I had intended to write a post on bonding books today but just can't make myself. It has been a truly horrible week with children swearing, shouting, throwing, hitting, etc. You may know the kind of week. The kind where you wonder why you are doing this. The kind of week when you think you have rescued children from abuse only to be abused by those children. The kind of week when for 2¢ you would walk out the door and just drive until it was night and then sleep in the car. But... if you have chosen to take in therapeutic level children, or children who are deeply troubled, these days will happen, this is a part of what you are likely to get.
You need to know that.
You need to be ready for it.
What can you do? Take Ten.... here are my favorite ten.
1. Remember the limits of your influence.
2. B-r-e-a-t-h-e. Slowly and to a count of four.
In-2-3-4-, Out-2-3-4-. Over and Over.
3. Remove yourself from the anger inside you.
Take a break... give yourself a timeout.
4. Keep reminding yourself that their words are just that.... words.
Yes, they hurt. But they don't even necessarily have the meaning the imply.
5. Pick up the phone and call a friend.
6. If the children can be left with someone else for a bit... do so.. and take a walk. [or even a stomp!]
7. Keep telling yourself that their anger is more about their pain, than about your fault.
8. Congratulate yourself that even at your angriest you will NOT do to the children what others have done. You are still keeping them safe, even in your anger.
9. Repeat: This mood is temporary this will pass this mood is temporary this will pass. etc.
10. B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Deep cleansing breaths just like are needed in the midst of the pain of childbirth.
Sometimes one of them works, sometimes it takes all of them. Sometimes none of them work and I just have to wait it out. Sometimes I have to start over again at #1.
You are not alone.
What you are doing is good.
What you are doing is HARD.
You are not alone.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.