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Adoption Family Musings My Kids Parenting tips

When Your Child Hurts You – Parenting Tip #45

My first son and I have something very in common. We write our best articles when we feel passionate about something, especially if that something hits us in our emotions. Yep. We’re emotional beings and occasionally another being will hit our emotional nerve and cause us to sort things out until we feel we sufficiently understand them or can at least put it behind us.

(If you’d like to see his writings about refugees and his newest adventure in Uganda working with communities go to AndrewFrania.com. You will be blessed.)

So, if you’ve gotten this far and plan to continue reading, I’ll get specific and to the point.

Yesterday I spent time with and/or talked to 9 of my 15 children. I know! That’s pretty cool in itself. I could have even reached 10 but one of them hasn’t texted me back yet.

Let’s break it down and then I’ll address my topic.

(1) One of my adult kids just spent 2 days attacking me via text. Blindsided me actually. Out of the blue. I still have no idea why. It just happened. One minute I was holding my new grandson for the first time while out of town visiting him and his family and the next I was looking down at a text that totally obliterated my “new grammie feeling.”

For just a moment. A millisecond actually. I chose to compartmentalize that moment and willed myself to take myself back to that moment of bliss, blocking the cruel punch to my grammie bubble.

It’s something I’m learning and am getting pretty good at. Most of the time. For the most part. OK, sometimes I’m able to do it.

After our “grammie meeting new baby” trip was over, I questioned the texter as to the why of the attack and it just spiraled to an all out “beat up mom for no reason” texting extravaganza. I decided it was going nowhere, so I asked my DH to handle it for me. He’s such a good doobie. I seldom ask him to step in, but I was getting nowhere and just wanted it to stop. It was ruining my day and just adding to the mound of stress I already had been battling.

It continued into the next day – one text after another. This time it was at work and I needed to focus on my job, not this ranting from the abyss. I warned that it must stop and gave my ultimatum: be kind and respectful or I would block any communication using that handy, “block caller” check box. I’ve never done it before. But sometimes “ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.”

Are you like me? Do you check your texts in between your busy moments to see what’s going on in your little world and then get a sick, heart turning upside down, kinda feeling when you read something negative? What if you kept getting negative, mean or spiteful messages every time you looked at your phone for two days straight?

How long do you let it go on? Do you thrive on derision? I don’t.

I am happy to help someone in trouble, lift someone up that’s down. I thrive on meeting needs and encouraging others. But sometimes you just can’t help. Sometimes people are just hell-bent on destroying others because they themselves are unhappy. I don’t get it, but it does happen. That is the case here. I came to realize that whenever something negative or hurtful or disappointing happens to this individual, they immediately text and dump on me. Most of the time I can take it. Most of the time I can talk them through it and find out what happened and help them navigate their way through it.

But this time it was different. I was their emotional punching bag. Right. Mom always loves you. You can do whatever you want to her and she will always love you. Well, yes, this is true. BUT…

This time it was different because no reasoning worked. No questions were answered as to why the attack. There was no foundation for the spewed hatred being typed into words via text. The rant just kept coming. All day. All night. The next morning. So I blocked said attacker. I warned. It continued. I blocked. But that’s not the end of the story. It yet has to play out.

 

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Now let me tell you what happened after that moment when the attack stopped (on my end, probably not on their end). But I couldn’t hear it because I checked that little box, “block caller.” Sometimes you just have to remove yourself from the path of destruction for your own safety.

But it gets better. At least it did for me. I mentioned I talked to 8 more of my kids that day. I suppose I am more blessed than others because when one hurts me, I still have 14 others that I can look to. And good percentage of those 14 are kind and loving toward me, consistently.

So here is the break down of the other 8.

(2) One called me from Uganda, East Africa in the middle of his busy work day to encourage me when he found out I was having a hard day.

