s episode, remember to subscribe to the show (so you’ll be notified when we post new content) and share the link with your friends to spread the love. Thank you for listening!
Interdependence: Part 4 of the Four Tenets of Healthy Relationships Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue, LPC. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. What Are We Chatting About Today? Today’s episode is part 4 of our 5-part series, The Four Tenets of Health Relationships.   There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our discussions. In this episode, we are looking at the important role that interdependence plays in the context of healthy relationships. A Little Background Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the importance of interdependence in the context of healthy relationships. In This Episode What interdependence means Losing your identity as a parent Making relationships a priority Quality vs quantity relationships Relationships need two people Raising an independent member of society Interdependent does not mean independence. Interdependence is the notion that you must be dependent on someone in order to gain a sense of independence. In order to get to a certain level of independence, we will have to rely on others and allow others to help us. It’s common to take on whatever we spend most of our time doing. We aren’t just a spouse, a parent or our job. Part of your identity is made up of different things. Not one of those things is the totality of your identity. What is your identity? You must honor who you are to be present for others. Do you feel comfortable doing things by yourself? Do you end one intimate relationship and jump to the next one without taking time for reflection and self-care? Do you need someone else to make you feel worthy? If so, it may be time to evaluate your independence. Interdependence is the healthy version of independence. We were made to take care of each other and be in relationship with others. There’s a line between independence and isolation. We weren’t created for isolation. Connect With Our Hosts The Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org The Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters Subscribe If you found value in today’s episode, remember to subscribe to the show (so you’ll be notified when we post new content) and share the link with your friends to spread the love. Thank you for listening!
Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. What Are We Chatting About Today? Today we have a special guest with us. Her name is Lauren Hudgeons. She is a foster and adoptive parent as well as an attorney. Lauren works with kids in the state’s conservatorship. She will be answering various questions that many foster parents have.   Lauren has a passion for supporting other parents going through this. 90 percent of what she does is represent children. On the other side, she has been a foster to adoptive mom twice. She has a wide perspective that encompasses both sides of the process. All Things Social Media We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out! If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with likeminded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships. In This Episode Guardian ad litem vs attorney ad litem The legal system moves at its own pace Permanency hearings Primary and secondary goals How Lori got into law and fostering Investing and committing to a child Requirements for termination and best interest of the child What intervention is PMC and what it is Contacting an adoption attorney and when to do so Cost of a CPS adoption   With adoption, you will have various individuals involved in the process, including an agency worker, attorney ad litem, etc. Many people don’t know who shows up when. During this episode, we will cover the different people who will be involved in the process of adoption and when to expect to interact with them. For example, you can expect to see Casa typically each month. The legal process can be somewhere between intimidating and frustrating. That can stem from a lack of understanding of how things happen. Expectations of how things should happen can cause frustration. Part of the reason the process takes so long is the statutory guidelines. During the process, there are primary and secondary goals. These can change at any point in the process depending on the circumstances. Another topic of conversation is intervention. An intervention is where the foster parent hires an attorney and becomes a legal party to the suit. When adopting, it’s important to remember no two cases are the same. There are so many components and moving pieces as well as people. It’s important to solidify realistic expectations. You can’t compare and contrast your situation to anyone else because that can be really unhealthy. The game is the same, but the players are different. Each team is different. Each case is different. Learn more about the process of adoption, things to be aware of, how Lauren helps clients and so much more during this episode of Foster Family Matters. Final Thoughts If you are available to adopt in November, contact Lauren! Connect FFM Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  FFM Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters FFM YouTube Playlist:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-oi9c-AikwduSh2O6dYeTzgC3LbpibTh FFM Facebook Playlist:  https://www.facebook.com/CKFamServices/playlist/366303627602461   Lauren Hudgeons Website:  www.hudgeonslawfirm.net Subscribe! If you liked this episode remember to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know when we upload new content.  Also, we appreciate your positive feedback in the form of reviews and comments.  Finally, if you have the option, remember to tap the “heart”, “thumbs up”, and share icons on your listening platform to help them understand you like what we are doing.   Thanks for listening!
Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. What Are We Chatting About Today? Today’s episode is a continuation of one we started last time talking about relationships. Specifically, we will be looking at indicators of healthy relationships. What truly makes a healthy relationship? There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our four-part series. All Things Social Media We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out!   If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with likeminded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships. A Little Background Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the ability to receive nurture and care. In This Episode Receiving nurture and care Taking care of someone vs doing something for someone Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps How receiving care looks Not taking how someone receives care personally The practice of accepting nurture and care   What does it really mean to receive nurture and care? That is what we are talking about today. It can be hard to allow someone else to step in. It can take a conscious effort to allow others to really take care of you. There are many reasons for this. Most are centered around belief systems, coping mechanisms and the way we are accustomed to receiving care.   It’s easy to fall into being an independent person and rejecting the help of others. To be in a healthy relationship, it requires give and take. That means you have to be willing to take and willing to receive love and care.   Smart people ask for help. Healthy people ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Even though this goes against a lot of popular belief. Vulnerability is important to healthy relationships, it’s not a sign of weakness or something to afraid of.   We are continuously growing in relationship with people. For foster parents, the moment the children come home we just want the relationship to be where we think it should be. Yet that’s not always the case. For most foster children, taking care of themselves has been part of their survival mode. They’ve learned survival skills and it’s going to be hard to let those go. It’s going to take time to develop that ability to receive care.   We tend to want to receive care in a way that feels familiar to us. Kids may only know care as neglect or abuse. They are waiting for the fists, red faces, yelling, screaming, etc. It’s not care; but that’s the only care that some kids have ever known.   Sometimes kids won’t take care the way we expect and then we take it personally. Giving care is just as important as receiving care. We must receive care so others can give care.   Learn more about receiving care in a healthy way, being patient as we grow in our ability to receive care and this important component of having healthy relationships in this episode of Foster Family Matters. Final Thoughts If you ask for help, it means you aren’t pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, which creates cultural tension for us because that’s what we are supposed to do and be. Vulnerability has wrongly become categorized as weakness. Whereas, really, it’s a sign of strength. Connect Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters Subscribe! If you liked this episode remember to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know when we upload new content.  Also, we appreciate your positive feedback in the form of reviews and comments.  Finally, if you have the option, remember to tap the “heart”, “thumbs up”, and share icons on your listening platform to help them understand you like what we are doing.
Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. What Are We Chatting About Today? Today’s episode is a continuation of one we started last time talking about relationships. Specifically, we will be looking at indicators of healthy relationships. What truly makes a healthy relationship? There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during this series. All Things Social Media We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out! If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find a community with like-minded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships. You can find a video recording of this discussion on YouTube or Facebook!  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so you will get a friendly reminder when we upload new content. A Little Background Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the ability to give nurture and care. In This Episode The ability to give nurture and care What is compassion Empathy vs sympathy Putting the work in to empathize Expressions of love and care Context matters Coaching giving care The footprints to empathy Driving positive changes   We are wanting to broaden your perspective of what it means to be nurtured. There is a level of subjectivity to that word. How we define that world will relate to how we show care and nurture to others. All of us feel nurtured in different ways.   A relationship requires at least two people. We can initially appear to be super compassionate. If all you have is sympathy, you’ll never get there. What you really need is empathy. Sympathy is just a starting point while empathy is a required component of compassion.   Compassionate parenting is so much more than feeling sorry. It’s a growth process to get there. You don’t just wake up in healthy relationships, because healthy relationships take work. Most people don’t empathize easily. It has to be practiced regularly to be able to step outside ourselves and into someone else’s shoes. When there is self-centeredness, there is no way to truly embody empathy.   We tend to go back to the way we were taught to love and care. Love and care can look differently for different people. It’s important to understand how you like to help vs what help is actually needed. Sometimes you have to coach people on how to care for someone else. For example, you can have your kids put band-aids on each other.   It’s also important to be aware of your reason for giving nurture and care. Help is always welcome. It’s great to help in any compacity. Yet, sometimes we help more for ourselves rather than for those who need help. This is just something to be aware of.   Sometimes it’s easy to assume we are great caregivers, even if maybe we aren’t. Find people you are doing life with to speak truth to you. They can provide insight into how you provide nurture and care.   Adults have to drive change in our homes. Parents drive positive change. Kids can learn things or they can catch things. It’s taught or it’s caught. What do you want your kids being taught?   Side note, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up on giving-care if the person you trying to give care to is not good at receiving care. We will be talking about that in our next episode. Next time we will be talking all about receiving care and how to best receive care. Final Thoughts If you think about these things, it makes perfect sense. If someone matters to you, you should want what’s best for them. If these things aren’t evident in your relationships, it’s a good opportunity to reflect and figure out why that is. Don’t be disillusioned by the simplicity of these concepts. Reflecting on these can be very helpful. Connect Facebook Group:  Foster Family Matters Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  Subscribe! Don’t forget to subscribe, like, thumbs up, heart us. We love the "Hearts", especially in the name of love.
