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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}

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Challenges Family Parenting tips

Do you stress over your “TO DO LIST”? Parenting Tip #39

TO DO LISTs Only Grow

Wash the clothes, sweep the floor, change the bedding, do the dishes, and on and on.

Moms are probably the busiest people in the world, and the most under appreciated. Unless you’re a mom, you have no clue. Seriously. Even after all the kids leave the nest, Momhood doesn’t end.

Though our nest is empty, I still interact with my kids. Being a mom cannot be described as a full-time job. It doesn’t end at 5:00pm nor does it end when they turn 18 when the world says our job is officially done.

Basically, by having kids, whether by birth or adoption, we are lifers.

Add to that church stuff, work stuff, home stuff…the list goes on – our TO DO LIST grows exponentially as we meet the needs of our family and interact with the world.

The TO DO LIST

For January, I put together MOMentum Calendar to encourage our M.O.M.s group. Each day there is something to do that we often put off because we are so busy. A surprising thing has happened for me as I have accomplished each daily challenge.

January MOMentum Goal Calendar {Mom of Many}

Halfway in I stopped stressing about my lengthy TO DO LIST. For about 2 years I’ve stressed every day because my list has gotten so long and my available time to squeeze in extra stuff has all but vanished. I have no margin and it has caught up with me.

Nearly everyone in our M.O.M. group felt the same way.

I created a January challenge to encourage my M.O.M.s and it ended up encouraging me. Because I accomplish something extra every day that isn’t on my list (like cleaning out a junk drawer), I feel accomplished, have stopped stressing about my TO DO LIST and have finally accepted that I can only do what I can do.

TO DO List Vs. Goal Setting

Have you ever set big goals and then not meet them?

How often have you thought: “I JUST NEED TO GET THROUGH THIS DAY”?

We assume the goals have to be big and life changing to really matter. But the big life changing goals often get set aside because life happens.

Instead of only setting huge goals, we need to set little daily goals too. As the month progresses, the feeling of accomplishment replaces defeat and we become hopeful and less stressed. By setting little daily goals, we work toward meeting our big goals. This is where our TO DO LIST and our goal setting meet. our TO DO LIST basically is really a daily goal planner.

I know. Weirdly simple, right?

Being Practical

So now, realizing that little written down goals are foundational to the larger, I’m designing a multi page M.O.M. planner. I am offering it free to our M.O.M.s FB group. I’m giving you a one page weekly planner sheet today to show you what I’m working on. Just click on it and I will send it to you via email. If you want to receive more pages as they are designed, join our M.O.M. Facebook group.

We need to realize that our TO DO LIST is a tool, not a prison of our own making. We manage IT – IT doesn’t manage us.

We are faithful. We do our best. We just need to see it – every single day.

So we start now. Step by step we move forward – not by beating ourselves up over what we didn’t get accomplished but to  celebrate each small success. We are not defined by how or if we complete our lists; we are defined by who we are and our part in bringing light to the world.

Just Click to Commit

Does your to do list control you? {Mom of Many}<<< Just “click the pic” if you want to do some mini personal goal setting and commit to de-stressing your TO DO LIST by looking at it in a new light. You can fill it out to set your own goals for the week. If you are interested in taking a look at our other M.O.M. planner sheets like a password log, weekly cleaning check list, etc., join our M.O.M. Facebook group. You will have access to all of my planner sheets as I make them – FREE because you are a part of our M.O.M. group.

If you would like to join us in using the monthly MOMentum calendars, click the one above and then watch for the February MOMentum calendar. If you’d like to suggest daily goals for our calendars, email me from the contact page above or join our M.O.M. group and post your ideas.

I looked for years for support and didn’t find it. Join us and find other moms just like you.

 

Val @ Mom of Many

Parenting Tips {Mom of Many}

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}

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* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy anything after clicking on one of the affiliate links, I receive a small commission of the sale. The cost to you is the same, and I only link to items that I think would benefit my readers. Your support of this blog is greatly appreciated!

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Adoption Family FAS Parenting tips

Are you an overprotective mama? 10 Ways to Know for Sure – Parenting Tip #35

Are you an overprotective mom? {Mom of Many}Let’s take the umbrella test…

  1. Do you know your child WELL?
  2. Do you have their best interests at heart – are they your priority?
  3. Do you take the time to get to know your kids’ friends?
  4. Are you a good example?
  5. Are you involved in EVERY part of your kids’ lives – school, faith (church), home, outside activities, hobbies, friends, etc.?
  6. Do you know the adults WELL that are responsible for supervision when you are not around?
  7. Do you pay attention to what is going on in your family, with your kids, and those they spend time with?
  8. Do you talk to your kids – and listen?
  9. Do you supervise well and watch for issues that need to be addressed?
  10. Are you consistent, available and faithful?

