One of my favorite parenting tools is scripts. Did you know that when a child is upset her ability to process language is greatly reduced? Scripts are short, concise, easily understood phrases. They’re used to move a child toward optimal behavior through play and nurture.
Because a script is easy to understand, parents don’t have to come up with all of the right words to say. In the same way, children become familiar with the simple phrase and understand its meaning. This helps them feel safe and builds trust.
When you pre-order The Connected Parent, you can download free posters filled with scripts you can use to lovingly guide your child and establish a culture of openness and respect in your home. Plus, you’ll get an informative video showing you how to successfully implement these scripts with your family.
Hello, friend! Are you easing out of quarantine or sheltering in place? For me, it feels more difficult to figure out what to do now that restrictions are changing.
I have big news coming about the book, but let me fill you in on family first!
Since I last posted, Annarose returned home from Mexico for the duration of quarantine. It was very hard for her to leave but the board of her organization said it was time. It’s a joy to have her home. We’re spending lots of time together and even tackling some projects like painting the living room. She also has a gardening job and is enjoying working a few days a week.
Russ and Isaiah have stayed on their regular work schedules. Claire is wrapping up her senior year of high school and working two days a week as a barista. The boys are finishing school and eager to get out to see friends and play basketball. We’ll see how soon that can all happen.
I’ve continued working a lot. With preparations for the release of The Connected Parent, a weekly podcast, the Hope Circle, interviews, and more, my days are overflowing.
And just to make life more exciting, I completed a program to become a Certified Enneagram Coach! The Enneagram is a fantastic tool for personal, relational, and spiritual growth. More news about this to come.
With The Connected Parent coming out in a little more than a month, Harvest House Publishers is gearing up for a big book launch. We’ll be forming a Launch Team soon to help spread the word about the book. I would love to include you! Watch my OTM Facebook page for information, or shoot me an email to let me know you’re interested. [email protected]
Here are a a few resources I’ve created in recent weeks:
Trauma Free World – Learn why you might lose compassion for your child and how to get it back.
With the sorority sisters gone for the holiday, we emerged into the beautiful house.
It was 1991 and we had three children ages 4, 2, and seven months. Believe it or not, we were house parents in a sorority at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Graduate school had motivated us to drive across the country with a toddler just a few years before. I took a pregnancy test somewhere around Illinois and life as a soon-to-be family of four began.
Money was painfully scarce. It’s humbling to admit, but I used to pray that someone would invite us over for dinner after church so we could eat something really good. Then something amazing opened up to us.
I wish I was one of those people who dreamed of loved ones in heaven. It’s only happened a couple of times since we lost Kalkidan. This was one of those times.
Our family was gathered around a table. I was sitting at one end and the table was long with so many of us together. We were talking and laughing when Kalkidan ran into the room.
Shouts went up, “She’s here! She’s here! Kalkidan is here!”
She ran to me, crawled into my lap, and rested her head against my chest. I kissed her forehead, my cheek brushing against her curls.
For a moment I felt warmth and joy, then I felt myself begin to surface from sleep, and I realized it was a dream. I tried to hold on to it, to sink more deeply into the dream and let it flow on, but it was gone.
I wanted to reach for Russ, rest my head on his chest, borrow some of his courage, but I also didn’t want to wake him when his alarm would do it soon enough.
I drifted back to sleep.
I woke again in the morning with a deep sense of sadness.
Today (10/29) is Kalkidan’s birthday.
This should be her senior year of high school and she should be walking next to Claire at their graduation next spring.
But even as I type the words “should” I sense that’s not quite what I mean. This all should be true, but only if I can have my own way. The fact is, I don’t get my own way, I can only walk in God’s way.
His plans are better, even when I don’t understand. I bend my knee to him– I trust him.
But that surrender is not easy; sometimes I have to fight for it. I’m reminded of a story in the gospel of John. Many of Jesus’s disciples had turned away and he asked the twelve if they were going to leave too. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, you are the holy one of God.”
I see no other way than to trust Jesus, the holy one of God. I can’t imagine living through a tragedy like this without him. But that doesn’t change the reality that grief is hard.
C.S. Lewis wrote,
No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.
Grief is an animal I can’t control.
Sometimes it’s powerful and overwhelming; I feel crushed under its weight. Other times it’s a small wave of sadness that almost feels right and good because it means I haven’t forgotten.
The first two years after we lost Kalkidan, I was overcome by a feeling of fear. Or maybe it was a sense of confusion, like it just couldn’t be possible. To be honest, I still feel that way some days. But there was fear and a sense that the world was no longer safe.
C.S. Lewis goes on to say,
I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.
That invisible blanket was very real in the early years – I was different after the accident. Nearly five years later, I know I will never be the person I was before losing Kalkidan. There is no getting back to the way it was before, or who I was before. I’m forever changed.
And that feels right to me.
Some of my children have gotten tattoos as symbols of how they have been changed and what God has done. One tattoo says, “it is well” the other “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” I don’t have a tattoo, but I’m marked by changes in who I am and how I relate to the world.
Of all the things that weigh on me, I don’t want Kalkidan to be forgotten. Her life shaped mine in so many life-changing ways. Her life may have touched you too.
Today we are remembering Kalkidan. Thank you for letting me share her with you. #rememberingkalkidan
If you have lost someone you love, I’m very sorry you are walking through this too. I send you my love.