Welcome to Foster Family Matters Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. We believe that our show is perfect for parents of children and the people in their support networks (friends, family, co-workers, etc . . . ). What Are We Chatting About Today? Today we are starting a multi-part series on healthy relationships. To start things off, we’ll be chatting about what the different components to a healthy relationship are. This episode’s discussion will be an intro into these specific areas or aspects. You’ll get a preview of what to expect in upcoming episodes. All Things Social Media We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out! If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with like-minded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships. You can find a video recording of this discussion on YouTube or Facebook!  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so you will get a friendly reminder when we upload new content. A Little Background Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are providing a foundation and introduction to those four concepts. We’ll touch on each one in this episode and then further unpack them in upcoming episodes. In This Episode What healthy relationships “look like” Why bad relationships form Living in isolation Wired for connection Unhealthy relationships passed on Importance of empathy in relationships Breaking the cycle Serve and return We were made to seek and form relationships. God says it’s not good for man to be alone. We are to be in relationship, not isolation. Furthermore, we as adults are the ones who can heal and teach others, especially children, how to be in relationship. If we as adults don’t know how to live in healthy relationships with each other it’s going to be very hard to live in healthy relationships with children. It will also be hard to teach those children how to live in healthy relationships themselves. God is a God of relationships and the greatest therapy in the world is love. Love is fostered through relationships. When we live in isolation we don’t grow, mature or thrive. For us to do life well, we need to be with people who love and support us, and we need to do the same. Some people have bad relationships or claim to be bad at relationships. There is a reason for that. It is learned. The good news is you can learn how to have good relationships and how to be good at relationships. The first step is empathy. Empathy allows you to care. This is very important in having healthy relationships. The thing is we are wired for connection. We were born to live in reciprocating relationships with other people. You can get back to a place of a healthy relationship. Just because you have relationships doesn’t mean they are healthy. Negative connection is still a connection. An unhealthy relationship can be passed on. It can be cyclical. That means it’s time to break the cycle. We must also have empathy for those that weren’t loved well. Many don’t know how to love well because they were not loved well. All of this resonates in self-awareness. Relationships happen at the intersection of two people’s histories. Each party brings all their baggage. At baggage claim is where we have the potential for problems. In a relationship that baggage is combined and sometimes this is where problems occur. If we can work on our issues as individuals it equips us to help the kids. It also allows us to model for children what needs to be done. During this episode, we also talk about the ability to negotiate your wants and needs, the impact of being a people-pleaser and the importance of being interdependent. Final Thoughts For us, this research we will be diving more into in the following episodes solidifies personal relationships. It’s about being the agent of change. You oversee the trajectory of your relationships. Yes, it is 50/50 but you can own your own part. This is about getting to the core of who you are. A lot of times we try to fix relationships by fixing someone else, yet we don’t have any control over the other person. We encourage you to come to this conversation with the mindset that this is about you, not someone else. Make the changes you need to make and then you can share this information with others so maybe they will do the same. Resources Mentioned Anatomy of the Soul Connect Facebook Group: Foster Family Matters Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org Subscribe! Don’t forget to subscribe, like, thumbs up, heart us. We love hearts, especially in the name of love.  :)
In episode 14, Shawn, Lori, and Ryan discuss tips for parenting success during the transition from summer routine to the school year. If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori. The transition back to school can be a source of mixed feelings for both parents and children. Some kids may be making a transition from homeschooling into a private/public school. Others may be coming back from an amazing summer holiday and are forced to face the reality of going back to school. The drastic change of events can be accompanied by strong feelings of emptiness and anxiety. Parents have a major role to play to help their school-going children to manage the transition back to school. Tips for Parents to Help Children Transition Back to School Develop a bedtime routine Start to bring the child up to a consistent routine before school begins. Allowing the child to go to bed early every night for two weeks until they get to a typical school routine will ease them into school-life with minimal stress and disruption. Perform Test Runs to the school with the Child Make a few trips to the school where the child will be reporting in a few weeks to achieve a sense of familiarity. A predictable run will help bring the child up to the challenge of making a transition back to school. The child will eventually work up to his/her typical school routine before making the transition. Parents can also make appointments with the school administration and other related professionals to have the child meet them in person before school begins. Approach and Develop a Relationship with Teachers Parents should also cultivate a positive relationship with teachers. Treat the teachers kindly and with respect because they will also reciprocate in a similar manner. Teaching is a challenging profession as it is, and no teacher would appreciate a cruel and rude parent. A positive and fulfilling parent-teacher relationship will work in favor of the child’s welfare in school. Help Children Get Organized Have all necessities for your child ready prior to his/her first school day. It will minimize confusion and chaos on the first day of school. Cultivate a Relationship with your Child A parent-child relationship is critical because only then will the parent understand the child’s needs. Children need to feel supported regardless of how minute their fears may seem. They need to know that their parents are close and available during this often challenging transition. Parents can set aside quality time to spend with children. Breakfast, dinner, and bedtime are among the activities that can be used to listen to their needs. Advocate and Support your Child’s Needs School-going children have various physical, social and academic needs that can only be explained fully by their parents. Therefore, parents should advocate for their children’s needs by meeting with relevant parties, including counselors, therapists, and school nurses. They should ensure that their children’s needs are accommodated for a smooth transition. Some children have special needs that will need to be addressed as soon as they transition back to school. Parents should ensure that they are met and satisfied to facilitate learning. Only then will the transition be successful. Failure to do will create an unhealthy transition that may become traumatic for the child. Parents have to understand that children have no capacity to learn when they are unsettled.  Stay Involved Parents need to continue being involved. They should know their children’s schedule. They should also take advantage of any help that the school offers. Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions. If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so that you don't miss an episode. God bless!
Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 6 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show. If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori. The focus of this chapter is the "Me-We Connection: Integrating Self and Other".  The team covers the “me-we” connections in parent-child relationships. Relationships are the foundation of human need, beginning as found in the Bible when God recognizes that Adam should not be alone. This can also be seen when a baby smiles at an adult and the adult naturally smiles. Emotional responses and engagement learned as children contribute to the development of skills children need for healthy relationships as adults. Fun-filled discussions around the purpose and pronunciation of mirror neurons, or “Looking Glass” neurons create a lively beginning to the podcast. As explained, mirror neurons are the neurons people have the enable the reflection of other people's emotions, such as smiling when another person smiles.  Chapter 6 provides us with two more strategies; #11:  Increase the Family Fun Factor: Making a Point to Enjoy Each Other, and #12:  Connect Through Conflict: Teach Kids to Argue with a "We" in Mind. Engaging in play is largely discussed in parenting classes and therapy; however, the team really brings this discussion into the real world with stories of their own personal experiences. Play provides an opportunity to include children in daily chores and activities by promoting shared experiences. Further, engaging children through dancing, funny sounds, and even storytelling contributes to communicative channels. Shared experiences, such as cleaning up or heading to bed can increase understanding of how tasks that are generally a source of argument in the family can be developed into bonding opportunities. Some examples found in the podcast include racing to bed, contests for evening cleaning, and cooperative interactions.  Lori introduces the concepts from the book regarding the philosophy of enjoyment having a larger place in the family interactions than that of conflict experienced. Conflict is an aspect that parents can work towards reducing negative responses from children or in communication with the child. Engagement can be developed in a way that reduces the amount of conflict to increase the positive in the interactions. This returns to the "me versus we" relationship development, which is necessary for healthy relationship building skills. Although conflict is unavoidable in life, conflict management and resolution development require learning experiences during childhood. The team discusses how children are expected to achieve conflict management skills and other adult understanding when they have barely learned to tie their shoes. As described in the podcast, children must see how conflict is resolved to be able to repeat these behaviors themselves. Mindfulness is considering how the past influences the future, such as experiences as children or relationships with parents and other adults. “Making sense” of the narrative of your life, as indicated by Lori, creates situations that we “pass on emotional life” to our children, whether good or bad. Further, repressing childhood or working towards doing the opposite of your parents, can create situations that are unaware to us as parents, and prevents us from making sense of the past and managing our understanding of those incidents. This episode concludes our summer-long discussion of The Whole-Brain Child.  We hope you found it informative and entertaining.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions. If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4 If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so that you don't miss an episode.  In our next episode, we will discuss the process of transitioning from summer to the school year.  God bless!
Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show. If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori. Chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child talks about our feelings – what they are and how can we distinguish between how we’re feeling as compared to who we really are. This chapter, like most of the book, can be applied not only to children but also to adults. Successful people are always incredibly self-aware, so understanding ourselves and integrating our feelings and our minds is crucial for transferring that same behavior to our children – we can’t expect them to behave in a certain way if we don’t do the same. That’s why it’s important to learn how to distinguish between feeling like a failure and actually thinking you’re a failure. When we think we’re a failure this becomes our reality, so we stop trying harder, and this completely changes who we are. So, the idea behind Strategy 8 (Let the Clouds of Emotion Roll: Teaching That Feelings Come and Go) is to understand that we all have feelings but there is a difference between what we feel and what the reality is like. No matter how terrible we might feel at the moment, these feelings will eventually pass. Then, we go on to talk about the ways to deal with anxiety in children. It’s very common for parents to deny and dismiss children when they express their fears or anxieties. A great example of this is when children are afraid at night – parents usually just say “there’s nothing to be afraid of, go to sleep, you’re safe.” We’re almost all guilty of dismissing our children when we feel that they’re being “childish”, but the relationship we form with them by doing so is rarely the relationship we want to have with them. When they’re afraid, children seek out those who are supposed to protect them and care for them, so when we deny their feelings and dismiss them, we don’t help them overcome their issues. Even worse, when they grow up and enter adolescence, their lives get more complicated, and although we, then, desperately want to know what’s happening with them, we’ll see that we have already taught our children not to come to us with their problems. In fact, most of us have been raised with the phrase “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about,” but this and other such phrases have now been labeled as emotional abuse of children – parents want the child to stop bothering them and suppress his/her feelings, but the child is injured. So, when we say that sentence, what we really mean is “if you don’t deny your emotions, I will hurt you.” So, ultimately, if we want our children to be compassionate and empathetic, we need to be mindful in order to know how to connect with them and facilitate them in that process. Strategy 9 (SIFT: Paying Attention to What's Going On Inside) is all about helping our children to soft through the variety of sensations, images, feelings and thoughts that are affecting their state of being.  What we need to do is to teach children what feelings they are experiencing. It’s extremely useful to teach them how to name their feelings and be able to tell when they’re feeling angry, sad, or even when they’re experiencing mixed feelings. In this way, we give them the vocabulary they need to actually process and understand their feelings. In addition, it’s important to understand that we (and our children) are not only made of feelings but also of thoughts, sensations, and images. So, knowing all this can help us in times when we feel overwhelmed or when we freeze, because it can guide us in understanding and evaluating what we’re feeling at the moment. This is closely related to the idea of replacing scary images related to certain experiences in the minds of children with positive images. This brings us to the last strategy, Strategy 10 Exercise Mindsight:  Getting Back to the Hub, which refers to talking children through their feelings rather than letting their feelings dominate. We might sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about thoughts and feelings with our children in such a detail, but that’s likely the case between we do not understand ourselves and our minds very well yet, so, then, we need to work not only on the child but also on ourselves. Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 6 of The Whole-Brain Child and will also be the last episode in our series discussing the book.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions. If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4 If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  God bless!
Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 4 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show. If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori. The book describes two types of memory: explicit and implicit.  The differences and significance of these two types of memories can be hard to grasp.  The book describes implicit memories as those you don't actively recall.  Implicit memories are your past experiences that influence your behavior in the present without any realization that your memory has even been triggered.  The example provided in the book is that when you "remember" how to change the diaper on a child, you don't actively remember the steps.  Your brain triggers the memories from your past experiences that influence the actions you take in the present to accomplish the task.  Explicit memories are those you thoughtfully access, for example, if you were to pause while changing the diaper and recall the first time you learned to change a diaper.  Those thoughtfully recallable memories are explicit.   We typically mean explicit memory, when we discuss memories.  They are the memories we draw from when trying to pass a test, remember a work colleague's name or when we are searching for our keys.  But it is important that we understand the role that implicit memories play in influencing our present-day actions.  Once we grasp the concepts ourselves, we can transfer them to our understanding of our children's present behaviors and use them to inform our parenting strategies. To accomplish this, we need a few strategies to help us learn to integrate the implicit and the explicit.  Integration of these two types of memories can be like assembling a puzzle.  We (and our children) often wonder why we behave a certain way today; maybe we suffer from poor dietary choices or staying up too late.  When we connect with the implicit and turn them into explicit memories, we can name them and tame them. The first strategy of Chapter 4 (the 6th strategy of the book) is Use the Remote of the Mind: Replaying Memories.  Many of our children become familiar with the way remote controls allow us to rewind, pause, play and fast-forward TV shows, movies, and music.  We can use the symbol of remote control and our children's familiarity with its function to help them rewind and find implicit memories. The second strategy of Chapter 4 (the 7th of the book) is Remember to Remember:  Making Recollection a Part of Your Family's Daily Life.  The ability to recall memories is like many of our functions, the more you use it (or practice remembering) the better you will become at it.  By creating a culture within your family of recollecting memories from the past, you set the stage for empowering yourself and your children to become better rememberers and thereby pave the way for deeper and more insightful self-awareness. Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions. If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4 If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org  God bless!
Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. (https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4)  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via Amazon.com.  Doing so will help support the show. If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan and Lori. In this episode, we continue with chapter 3 and we talk about the concept of the upstairs-downstairs brain. The authors of The Whole-Brain Child describe the brain not only as divided horizontally but also vertically, like a house. In that sense, the downstairs part is the fundamental part and it controls basic functions such as breathing, reacting to danger, experiencing strong emotions and so on. The upstairs brain is the more complex part where processes like thinking, planning, and imagining happen. This is the part of the brain that allows critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making processes to take place. So, for example, it is much more difficult to make a good connection between the downstairs and upstairs brain for children who have experienced trauma – it is much more difficult to smoothly climb the stairs. The trauma produces obstacles which make the process of climbing slower and more laborious or, practically speaking, make it harder for the child to properly respond to real life situation due to the trauma. This also shows that approaching a crying child being only guided by the left-brain-right-brain division may not be enough because sometimes, the child is unable to calm because of the trauma. So, in such cases, an upstairs-downstairs approach is necessary to understand and calm the tantrum because it might be coming from the downstairs brain which is not always rational. Among some great illustrations of the brain’s functioning in this episode is the example of asking a person to use the browser to find a nice place for dinner while there is no internet connection. This is very similar to parents demanding something from a child when the child is unable to properly respond due to the fact that his or her brain is not developed yet. In other words, the physical structure is there but it is not connected yet, it is not “online”. The rest of the chapter – and of our discussion – focuses on how to approach that developing upstairs part of the child’s brain, how to help the child navigate, and how to protect it in that new unknown territory. There are 3 strategies proposed by the authors of the book. The first one is Engage, Don’t Enrage. That means engaging with the child, showing them that you are there for them both emotionally and physically, comforting them, and showing them that you can climb those stairs together. As parents, we often deal with our own upstairs-downstairs issues and forget that our children are not adults. What we need to do, instead, is to put our personal problems away and help the children get into the rational part of their own experience. The second strategy is Use It Or Lose It and it urges parents to teach children everything they can from tying their shoes to showing empathy; in other words, it appeals to parents’ responsibility to make children use their brains. If they do not motivate the child to exercise his or her brain and if they do not teach new things, the child will be late to learn so many things that he or she could have learned sooner; on top of that, they will learn them from someone else. The final strategy is Move It Or Lose It and it is based on the idea that movement helps the body relax and, consequently, changes our emotional state. Whether that may be going for a walk around the block or just going for a run, moving the body helps us calm and establish better self-regulation. In addition, movement increases the connection between the left and right brain. So, when in conflict, instead of continuing to yell at each other, we should go out and take a walk until we calm down and then continue the conversation. Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 4 of The Whole-Brain Child.  We look forward to engaging with you over the course of the summer. If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4 If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 
Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 2 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.   This Summer we are going to dive into a discussion of the book, The Whole-Brain Child:  12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. (https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4)  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via Amazon.com.  Doing so will help support the show.   If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan and Lori.   One of the things we like about this book is that the strategies are practical and well stated.  The combination of Dan and Tina is a one-two punch of intellect and relatability that provides contextual visual examples and explanations that are easy to understand and readily applicable to modern day parenting.   In this episode, we start by discussing the introduction through chapter 2.  We focus on the importance of understanding that our children’s brains are a work in progress and that by the choices we make as parents we guide the development of their brains and the way our children view and function in their environment.  For anyone who has concerns that the way things are now is the way they will be forever, this book will spark hope that you can change your stars through purposeful and intentional parenting strategies.   One of our favorite illustrations from this first part of the book is the depiction of chaos, calm, and rigidity as a river.  Too frequently parents view chaos and calm as the ends of the spectrum, but we learn in the book that the calm place is in the middle of the stream halfway between the opposing shores of chaos and rigidity.   Our brains have natural hemispheres.  In this first part of our discussion, we talk about the left brain and the right brain.  Our left brains can be equated with our logical thought processes and our right brains can be equated with emotional thought processes.  Each hemisphere provides an important aspect of our humanity.  The left brain is the letter of the law and the right brain is the spirit of the law.  The left-brain provides content and the right brain provides context.  As parents, we can take steps to help our children more readily integrate their left-brain, right-brain connectivity and engagement.  The two halves of our brain must work together for us to make sense of the world.   The first strategy presented in the book is Connect and Redirect: Surfing Emotional Waves.  The strategy involves encouraging left/right integration by first connecting with your child right-brain to right-brain.  Make an emotional connection.  Join your child and validate their feelings.  Express empathy and listen to their words and reflect with them.  The second part of the strategy is to redirect.  This is not the same sort of redirection many of us deploy when correcting behavior that is basically a distraction.  This redirection is purposeful and intentional focusing the child’s logical thoughts toward the desired outcome.  For this strategy to work, we must first connect right-brain to right-brain and then we can leverage the left brain through redirection.   The second strategy for the promotion of left/right integration is Name It to Tame It: Telling Stories to Calm Big Emotions.  If you really want to be set free from your trauma and from the big emotions that seem to control your behavior, you must come to terms with it.  Parents must help our children tell their story to help them name it and tame it.  “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32.   We are so glad that you have listened to this episode and we invite you to subscribe to our show via the subscription feature on your favorite podcast tool.  We are trying to increase our audience and so we ask you to help us by sharing, liking, staring, and leaving positive reviews (if you have positive thoughts on our show).   Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 3 of The Whole-Brain Child.  We look forward to engaging with you over the course of the summer.   If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4 If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 
A well-managed transition can make or break your day.  It can be the difference maker, for the difference maker (a.k.a. YOU).  Whether you are preparing for a macro-level transition like school year to summer break, graduation to life after school, or something as world-changing as becoming a foster or adoptive parent . . . the ability to recognize, anticipate, plan for and then roll with the actual experience of transition is essential for you and your family's well being. In this episode Ryan, Lori, and Shawn pick up where they left off with part 1 "Summer is Coming, Managing Transitions".  You don't have to skip over there now.  It is perfectly fine to listen to these out of order.  But we do encourage you to make time for both. We are excited to announce that our next several show discussions after this one will be a study of the 12 strategies presented by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson in their book, The Whole-Brain Child.  We encourage every parent to own this book and incorporate these strategies into your own parenting toolbox.  If you don't already own a copy, we encourage you to use the link below to make the purchase from Amazon.  Amazon will give us a percentage of the purchase which will go to help support our show. We encourage you to read along with us over the course of the summer.  We will tackle the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 2 in our next episode.  If you are part of a small group or supportive community, you might even consider taking the summer to process these strategies together, using our discussions as a sort of study guide or conversation starter. Here is the link:  https://amzn.to/2W9Vxka  Also, we have started a Facebook Group for listeners of the show to connect with one another and engage with our hosts.  You can join the group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ This will be a great place to engage in our discussions and we would love to hear your ideas and suggestions for upcoming episodes and topics.
While many have been focused on the arrival of Winter in recent months, I assure you . . . Summer is Coming.  One of the best methods parents can use for improving their own experiences is to plan ahead and help their children manage transitions.  As the school year comes to end, opportunities to manage transitions abound.  Ryan, Lori, and Shawn discuss the importance of helping our children prepare for transitions in this episode.
Happy Mother's Day?

Happy Mother's Day?

2019-05-0930:47

May 12, 2019, we celebrate Mother’s Day, which became a national holiday in the United States in May 1914.  Anna Jarvis is credited with founding Mother’s Day several years earlier in 1908 as a day to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Today, celebrations vary by family and culture, but most include children honoring their mother by giving her gifts and setting aside time to spend with her.  The holiday can be challenging for those who have experienced the loss of their mother and for mothers who have lost children. Commercialization of the holiday inflates expectations and enhances feelings of stress, grief, and loss. Parents (mothers and fathers) of children who have experienced loss of one or more mothers may find their children’s behavior changes during the holiday season.  These children may not be enthusiastic to honor the sacrifices of their current mother (be that a step-mother, an adoptive mother, a foster mother, or other) and may act out against their current mother with hurtful words or actions. We are not all the same.  In fact, we are each very much unique and the experiences that have led each of us (from newborn babies to the most seasoned of us all) to this upcoming Mother’s Day will greatly impact how we celebrate it and how we experience it. This episode is for parents among us who are parenting children who have experienced the loss of one or more mothers and those who need a reminder of why mothers are such a blessing.  In this episode, Ryan and Lori share from their personal and professional experiences, parenting and supporting children who have suffered the loss of their mothers. Arguably, some mothers have behaved in ways which leave us scratching our heads and wondering why our children would want to honor or even remember them, but we must step outside of our experiences and walk in the shoes of our children. There are as many ways to mitigate the flood of emotions during this time both for the children, their mothers, and their fathers.  One of the ways is discussed in this episode and it involves gaining awareness and setting appropriate expectations for the season.  Another idea is to set aside separate days to honor the sacrifices made by each mother in a child’s life.  In the end, we should all lean into honoring the mothers in our lives 365 days a year. We decided to publish this bonus episode because we believe in mothers.  We know that mothering can be thankless.  But this Mother’s Day we say thank you.  Thank you for choosing to be a mother.  You are loved and we are right here walking alongside you. You can read more about the founding and history of Mother’s Day in America here:  https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day.