(3) Another joked with me and shared her children – hugs from grandkids cannot be adequately described. A (4, 5) couple of others texted and messaged me – always upbeat and respectful no matter what is going on in their lives. The every day chatting with some of my kids provides a good dose of sanity and grounding, reminding me they do not live in the drama zone nor do they want to drag me into it. Refreshing.

(6) Another called wanting details on a car accident one of our other kids had been in –  I realized I hadn’t called her to let her know. She could have been angry but she wasn’t! Hmmm. That is the standard families should hold to. Graciousness. A little found commodity in many families. Graciousness was what I needed – it was granted to me even when I was negligent by my lack of communication. And she didn’t even yell at me! No nasty texts. Only concern for her brother.

(7) Another called about the car accident, wanting to know how he could help.

(8) Another messaged me thanking me for a tiny gift I’d given him.

(9) One took me to dinner and shopping. Retail therapy. It works! (Maybe I shouldn’t have said that out loud!)

Of course I have to add my wonderful DH as always was, well, wonderful.

So here is my many faceted parenting tip #45.

  • You are not a punching bag. If your adult kids can’t be kind and respectful, walk away. Yes, you should try to help. Offer advice. Do what you can to alleviate suffering and meet needs. But if they are just mad and wanting to take it out on you because they think you are “safe,” then cause them to think again. Will you miss them if they don’t make it right? Yes. But you will not miss being abused.
  • Even if your kids are mentally disabled, emotionally scarred, or generally just clueless, that doesn’t mean they are incapable of being respectful and polite. Put up your boundaries. If they try to beat you up, taking their frustrations out on you, don’t let them do it! Draw your line and if they cross it, walk away. Tell them you love them no matter what, but that you will not let them abuse you.
  • I’m going to say it again. Moms are not punching bags. We are soft and breakable. We are not super human. We can be hurt. We have our own lives to manage and we are not responsible for managing our adult children’s lives. They must figure that out themselves. If anything, once they are adults, THEY SHOULD BE TAKING CARE OF US. We did our deal. For years we put them first, met their needs, taught them, educated them, taught them about spiritual things, modeled adulthood and set limits, taught them respectfulness, how to work hard…the list goes on. There is a time when that stops and you just become “mom” the one who they respect and care for. It’s called adulthood. If they can’t manage to do that, then look to those who do. Revel in their love and respect and let go of those who don’t.
  • Realize they may never come back if you make them stop hurting you. They may walk away because of some misguided accusation in their head that tells them they can’t count on you or that you don’t love them or some nonsense like that. They might choose to do something stupid that will damage them for life. Realize it’s not you, it’s them. Realize you cannot control them or their messed up thinking process. Of course the “*” to that is to assume you were not the cause of their problem. If you are, then fix it.  In this case the attack was unwarranted and I have not discovered the root cause, though I tried. But honestly, it doesn’t matter.
  • The real root cause of such abuse is much deeper than what set the attack in motion. The root cause can only be fixed by God, the healer of all pain and hurt, the one who can spot a deep dark pit that harbors all the hate and anger. You can’t do it. You can’t fix whatever is wrong with them. So stop taking that on. This is a situation where the, “Let go and let God” comes into play. You cannot and are not obligated to fix everything and everyone who is broken. This especially applies to adoptive parents. You’ve done your best (hopefully) to raise them to be hard working, responsible adults with a conscience and a loving heart, ready and willing to serve God and their fellow man. They are adults now. They must choose to live right. Your relationship should and will change. Let it.
  • They are not your peers. If your adult children try to treat you as a peer, don’t allow it. You are the parent and they should respect and honor you. Period.

This was a long one. No pictures. No fancy doo-dads, quips or quotes. Just reality. Let me know your thoughts. But only if you are kind. I’ve had a rough week and it’s only Wednesday.

 

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Categories
Challenges Family Things I've Learned

Calling Protective Services? A Message to the Concerned Onlooker

Do you leave your kids in the car? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just read an article about a mom who left her 4 year old son in the car for a couple of minutes to run into the store.

