The Comfort of a Rocking Chair

A rocking chair.

A big, stuffed rocking chair.

Ask me what my most useful tool is for parenting children with trauma, or parenting in general, and this is what I’ll answer.

A Rocking Chair.

It doesn’t need to be attractive, stylish, or match your decor.

There are lots of other tools I love from weighted blankets to the favored baby carrier of the day.

But if I had to choose one thing for parenting kids of nearly all ages, a rocking chair would be it.

I’ve rocked all of my babies from the time they were born or came to be my children.

My children from Ethiopia were five months, 23 months, five and a half, and ten years old.

I rocked them all.

Lots of Rocking

I was reading back through old posts describing therapeutic parenting techniques and I mention rocking the kids so many times.

Like this post, Rocking Our Sorrows Away, from 2008, when one of my girls was still new to speaking English and adjusting to life in a family.

Once a wise therapist challenged me to rock one of my children 15 minutes a day for thirty days – no interruptions or distractions.

I wrote about it in My Learning Curve: The Rocking Chair Challenge.  Seventy-four of my readers joined me. We shared our ups and downs – it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

On New Year’s Eve 2010, I wrote Rocking in the New Year, and answered questions about rocking my kids.

Not too many years ago, we replaced my old chair with a new, still very comfy, rocking chair.

In times of sorrow, even Russ and I have curled up in that chair together, his arms wrapped tightly around me, my head on his chest – and we’ve rocked.

Rocking is comforting in the deepest way. The soothing movement tells our brains to slow down, to calm.

The loving arms around us say, “I’m here. You are safe. You are not alone.”

Do you have a rocking chair story or thought to share? Share it in the comments!

We’re loving family time on  Whidbey Island.

Annarose and Beza arrive tonight, which means everyone but Hannah will be here. She’s not able to join us this year because of her new job.

It’s lovely having everyone here.

The boys build a fire in the fire pit every evening that draws us all to one place at the end of the day. It’s possible the s’mores help too.

I’ve been posting pics on Instagram and my Insta story if you want to take a look.

I hope your week is off to a great start.

With courage and hope for the journey,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Iola Rossman
    July 31, 2017

    Love your stories Dear Lisa!!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 1, 2017

      Thank you, Mrs. Rossman!

  2. Emily
    August 1, 2017

    We just got the COMFIEST stuffed rocking chair off Craigslist. I am so excited about it. It’s so comfy that Ben has been sitting in there to read 🙂 We can’t wait to rock our baby in it!!!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 2, 2017

      That sounds wonderful!!


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