September 12, 1962, President John Kennedy spoke the following words, “But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?” His response sets the stage for this episode of our podcast, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone . . .”. The opportunity and ability to parent children is a blessing. Parenting, at its core, serves to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. Parenting is a challenge and we choose to parent not because it is easy, but because it is hard. We accept this truth. We honor those who choose to accept this challenge. Birthing children is easy for some and impossible for others. This episode is not about that. This episode is about honesty and courage in the context of parenting children, regardless of the circumstances that led to the child-parent relationship. Today, perhaps more so than in any other American generation, opportunities to parent are abundant. One can marry into parenting or adopt children or youth. Those who are able can birth children and parent them. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and family friends increasingly find themselves choosing to parent children to whom they did not give birth (for a variety of circumstances). The path to parenthood is nearly inconsequential when you find yourself in the thick of parenting. The act of parenting is difficult and to parent well will certainly call you to empty yourself time and again. We do not parent because it is easy. “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt We live in a culture that tends to over-value perfection and ease. We scroll through seemingly endless posts from our family, friends, and friends of friends bragging about perfect spouses and romanticized depictions of parenthood and family life. We judge even while we envy, to our own demise, and endorse our complicity by perpetuating an aggrandized alternative reality. The casualty in this game is our sense of well-being because we come to believe our own propaganda and in so doing have lost faith in ourselves. It makes sense. We come to mistrust those who lie and betray, even more so when we are lying to ourselves. The cure is to realign our perception of polarity on this issue. Parenting is hard and messy. It is supposed to be, and we choose to parent because it is hard. We must embrace honesty and because nothing in this world is worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty, we must express the effort, pain, and difficulty we experience in this honorable endeavor. We must honor one another’s struggle and enforce a vision of real-reality. Let’s flip the script and honor those who lead difficult lives and lead them well. Name the struggle to tame it. It is okay to say, “I’m not okay”. Teach your children to be honest with themselves by being honest with yourself. Fend off the feeling of shame by bringing light into the dark places where you stow away your circumstances. When the hard threatens to steal your resolve deal with it, as it bubbles up, confident that there is beauty on the other side of the storm. Take time, when and where you can, to feed your soul and refresh your passion to see this hard thing through. But don’t linger in that place for longer than you need. If your legs and feet start to fall asleep . . . unlock the bathroom door and rejoin your family. You are precious to them.
We were made for relationship. We were meant to live in relationship with other people. Nothing lives in isolation. At some point, you are going to need help. If you don’t have people around you who are equipped to help and love you, you are going to have a crisis. You need people who are willing to help you when you are on the wrong path. As individuals, we all need other people who we are “doing life” with and families need other families they are “doing life” with as well. Parents sometimes start by looking to family members or close friends for support when struggling as a parent and for many, this turns out to be a good choice. For others, family and friends may shy away during times of crisis which leaves a sense of isolation, desperation or shame. It is not uncommon for your existing relationships (family and friends) to decry your plans to care for other people’s children. It is a natural defense mechanism. It can be their way of protecting themselves or you from the hurt or risk of hurt that Fear plants in their hearts. Foster parents consistently report confusion or dismay when they approach the support systems they used before becoming foster parents to seek parenting advice and end up being told to “just give them back” or “that kid needs a good spanking”. While the advice givers are often well-intentioned and are genuinely concerned for the foster parent’s wellbeing, they lack understanding. These encounters can have a piling-on effect and unintentionally worsen the experience. Many parents (foster and others) have found that the remedy is to purposefully and proactively inform or build and nurture their support network into a community of like-minded souls. Ryan tells a story from his and his wife’s personal experience. He and his wife were once part of a group of friends that they had grown to love. After deciding to foster and adopt children from foster care, they discovered that while they had changed the group had not and it was no longer a supportive environment for their needs. So, they built a new group. A group of like-minded folks who they could support and who in-turn could support them. We all bear the responsibility to educate those in our circles. It may very well be that you have no need to abandon ship and leave your current relationships. But it is almost certain that whether you choose to stay in your current community or seek a new one, you will have to play a part in bringing them up to speed. CK Family Services requires our foster parents to obtain and read several books including, “The Whole-Brain Child”, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson) and “The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family”, by Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine. Many parents find that providing these books to their parents, friends, siblings, and others can help to make them more informed and effective as support. The other side of the support network and community coin is the need to pour into others in a supportive way. Being part of a community is a two-way street. Exchange numbers frequently, make calls when needed, and answer calls every opportunity that you get. That is how a community is built. Ask other families to take trips and outings with your family. Ask other families over for dinner or game night. Take all the kids to the park and spend adult time while the children play. Purposefully and intentionally build your community. It is not all about "take". You must be excited about giving. We all have a story (or more) to tell and while we frequently down-play the significance of our own experiences; time and again our experience has been that the simplest of thoughts, words or stories turn out to be the difference