If you answer “Yes” to these questions then I’d say you can trust your mama instincts. Too many times I let others’ opinions influence my decisions negatively. It took me years to shut out the whisperings and follow my own mama bear instincts. If you have no one to support you, and you believe your are doing the best you can, then go find someone that you respect, has experience, and can get in your corner.

Stick to your guns.

We don’t like it when people criticize our parenting. But then we stress over their “advice”. We know that if others criticize us then we must be doing something wrong – um, no. Not necessarily. We need to confidently hold our own if we truly feel we are doing what God has appointed us to do. We need to reek of confidence when we deal with our kids too. Why do we cave when our kids throw a fit over our parenting? We need to drip of confidence in order to get our kids to take us seriously and have reason to trust us.

You are not your kids’ friend.

Make it clear that you are the Mom and you will make hard decisions when needed. Let them know that no matter what, you will always look out for them and choose what is best, ALWAYS – even when they don’t agree. If you are a good mom, and if you are reading this I’ll bet you are a stellar mom, then trust your intuition. Ask God for guidance and then do what you think is best – even if others disagree – even if your kids throw a fit.

Learn, grow, ask questions, seek advice.

Keep your eyes peeled, consider, evaluate, follow through. Your kids are counting on you and if they don’t agree, do your mama thing anyway. I do believe we ought to listen to them and consider their wishes, if they present it properly. But remember: they need your guidance even if they don’t want it or appreciate it.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)God is your umbrella and you are theirs.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”
~Erma Bombeck

Val @ Mom of Many

MomofMany.net

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Adoption Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

Do you ever wake up discouraged, Mom? Parenting Tip #34

Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)There was a time about 10 years ago that I couldn’t shake the morning blues.

I’d wake up discouraged even before the day started.

Before I explain how I overcame them, you need to know something. My foundation is not made of concrete or brick – rather, it’s made of rock – The Rock. Since I claim Christ as my Rock, everything that happens to me, in me, and around me is in His control.

Existing. Discouraged. Defeated.

Just trying to get through the day? Yep. That was me.

For believers, there is a solution.

Every night before I went to bed for about two weeks I prayed that in the morning, God would give me an uplifted spirit ready for the day’s challenges – no more dreading the day – no more morning blues.

The fog was lifted the first morning.

The dark clouds that hung over my head were completely gone. Whoa. Months of sadness gone just like that. I didn’t do anything different other than ask God to do it for me.

Are you a discouraged Mom? {Mom of Many}

Duh. Why didn’t I ask Him before?

The cloud was gone. No more morning blues. I’d never thought of it. I had just prayed that things would get better, but they didn’t and I was stuck in discouragement because I’d not thought to ask him to change ME. My thoughts. My outlook.

We can’t always control our circumstances, especially when you’re a mom and all of your circumstances revolve around little sinners who are not led by the Spirit and have no concept of tomorrow, or have any idea of the effects of their actions on others.

I’ve since asked for help in other type of circumstances with 100% success. Good stuff.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list for tips on parenting and free stuff like word art and giveaways. You will also be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

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Adoption Family Parenting tips

Do you have a saboteur? When Kids Enjoy Trouble – Parenting Tip #31

Definition of SABOTAGE

1: destruction of an employer’s property (as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers
2: destructive or obstructive action carried on by a civilian or enemy agent to hinder a nation’s war effort
3a: an act or process tending to hamper or hurt   b: deliberate subversion

 

Sound familiar? Do you have a saboteur in the house?

This is a very specific issue. A saboteur isn’t the child who is just struggling – it’s for the child who is deliberately choosing to inflict pain or daring his parents in a “see if I care” sort of way.

It can be very discouraging to a mom when a child seems to enjoy trouble, does the opposite of what they are told and repeats the cycle of disobedience in a way that makes you suspect they are purposely trying to hurt the family.

Hopefully they aren’t plotting a planning their own or your destruction (though some of mine tried).

Often this type of behavior is a response to some sort of painful memory or behavioral pattern established from trauma in the past. Self destructive behavior can affect the entire family. They often realize they are doing it – some want to quit but aren’t sure how and others enjoy inflicting pain because they think it makes them feel better – a sort of whacked, “pain loves company” mental state.

