Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another approach

I would definitely call myself stubborn, even hard headed. Sometimes I would like to think those attributes are good like when I set my mind to doing something, I do it, no ifs ands or buts. Those attributes were helpful in the adoption process because as many already know, it can be quite daunting. Those attributes have their not so positive qualities too such as, I tend to not want to accept when I have to go another course, take another path, consider something other than what I'm already locked and loaded on.

Recently my husband and I have been coming to terms with the fact that we REALLY need to change our parenting approach with Nate. Like, totally throw out everything we know as parents specifically in the area of discipline and learn an all new ball game. Sounds fun, huh?! Not really. Lets see, our little guy has been with us since Feb. '08, that's 17mnths, and we have worked really hard at bonding, learning sign language, not to mention the physical issues with his cleft including therapies, birthing a baby and just the chaos of 6 kids. We, like many people newly parenting their adopted kiddo, fell back on what we knew. At the time we had 4 children when Nate joined our family so we most definitely had parenting experience and lots of experience with discipline. I know our experience with parenting was probably helpful but this little guy threw some stuff at us that we just weren't ready for. We fell back on what we knew and honestly, it didn't work. So why 18mnths later are we still basically doing the same thing over and over with the same disastrous results? The answer: we, and especially me, are stubborn and hard headed. We have been so busy we haven't taken the time to really incorporate new techniques into our parenting style.

I don't want to be too hard on us because we did the best we could but the reality is, our "best" is not the best thing for this situation. We are going to a great therapist for Nate and she has terrific ideas that we have been incorporating into our parenting style but we have not wanted to completely let go of what we know and move forward down a new path. We need to, the health of our family and especially of Nate depends on us seeking out an alternative way of discipline. Thankfully we are finally in agreement on this.

What are we going to do? Read, read, read! We have some great books, of course none of which I had before going to China, and we are going to get a new game plan going here. I picked up Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control by Heather T. Forbes and Brian Post and started reading. Bob picked it up and started reading. We like the gentle yet understandable approach to parenting kiddos that, lets face it, are damaged but thankfully can be healed. I took it to our therapist and she has read it and likes it too so it's where we are going to start.

We love this little guy and let me tell you, it would take one of our children to get us to go off the course we have been traveling. We're scared, we're excited. May God's blessings and grace be upon us as we venture forth.