Thursday, August 17, 2017

Shovels Of Dirt - Filling In The Hole Made By Poor Choices

PANS and NeuroLyme can cause some pretty negative behaviors. When you add in trauma plus other things that have a detrimental affect on the brain, it is easy to see how a child can form some fairly intense responses that quickly become habits.

Thanks to the new combo of antibiotics and supplements we are using to treat her Lyme disease, Kiana has been doing better these past few weeks. She is now at the place where she is tired of the behaviors she has picked up, but they are so entrenched they are her first response to any situation. As her parents we are learning that it works best to give her a redo or coach her through better ways to respond when she lashes out. Prior to this she was unable to process anything we told her once she flipped out on us, so we are rejoicing at this new progress.

All along Dean has been telling her that she is digging a hole with her negative choices, "Someday you are going to have to dig yourself out," he warned, "And it is going to be very hard because you have dug a deep hole." She was in no frame of mind to care, much less work on making good choices. Nevertheless, we reminded her of this from time to time.

Last night we had the same discussion, although from a different angle, she wanted to fill in the hole she has dug but wasn't sure how to go about it. I told her that every time she makes the decision to tell the truth, not lash out in anger or to obey promptly she is putting another shovel of dirt into the hole. "You are going to have to stop and think before you act," I said, "For so long you have been throwing out one shovel full after the next because you were to upset to care about the choices you made. Now you are going to have to be very intentional about filling up that hole."

She was quiet for a moment then said, "If I make a bad choice does that mean I will have to start all over again?" I explained that each bad choice is like throwing another shovel full of dirt out, but each good choice means she put another shovel of dirt back in the hole. "Someday, the hole will be full and then it will be easier to make good choices without having to stop and think.

Sometimes I wonder if God looks down and smiles when I have this type of discussion with the children. So often the things my children and I struggle with parallel each other, sometimes in incredibly sobering ways! As I talk with the children God impresses upon my heart that I must do the same hard work I am asking of my children. Sobering indeed! Other times, I may be wrestling with an issue or trying to make sense of something and as I am talking with a child, the answer becomes crystal clear. It is so much easier to talk the talk than to actually walk the walk!

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