maker in the life of someone else. Once you build your community. Share into it. Every human that has ever taken a breath has experienced the need to sit in a safe place and receive support. If that is where you are today, receive all of the support you need and take the time you need to recover function. There is no shame in needing or seeking support. For many the act of asking for help takes courage. Be courageous. If you are a foster or adoptive family with CK Family Services, there are several ways you can connect to existing support communities. We moderate Facebook Group, that is only available for families who are currently or have previously been licensed by CK Family Services (Covenant Kids). Contact our office and ask to join the group. Reach out to your foster care case manager. Don’t just stiffen your upper lip and trudge through it hoping it will all get better. Your case manager will connect you with the community, if you ask. Many Churches provide a source of support and nurture for hurting families. Tapestry is a community of support for thousands of foster and adoptive parents. While it is no longer affiliated with a Church it still thrives to offer hope and healing for families in need. The most important bits we can leave you with are don’t wait until you are struggling. Build your ark before the rain starts falling. “While you are trying to keep your head above water is not the time to learn how to bake a cake.” – Ryan North. Look for ways to be support for others who need it. Find a sense of family and relationship. A sense of devotion to one another. Resources:The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Brysonhttps://smile.amazon.com/dp/0553386697/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_5-nUCbSQHZN5P The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family, by Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshinehttps://smile.amazon.com/dp/0071475001/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_kboUCbY6PVQNM
Karyn Purvis described self-regulation as “the body's ability to calm itself, by itself”. The discussion in this episode centers around three stages of regulation; outside-regulation, co-regulation and self-regulation.  Each of these three stages stair-step upon one another such that until one has experienced competent outside-regulation, co and self-regulation are unattainable. Frequently, our road block, as parents, is our predetermined expectations based on a child’s chronological age.  We all have expectations for a child’s behavior based on their chronological age.  But if the child did not have proper stair-steps from outside-regulation to co-regulation to self-regulation, they are not able to perform to your expectations.  It is not that they won’t.  It is that they can’t.  They may need you to regulate for them or regulate with them to get them to the point they need to be. If we ourselves, as parents cannot self-regulate, we are heading for chaos in our homes.  When your child is struggling, don’t join them in the chaos, invite them to your calm.  Regulation is contagious; both the good and the bad.  If I’m self-regulated I can be present to help my child get to a state of self-regulation.  If I am dysregulated, I’m going to share that with my child and heighten their own state of dysregulation. What if I’m a parent that doesn’t do a great job with self-regulation?  Daniel J. Siegel is doing great work with mindfulness. Being mindful simply means paying attention. Be purposeful in your decision to improve your capacity to self-regulate.  Take a self-inventory and determine what tools you have, what has and has not worked and then seek out additional tools.  Be mindful of your breathing, listen to music, meditate, talk yourself through the situation and “off the ledge”.  If you have a parenting partner (a spouse for example) create a safe-word during a period of calm that you or they can use to indicate your need to self-regulate during a period of crisis. Take time to surround yourself with a community of support.  People you can trust and invite to speak truth into your life.  It isn’t always easy to hear someone suggest items you might need to work on, but if you are failing yourself in this, it is better to have someone else do it for you then to go on failing. This isn’t just about the kids.  It is about us, as parents.  Give yourself permission to learn how to self-regulate and make a commitment to try.  When you fail don’t give up.  Self-regulation is a practice that you will continuously work to improve throughout your life. Progression through the stages of regulation to self-regulation is the evidence that “it” is working.  That you are connecting in a meaningful way with your children in relationship and that they are healing. It means you/they can operate in an environment without assistance, which is one of the primary goals we all have as parents, for our children. When you look at mis-behavior as dysregulation instead of maladaptation and you provide outside-regulation or co-regulation for your child you can help them gain the ability to self-regulate and empower them to have the critical brain-body integration required for healthy independence. “Just breath.” – Lori Fangue   Resources: Ryan's Spotify 80 Beats Per Minute (BPM) Playlist:  https://open.spotify.com/user/ryanandkayla/playlist/3OCYL3HxqkrsQtI2rdeRfa?si=tllT0-6zRl6xyfBX63CN0Q  Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential-and Endangered by Amazon.com Learn more: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/0061656798/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_-hTPCbKF8K4N4 Books by Daniel J. Siegel: https://smile.amazon.com/Daniel-J-Siegel/e/B00459LSPI?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1554436722&sr=8-1
What is Trauma?

What is Trauma?

2019-04-0423:54

Trauma has become something of a buzz word lately.  If you are a parent, or supporter of parents, of children with special needs, you've likely heard "trauma informed", "trauma aware" or some other variant used to describe programs, techniques, and clinical practice until you are just "trauma tired".  None the less, we can't very well discuss parenting without going there.  In this episode Ryan, Lori and Shawn attempt to set a common foundation for what we mean when we talk about trauma.  We think of this episode as a sort of foundation that we will build upon over time.
We've all seen that look in our children's eyes (or perhaps our spouse's or our own). We are confident; we know they are safe.  They may even say they know they are safe as well.  But they are frozen with fear, running away from the circumstances or posturing for a fight and we, as parents, are forced by their actions to pause our plans and parent in that moment.  For children and many adults, it is simply not sufficient to "know" we are safe.  Our children must "feel" they are safe.  Ryan, Lori and Shawn discuss the differences and why felt safety is so important for our kids and ourselves on this parenting journey.
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