One of our kids was sure he would eventually be abandoned or kicked out so he set up scenarios where he would do something that he thought would ensure it or he would decide on his own that he was leaving. Even when we sat down and explored his options (running away meant no home, no food, no family and staying and working out problems meant family support, warm tasty meals, a warm bed, etc.) he still chose to run.

Of course we would veto such decisions but couldn’t always keep a close enough eye on him that he couldn’t slip out. We always got him to come back but eventually moved him into a children’s home. That’s a long story and I won’t go into that now. Just realize that sometimes reason doesn’t work.

Sometimes Discipline Will Work

BUT, in my experience practical parenting must coincide to form new habits and mindsets. In Parenting Tip #21, I talk about supervision. You start there. If you aren’t keeping a good eye on your kids there will be more room for sabotage. Idle hands and minds can get very creative in a short time!

Positive Reinforcement?

See Parenting Tip #22. A mind set of messing with you won’t be easily changed. You’ve got to show them it is in their best interest to follow your rules, be respectful of the family and compliant.

The Big Guns Come in Parenting Tip #6

I give you some practical steps to take with teenagers who bully Mom (usually doesn’t happen to Dad). Some of the bullying is natural growth done the wrong way and it’s up to others to step in and show them how to become a man without stepping all over mom. It’s hard when there’s one parent, especially if it’s a mom. At that point it would help to have the support of a male role model. It could be someone like an uncle, older brother, neighbor, friend, husband of a friend or your pastor.

Let me encourage you.

These kids can wear you down and even make you think the problem is YOU making you think:

  • You don’t love them enough
  • You aren’t meeting his needs
  • You are not patient enough…maybe you need to give them more space
  • You just don’t understand
  • You don’t do enough for them

Um. No. It’s not you. It’s them. Get a grip on these false feelings. Gather your courage around you like a flak jacket and arm yourself with some butt kicking confidence and attack this issue head on. The sooner you are confident, the sooner you will see progress.

Here are some things I learned along the way:

  1. Exude confidence. You must leave off all emotion when dealing with saboteurs. Act like a cop. No crying, begging or upset faces allowed, mom. A matter-of-face face is scary to teens. Scare them with your courage.
  2. Decide ahead of time what consequences will be for each particular behavior, write it down and post it on the fridge. A heads up for the transgressor will squelch many a misdeed. These kids are smart and very much into self protection.
  3. Find their hot button. Do they like computer games, have a fave show or does money speak to them? Get creative and remove or reward behavior. Sometimes rewarding others and leaving the offender out speaks volumes. “Hey kids, let’s stop for fries on the way home! Sorry, Joe, not you this time. Maybe you can reconsider the attitude while we eat our fries.”
  4. Research food allergies – sometimes in extreme instances allergies can create manic behavior. We had a son who went bonkers if he ate corn or in a corn field. Go figure.
  5. Provide a united front. Explain the issues. Clue everyone in. Let the whole family know what you plan to do and ask who is on board. We occasionally had family meetings where we asked for a show of hands. Draw the line in the sand and ask who wants to be on your side. This is serious stuff and you need to let everyone know “I GOT THIS.”
  6. Try to get a handle on their issues. When I discovered one of my sons had Asperger’s all made sense and I totally changed my approach. Do research. RAD is a serious issue that you might be dealing with.
  7. Don’t deal with this alone. We had little support and had to find our way with little help. Find a friend and share your issues – it always helps to have someone who knows and will support you if something goes wrong.
  8. Keep a journal of all happenings – EVERY DAY. You must protect yourself and journals help establish a timeline and important information that might be needed later. See Tip #12.
  9. There may come a time where their behavior is too intense for your family and you must separate them for the safety of all, including them. There are children’s homes and residential facilities equipped for the most difficult cases. This was always our last resort, but we did find the need for some of our kids. Safety is a common issue with RAD kids.

I’m sure there are tons more ideas that would help – let me know if you have any tips to add. We are in this together and no one should ever feel alone or abandoned.

YOU GOT THIS! {Mom of Many}

NOTE: I am happy to say that all my kids have grown to adulthood and have carved out a life for themselves. I am proud of all of them and have a good relationship with most of them. We are hopeful that the others will come around and come back – for they all are valued, no matter what. Our kids have grown tremendously. When you consider how much some of them have had to overcome, you are in awe of their strength. Never give up on them. They are worth every effort.