Read the article here.

She is a good mom, cares for her child, works hard, is faithful and loving. She did what her mom did with her back when she was little. She did what she thought was best in the moment.

While she was in the store an onlooker called the police and took a picture of her son sitting in the car alone. Since the whole fiasco, this mom has decided her choice was unwise and plans to never do it again. She does a great job in the article laying out the situation and ramifications.

My comments have to do with calling 911 to deal with situations like hers:

This onlooker though she knew best and felt the need to “protect” a stranger’s child.

  1. She didn’t know the mom.
  2. She didn’t know the kid.
  3. She didn’t know the circumstances, age, or maturity of the boy.
  4. She thought she knew better than the mom.
  5. She perceived “danger” when there was none, until she grabbed her phone, that is.

SHE was the danger to this boy.

  1. Her one phone call caused this family a year’s worth of pain and loss.
  2. Because of her reaction to a perceived danger, the mom was charged with child endangerment.
  3. This one act created a long lasting fear in the child that someone would come take him away from his mom.

You might say, “Well, she deserved it.” or, “No, the mom caused it with her decision to leave her child.” Regardless of your opinion regarding leaving kids in the car for a few moments, one thing we must agree upon. The mom is the mom. Her parental rights say she and the dad alone have a say in how they parent. Period.

Would you call 911? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The boy wasn’t in danger

  1. He wasn’t in trouble, causing trouble, or in any type of distress.
  2. It wasn’t hot out.
  3. He had the maturity to handle himself and was happily sitting, playing on an iPad.

Stranger danger? Yep…danger from someone who thought they were responsible for a stranger’s child while walking by.

A different lady on one of my Facebook groups saw a boy in a car alone and asked what everyone thought she should do. Should she call 911 or leave him alone and mind her own business? The responses were split. Half said leave it alone and half said she should call 911. What do you say?

Guess what she did…

  1. She stayed with the boy while he sat in the car until his mom came out – because she was concerned.
  2. She didn’t call 911 – because it wasn’t any of her business.
  3. She limited her “social responsibility” to observation, not judgement or action.

Win. Win. She alleviated her doubts and helped a mom in need (or so she felt was in need – it’s called appropriate, non threatening concern).

Is there a better way?

  1. Why don’t we just help instead of criticize?
  2. Why don’t we give people the benefit of the doubt and do what is best for everyone involved?

People don’t understand that by calling 911, or protective services, they are creating a danger in the lives of the entire family that is just as damaging as the perceived risk of leaving a child in the car (if not more).

One day I was in a bathroom stall and heard a mom come in with several little kids. She keep saying, “Stay right in front of the door while I am helping your brothers go potty.” She kept talking to her 6 year old son to keep him occupied while she took care of business. She had three little kids.

Was the boy standing outside the stall in any danger? No. Could he have been? Maybe. If I’d been a pervert or kidnapper, I definitely had opportunity. But I wasn’t. He was fine. Was I concerned? A little Was there a minor possibility of a problem? Maybe.

Are you a help to others? {Mom of Many}
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rather than criticize or assume she couldn’t handle her kids, I decided to help.

  1. I told her I would stay with her son and watch the door until she was done.
  2. I explained I was a mom of a bunch of kids and I understood her situation.
  3. She profusely thanked me when she came out and explained that she was frazzled trying to manage them.

I certainly knew what she meant because I’ve gone shopping with a passel of kids and know what it’s like to try to manage all of them alone (which is why I seldom went out alone without my DH!)

He was fine and she was encouraged by a concerned onlooker.

Let’s not judge, intervene or criticize.

  1. Let’s not cause a problem where there is none.
  2. Let’s not assume we know better than the parents.
  3. Let’s not step in where we don’t belong.

Let’s decide to help rather than create a problem where there is none.

  1. If we see a need. Let’s help.
  2. If we see possible danger. Let’s help.
  3. If we see a mom needing help, let’s help!

