Have you ever found yourself doing or saying things that sound just like your parents?
Things that you told yourself you would never say or do?
I have just finished reading “Dare to Love” by Heather Forbes, a question and answer book following on from her books “Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control” volume 1 and 2. While I haven’t read those books (yet) it was easy enough to understand the parenting theory just by reading this book.
Our PSW loaned this book to me from the library of books available for carers and children at the agency. There is a section in the book dealing with sleep issues, and considering the trouble we’d been having with “Blake” she thought that it might be handy. So, I started with the section on sleep, jumped around the book and read the sections looking at hyperactivity, foster children and runaways before going back and reading the whole book.
This book is great as it looks at dealing with the underlying cause of behaviours rather than just dishing out consequences. The analogy that I love is that a childs behaviour is like the tip of the iceberg and to chip away at the ice berg, you wouldn’t start at the top, you would start at what is underneath the water, just as you should deal with the underlying issues of a childs behaviour rather than just chipping away at the top with bribery.
The book looks at dealing with the children’s fear, overwhelm and dysregulation as the cause of the behaviour, and validating those feelings, building a loving and safe relationship with them, rather than isolating (time outs) and reinforcing their fears.
I would recommend the book to anyone with children. Not just foster parents, adoptive parents, but biological parents also.
We’ve started applying this in our dealings with “Blake” when he has a meltdown when it’s time to leave the farm.
We ask him why, “’cause I don’t wanna leave yet”.
Validate “I know, we don’t want to leave either we’re having too much fun here aren’t we?”
“Yes” (at that point you can feel him starting to settle)
“We’ll come back next time and we can ride the horses then. How does that sound?”
“OK” (sulky face then skulks to the car)
But…once in the car he asked to give Nana a hug, through the window, which was a huge step up from the previous respite where we had a really tough time for all of us in getting him ready to go.
Thanks to my dear PSW for recommending the book.