Leave a comment if you have any to add. If you need support join our M.O.M. group. We get it.

Val @ Mom of Many

MomofMany.net

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Adoption Educating Our Children Family FAS Parenting tips

“He will never learn to tell time.” Parenting Tip #29

 

There is Always Hope

When you parent special needs kids and take them to doctors, psychologists and Neurologists, often you will hear discouraging news.

  • He will never learn to tell time because of his low IQ.
  • Get him velcro shoes because he’ll never learn to tie.
  • He will always be behind a year or two.
  • With his limited abilities you won’t be able to teach him like other kids.
  • He will never be capable of living on his own.
  • He will never hold down a job.
  • He will never see you as his parents, attach to you, or feel a part of your family.

I always accepted those statements as a challenge.

I walked out of evaluations with the attitude, “Bet me.” You guessed it – they did learn to do those things, and went on to learn all the basics.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

Be careful of IQ (It doesn’t mean I Quit)

Another one of my kids who was assigned a very low IQ during their younger years  has his own apartment and job at a grocery store. Others who had a rough start have jobs, drive cars, have relationships and speak intelligently – so much so that you need to get to know them before you know they have any disabilities.

Over-educated?

A few years after a depressing evaluation, I took one child to be evaluated at a children’s health center because I wanted to know if there were any programs that would help me with some specific issues. They had a great reputation in our county.

All kids have potential {Mom of Many}

He was in in fourth grade and tested at a 6th grade level with a Kindergarten ability. They couldn’t explain how he knew more than he was “able to learn.” When I explained that I taught him at home, they told me that I had “over-educated” him and that there were no programs for a kids like him.

Hmm. So I took him home and continued teaching him until I knew he had all the basics.

Another one of my kids desired to live on his own when he turned 18. It was hard for him to watch his siblings go off to college and talk about their futures. Since I was concerned about him being out on his own, we found a supervised living program. After a few months he lost a lot of what I had taught him (personal care, housekeeping, etc.) so he moved into the dorms where he could be closely monitored.

He graduated from their college three years later and is doing fabulously.

FASD and Other Labels

Some who live with after shocks of maternal drugs and alcohol use (they are adopted, BTW) have learned to compensate using other skills to fill in the gaps.

  • Those who had trouble remembering information in subjects like grammar and history relied on memorization to get them through the tough subjects.
  • Homework folders and assignment pads helped with daily assignments and teacher communication.
  • The younger kids had older kids as partners to help with daily activities like chores and outside activities.
  • They used check lists, sticky notes and had accountability partners.
  • Our home was structured with a consistent schedule, rules and expectations.
  • We were always nearby and consistent in supervision and follow through.

We have taught our kids to live in spite of “labels”. FASD, OCD, ODD, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, TMI, EMI, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyslexia, Asperger’s, APD, PCE, RAD, etc.

Never, ever give up on your kids, accept doomsday predictions on their future abilities, or let numbers set the bar. It is good to seek evaluations but use the information as a tool, not as fact that limits your reach.

Shoot for the moon, but be content if you only reach the stars. It’s an amazing place to live.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many community and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

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Adoption Family

Do you ever ask big families, “Are they all yours?” Parenting Tip #28

When you see a big family, do you ask, “Are they all yours?”

We have 15 kids – 2 homemade and 13 adopted. We are a mix of different races and backgrounds.

We have heard it all. My answers to some of the questions are in red:

  • Are they all yours? Yes
  • No, I mean how many belong to you? All of them.
  • Which ones are adopted? I forget.
  • How many are of which race? I don’t remember, I’ll have to figure it out.
  • Is this your Sunday School Class? Sometimes.
  • Who did she get her eyes from? (asked about our Asian daughter) Her mom and dad. (Neither of us are Asian)
  • Are you going to teach her English when she grows up? (also asked about our 3 mo. old Asian daughter) Too stunned to answer this one.
  • Are any of them brothers and sisters? They all are.
  • Are any of them related? They all are.
  • Do you keep in contact with their families. Yes, we see each other every day.
  • Are you going to tell them they are adopted? Um, I think they will probably figure it out by looking in the mirror.

And here is one that many adoptive families hear:

  • Which ones are your real children? (Unfortunately, asked in from of my kids, this was very hurtful.) Yes, of course they are all real.

We were very open with our kids – they weren’t the ones who were confused.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

We have gotten so many funny comments.

