The Healing Power of Wearing Love

Love is a powerful force for healing in our lives, both for our children and for us.

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When one of our sons was young, he needed many reminders that Russ and I would be his parents forever. We would not leave him. We would not go away.

A very wise therapist advised us to take a picture with him, then print and laminate a few copies. One was hung next to his bed and another pinned inside the little tent he slept in at the time (a sensory processing tool).  A third hung on a piece of yarn he wore around his neck during the day, better yet, we should have put it on a stretchy bracelet or clipped it to his shirt for safety.

Anchors in the Day for Calmer Kids (and Mom)

Anchors in the day provide kids with predictable structure helping them feel calmer and able to trust their needs will be met and we will keep them safe.

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Last week I wrote the post, High Structure Parenting for Anxious Kids. As I wrote, I recalled another significant key to creating calm days for our family.

Anchors

Anchors are solid, predictable events that hold our day in place.

These anchors may not occur at exactly the same time each day (at least not for me), but they occur in the same order and same basic time period.

When the children were young and I homeschooled, those anchors were Breakfast, Quiet Hour, and Dinner.

The kids had routines flowing around these anchors. In the morning they got up and dressed, did chores, helped with little ones, and then we paused.

Anchor #1: Breakfast

Following breakfast there was schoolwork, little ones playing, diapers, morning naps for babies, more chores, more playing, more schoolwork, morning snack, laundry, chores, schoolwork, lunch – you get the picture. Then we paused again.

High Structure Parenting for Anxious Kids

Just what is High Nurture/High Structure Parenting and how does it help anxious kids?

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Last September I wrote a post explaining high nurture/high structure parenting and I was reminded of something from Kalkidan’s early days in our family.

Due to trauma, Kalkidan was extremely hypervigilant, she was always watching and listening, always in a state of fear. Even after being safe and loved for a long time, she remained hypervigilant.

She needed nurture and she was desperate for structure.

How to Share Difficult News With a Child

I didn’t attend medical school, but I listen closely to my daughter who did and my son who is currently in his third year. They often learn things that apply well to parenting children who experienced early trauma. This post on sharing difficult news with children is one of those lessons.

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“Mom, you know what I learned from the chief resident today?”

My daughter, Hannah, was in medical school soaking up knowledge at a rate reserved for the young and intellectually curious.

She continued,

When you give a child hard news, you have to get down low so your heart is on the same level as theirs.

Even now, years later, I have not forgotten those words.

My Learning Curve: A Moment of Connection In a Moment of Pain

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My son rushed into the kitchen gripping his left hand in his right, yelling, “I need tweezers! I need tweezers!” I asked if he had a sliver and could I see it. He turned away from me.

Despite his efforts to hold back tears, I could see that he was in pain.

I gave him the tweezers and he tried to pull the sliver out–but it was stuck.

I shot up a prayer, “Lord, please let him be open to me helping and let this be a connecting moment.”

I offered to help again, this time he came to me, holding out the tweezers. What I finally saw was the top of a large sliver wedged under his fingernail – ouch!

Thankfully there was enough of the end exposed to grip the sliver with the tweezers. I took a calming breath and tried to pull it out, but it was really stuck. My son was in pain and not happy.

I prayed aloud that Jesus would help us get the sliver out, then I gripped the end and very slowly pulled once again. On the third try, a 3/4 inch-long chunk of wood emerged from under the nail, blood pouring out as it exited his finger.

I was so relieved – so was my son, but man, did it hurt.

He let me help him wash and bandage his finger.

Later, as he ate breakfast, he said, “I’m glad you got the sliver out.” I answered that I was praying Jesus would help us because I could see it really hurt.

With relief, he replied, “He sure answered fast.”

He didn’t hug me when he left for school, but as I stood at the front door praying over my youngest three, I rested my hand on his shoulder and he leaned, ever so slightly, against me.

My son trusted me to help him and allowed me to connect with him in a moment of pain. This is a big deal for us – a very big deal.


How about you? Do you have a story of connecting with one of your kids from “hard places?” I would love to hear from you.

with hope and gratitude,

Lisa

Signature Lisa Claire

Books we recommend:

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My Learning Curve: How to Honor Birth Family on Birthdays (and why)

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I remember the year Kalkidan turned eight. Her birthday was approaching and she was very excited, so excited that I was concerned about it all falling apart. We met with her therapist early that week and spent nearly the entire session talking about what we could all do to make Kalkidan’s birthday a happy day.

Deborah explained to Kalkidan that lots of kids think about their birthfamilies on their birthdays and that can give them sad and/or mad feelings. Those feelings can make a special day difficult, so she suggested we devote time before Kalkidan’s birthday to talk about her Ethiopian family. In particular, she suggested that we light a candle and remember Kalkidan’s mother.

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