Friday, December 18, 2015

Please Don't Correct Me Correcting My Kids...A Post From A Fellow Blogger

I am sharing the following post with permission from the author. 

You can find her blog here.

Please Don't Correct me Correcting my Kids

I am normally very open to criticism.  As I flounder through this world of parenting I need all the help I can get.  I am constantly seeking the advice of those who have done this thing right, as well as those who haven't but wish they had.  If I'm seriously doing something to mess up my kids, I'd like to be the first to know about it so I can change it before it's too late.

However, when it comes to my Haitian children, unless you have walked in my shoes or have professional experience I more than likely will withhold asking your opinion on how to handle them.  This is in no way intended to be rude, but you simply don't understand and you will make the wrong call almost every time because you will want to parent them as you would a child who hasn't endured the trauma and issues with attachment they have.   Despite how long you have been a parent, I more than likely know more about what is best in any given situation regarding them than you do. Soo....

Unless you have put hours and hours into studying the affects of trauma on the infant and childhood brain, I don't want to hear it.

Unless you have endured daily meltdowns from my children and sweated, talked, hugged and worked through it with them for hours, I don't want to hear it.

Unless you have already tried the traditional parenting strategies over and over to see them fail and worsen the issues, I don't want to hear it.

4 simple things you DON'T understand about my children:

1.  His need to manipulate and control is insatiable.  And you will not see him doing it...I do.
      So when you see me correcting how slow he is in getting into the car, or putting his shoes on, please don't ask me to be patient with him.  Everything must be on his time so as to show HE is in control, not others.  Allow me to correct him in a way that shows I love him, I am in control and he  is truly better off that way.

2.  He wants YOU to be his mother.
      When my child wants a play date at your house, I will more than likely decline.  My son wants desperately to be a part of your family (whoever you are...) so as not to have to do the hard work of trusting his own family to love and care for him.  This sounds crazy to you, but it is so very true...please trust me.  There are some people who are a threat to our bonding as a family and some who aren't.  Time spent with certain people will throw him into a tizzy that takes a great deal of time, love, and patience to work through to bring him back to a place where he wants me to be his mom again.  Please trust me to decide what is best regarding with who and how he spends his time..

3.  He doesn't trust adults.  Any of them.  Ever.  Not you, not me.
        My children truly think they know more than you or I do about everything.  So when his soccer coach tells him how to play his position, he won't do it.  He truly believes he knows more than the coach and what is best so he is in CONTROL.  As a young child, adults around him rarely had his best interest at heart.  He has learned to rely on himself as they proved unreliable at almost every turn.  He is slowly learning what he never learned as a young child;  God intended for adults to protect, love and nurture him.  He now lives in a world where adults being in control is what is best for him because they are reliable and he can depend on them.

4.  Issues with food are real, difficult, and irrational.
     When you see me correcting what you may perceive as the nit pickiest little thing about how and what they eat, it's because I have a wealth of information you are not privy to.  You haven't seen the true fear in their eyes when they find out a meal might be delayed or when others are helping themselves to pizza and quantities are diminishing. You haven't seen the obsession with food that, without intervention, would quickly take over their lives in a truly dysfunctional way.  My children have suffered true hunger in a way your children never have.  Food will incite their survival instinct faster than anything else.  I am using food to teach them to trust.

Lest you think I write this post in vain, let me share one of many experiences with you.  People, strangers even, feel the need to correct my parenting of these two on a regular basis and feel the need to intervene in ways they never would have regarding my biological children.  For example, After my 10 year old son deliberately and harshly splashed a toddler in the face at a public pool, I gave him a stern talking to and had him sit out of the pool in the shade for awhile.  He later pointed out a lady who came to him while he was sitting down and asked him if I was his mother, if he was alright, and if he needed help.  This lady has no idea that she played right into his manipulative, controlling, little hand.  His hand of wanting to manipulate any given situation where he is in control, appearing as a victim of undue parental aggression in his life, and bonding with strangers instead of his family.  She had NO idea the damage she incurred that I spent the next however long undoing.

I've stopped trying to explain to people.  I'm tired of being brushed off as an over-thinking, over-analytical, over-protective, irrational mother who is blowing things out of proportion. When I say I need to be the one to fix his plate at potluck, I do.  When I say he can't ride in your car with you to the store, he can't.  When I say he needs to sit by me instead of you or your child, he does.  I'm not being over-anything, I am simply trying to help our family survive and teach my children how to love and be loved.  I'm simply trying to avoid a meltdown that you won't be there to deal with the next day.

 I could explain to you the reasoning behind all of this dysfunction and I welcome the invitation to educate however I can.  There are thousands of families dealing with adopted children, children from foster care, or children who have endured a great deal of trauma in their little lives who would love for you to understand and support them better.  However, that is another blog.  I simply want to put this out there so those who don't deal with kids like mine on a regular basis can understand better how to support and help families who do.

We have progressed immensely together over the last 3 years, our family.  All of us have grown in our capacity for compassion, understanding, and unconditional love.  I'm so proud of all of my children and my husband who have worked so hard to understand, tolerate, and learn to love each other.  I am grateful to those around us who do understand, who have been a pillar when I have needed it.  I am grateful for those who don't understand but have taken the time to listen, put their hurt feelings aside and trust that I know what's best.  And I'm thankful for the lady at the pool, who gave me an opportunity to educate a little bit about this crazed world that we who have taken on this adventure live in every day. 

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