For the most part people have been in awe of our family and quite often are very personable, thanking us for adopting them. Our best responses have come from people of color. They are very appreciative of our family claiming kids of all races as our own. That always came as a surprise to me because we never saw it as a big deal. They are just kids. Who cares about color?

Big Families {Mom of Many}Our kids are color blind.

One of our kids asked, “What color was grandpa?” We knew no racial boundaries and saw no color in our home.

If someone was genuinely interested in our family and asked how many were adopted, I told them, “We have two homemade and 13 adopted.”

Our youngest “homemade” daughter wondered when she was going to have her visit to the judge to get adopted too. It wasn’t my adopted kids that felt left out.

When our Asian daughter went to a new school, we asked her if there were any other kids like her in her classroom. She said, “No, they are all just plain white.” We still laugh about that one and it was MANY years ago.

Different is good. Different is fun.

We had one son that always wore long sleeve shirts because he didn’t want to get darker. Another one preferred sleeveless because he wanted to be the blackest man alive.

Families are Forever {Mom of Many}

Every time someone complimented one of my sons as being handsome, I always, always said, “Thanks, he gets his good looks from me.” The fact that we were a “family of many colors” brought interest to our family and I feel sorry for families who are all the same race. It seems awfully boring to me.

We are unique and I love how our family is so diverse (I really don’t like that word, but it describes us well).  We are different but the same. I like it that way.

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many community and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

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Categories
Adoption Family Parenting tips

When You are Criticized as a Parent – Parenting Tip #27

Have you ever been criticized as a parent?

This is a tough subject to deal with because I have all sorts of readers – some are mature and tested, others are inexperienced or clueless.  Everyone else is in-between – mostly just trying to figure out this parenting thing as they go along. We are all different with varying levels of expertise.

Criticism can be valid, but the way it’s delivered matters.

Some never really get a handle on parenting, feeling responsible for everything that goes wrong. Some judge other parents because they think they had all the answers and did everything perfectly when in reality they just had children who were easy to raise.

Others are supportive and compassionate knowing it’s a hard job and nobody is perfect or has all the answers. They just feel blessed when their kids enter adulthood ready and able in spite of all their parenting mistakes.

Some had easy children who respected their position as parents and complied throughout. Others had strong willed children who required patience and creative parenting.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}

Regardless of your parenting situation – we ALL had criticism.

Here are a few that we heard throughout the years:

  • You are too easy on them.
  • You are too hard on them.
  • You need to trust them more – they will never learn responsibility if you don’t let them go.
  • You should never trust them – they are little wicked sinners looking for trouble.
  • Give them space to make mistakes – they learn from their mistakes.
  • Don’t give them an inch – they will take a mile.
  • You should never treat them all the same – they are individuals.
  • You should treat them all the same – parenting favoritism will cause bitterness.
  • You should spank them.
  • Never spank them.
  • Establish your authority early on through rules and consequences.
  • Authoritarian parental figures cause children to rebel.
  • Always address rebellion from the git-go or you will have trouble when they are teens.
  • Teenage rebellion is natural – don’t stress over it, they will grow out of it.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – pick your battles.
  • Don’t let anything go – be consistent and address everything.

Parental Criticism {Mom of Many}I could go on, but you get the picture. You will never find anyone who agrees 100% with your parenting. Goodness, there are a lot of parents who don’t agree with each other.

One word of caution here: if you and your spouse don’t agree on parenting issues, you still need to present a united front. ALWAYS support each other. That doesn’t mean you cover up or encourage abuse, that “ALWAYS support each other” comes with an asterisk.

YOU GOT THIS! {Mom of Many}

So what do you do when you or your parenting are criticized?

I have a couple of come backs that you need to memorize and apply at the proper time (or you can just smile and walk away):

  • Thanks for your suggestion – I will consider it.
  • I appreciate that you want to help, I’ll take it from here.
  • I will deal with it at home, but thanks for your concern.
  • I’m sure you mean to be helpful but your comments sound critical.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

I have a couple of snarky responses that I got from my survey today.

Sometimes people step in and don’t handle your kids correctly. A well placed few words can drive home a point where a generic response would just leave you looking incompetent. Some people just don’t get it and will continue to pick at you and your kids unless you make it clear they are to back off.

  • How’s that working out for you?
  • Was that for your benefit or theirs?
  • And you have experience in this area how?
  • Your point is?
  • Aaaannnnndddd???? (This puts them in the hot seat) Just keep saying it till they walk away.