Let me know what you think or if you’ve had experience with the “helping hand.” I have a comment section and I read every one!

Val @ Mom of Many

 

 

For tips, recommendations and ideas - or just support, join our community at MomofMany.net

 

Categories
Challenges

Do You Have the Urge to Purge? The M.O.M.s March Challenge!

 

A few months ago we had a church Urge to Purge FREE garage sale.

We all brought in stuff we didn’t want and everyone took home what they wanted from others’ donations – leftovers were donated to a local charity. It felt so good to get rid of stuff – and share with our church friends at the same time.

It was such a success that this month I’m challenging you to purge! Spring is around the corner and it’s a great time to get rid of STUFF. You know, that STUFF that we don’t need but is hard to get rid of?

  • Some have a hard time parting with stuff.
  • Some have a hard time finding the time to purge.
  • Some have no trouble getting rid of stuff – even to the point of getting purge crazy!

Which are you? I fit in the two first categories and I have some kids who fit into the last.

Here is a free PDF for you to help get you started:

March Urge to Purge Challenge {Mom of Many}

Just click on the checklist above and I’ll send a full size PDF to you via email – then print it and get started!

Those in our M.O.M.s Facebook Group are in a contest to see who can get the most boxes checked off by the end of March for a prize. To join us just click here and you can join our email list and get an invite to our SECRET/CLOSED FB GROUP where we support one another, get tips and ideas and swap stories and share prayer requests. Or, just click on the Urge to Purge checklist above and you’ll get an invite that way too.

We are here to help, so feel free to contact me (at the top) if you have any questions.

Now let’s purge!

Val @ Mom of ManyMomofMany.net

 

Categories
Challenges

MOMentum Challenge Calendar

Let’s keep the MOMentum going with a February challenge.

Just click on the picture below to download it, print it, and then post it where you can see it. At the end of the month those in our Facebook M.O.M.s group who have accomplished each challenge, will have their name entered into a drawing for a prize – TBA!

I benefited so much last month that I just had to do another one!

February MOMentum Challenge {Love My DIY Home}If you are not yet in our FB M.O.M.s group, you will get an invitation in an email after you request the above calendar PDF.

  1. Join our challenge – download the calendar.
  2. Join our Facebook group M.O.M. (Your invite comes via email)
  3. Complete all the weekly goals.
  4. At the end of February, post your success on our M.O.M. Facebook group page.
  5. Be entered in our drawing and wait to see if you won!

 

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

I LINK TO THESE GREAT PARTIES

Categories
Challenges

January 2016 Daily Mom Goal Calendar and Giveaway – Gain MOMentum!

It’s time for a challenge and a giveaway!

Gain MOMentum in 2016 with a January daily goal calendar. For access go here or click on the calendar below for your FREE download.

January MOMentum Goal Calendar {Mom of Many}

There are 30 challenges that you can check off as you meet them – no pressure! Do what you can and see what you are able to  accomplish when you have specific goals in place. In our Facebook group M.O.M., we are challenging one another to stay focused, fight for our families and to support one another.

Join us in our challenge! Those who are members of M.O.M. who complete the 30 daily challenges will be entered in a drawing for the (hardback) book: Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. The book’s retail price is $19.99 ($17.69 on Amazon).

  1. Join our challenge – download the calendar.
  2. Join our Facebook group M.O.M. (Your invite comes via email)
  3. Complete all the daily goals and you might win his book!
  4. At the end of January post your success on our M.O.M. Facebook group page.
  5. Be entered in our drawing and wait to see if you won!

January MOMentum Goal Calendar {Mom of Many}

Nick is the young man who was born without legs or arms that has gone on to become a world wide recognized motivational speaker – challenging kids to make their mark on the world regardless of what challenges they must face. This would be a great book to give your teenage kids to read when they are discouraged over obstacles in life.

Let’s get our MOMentum going for 2016!

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

I LINK TO THESE GREAT PARTIES

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