Before you judge me to be insensitive or  accuse me of not having a Christ-like attitude, realize this: The kids are more important than the adults and sometimes people can abuse you and your children with their words. Some just don’t understand a polite, “Thank you I’ve got this covered.”

If you’ve never experienced someone lashing you with their parenting advice tongue, then I’m glad for you. But I have and it ain’t pretty. Often I let them verbally abuse me because I never gave myself permission to go into a verbal battle for my kids.

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I don’t agree thaParental Criticism {Mom of Many}t you must always be polite, though that should be our first rule of Christian conduct. When raising my kids, my rule was “always be polite no matter what” and I think that was a mistake. Sometimes the mama bear needs to come out!

I was quite beat up by the time all my kids were raised – and I’m not referring to my kids. Adults who thought they knew everything (but were very deceived in their own minds) caused a lot of bitterness and anger in my kids and left me feeling defeated.

I did get some funny responses to my survey – please don’t use these, but read them anyway. They will give you a laugh:

  • If I throw a stick will you go chase it?
  • Look at them and smile and start waving at them. And then mutter (so they can hear) “Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.” (From the Penguins of Madagascar)
  • I’m busy now, can I ignore you later?
  • Shush, the adults are talking.
  • How very Ghandi of you…

These comments came from friends of mine who has raised special needs kids:

  • Most times I am pleasant and say thank you and walk away. If the people are persistent I tell them they have no clue and depending on the situation I might explain. I have told people if they think they can do better, go adopt a child with baggage and special needs and do a better job then me. I wonder if anyone ever has. If they have I would like to see them today and see if they are now more understanding or on the psych ward recovering.
  • There are those that truly think they are being helpful and then you have inconsiderate clods that probably should mind their own business. To the latter, I would be respectful but firm in my response. Don’t be bullied by rude people.

I will leave you with this one thought.

If you are criticized, listen to what they say and if what they say is true, then change. If it isn’t, then ignore it and move on. Only you can know for sure what your kids need. Trust your instincts and if you have any questions, find someone you trust and is wise and ask for help. Read parenting books, but don’t raise your kids by them. Godly friends and God’s Word were our most trusted sources back when we couldn’t find any one with answers.

Now go out and be amazing.

Val @ Mom of Many

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Adoption Family Parenting tips Things I've Learned

5 Steps to Keeping a Clear Head When Life Stinks – Parenting Tip #26

Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)Don’t dwell. Dwelling is bad.

There will be times where your days and nights will be consumed with the pain and disappointment of life.

I’ve seen many families torn apart because the pain was too great – that every waking moment dwelling on the bad stuff consumed them.

We all will experience serious trials in life. We must choose how we will respond and that choice will affect every area of our lives.

I have some advice for you – a practice that I have adopted has changed my way of dealing with the hard days.

I went to the Women Counseling Women week long training with Debi Pryde and in one of her sessions she dealt with dwelling on the bad stuff.

Her advice to us?

Don’t dwell. When you have a serious situation that you need to deal with, take 5 minutes, think about it, decide what you are going to do about it or plan your next step and then let it go and get on with your day.

The dwelling is what takes control of your life. We need to leave off the dwelling and choose to live our life – not defined by our pain but defined by who we are and who we serve.

God isn’t punishing us.

God doesn’t put pain and suffering in our life to hurt or punish us. He allows trials in our life to hone us, to grow and strengthen us…though it certainly doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

If we allow the pain and stressors in life to envelope us, we will  let the pain win. We are too valuable for that. We have a job to do and we can’t do it with our two hands tied behind our back. We must be free to move forward and accomplish life – to be there for our families.

5 steps to keeping a clear head when life stinks:

  • Think over your situation for 5 minutes.
  • Decide on your next move and then put the thoughts away.
  • Purposely think on something else.
  • Follow through on your decision and once you do – take another 5 minutes to consider it.
  • Then put it behind you again.

You will be amazed how your life will improve.

Your day to day activities will be easier. You will find hope again. You will have a clearer view of your situation and feel more in control of your life.

That one truth will set you free in a way you never expected.

You all have heard the expression “Give it to God.”Keep a clear head in crisis {Mom of Many)

This is the best way to do it. When you dwell, you keep it close to you. Not only is this not healthy, it throws you in the middle of the trees where you can’t see the forest. You need to see the forest.

Now go to the mirror and say:

Val @ Mom of Many

Join the Mom of Many mailing list and be invited to our exclusive M.O.M.s Facebook group where we chat every day about mom stuff.

MomofMany.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net