Archive for the ‘Mentoring’ Category

What can I learn from my son about persistence

September 3, 2016

Our youngest son is six, but resembles a three year old in many ways   

After a particularly long day, I am thinking back about positives in some challenging, even irritating moments. 

  1. Pursue what you love to do, no matter what. He is an outdoor kid. He loves to go biking. It felt like he asked about 10,00 times if we could go biking. No matter how many times he as told no, or later, he kept on going until we went out. 
  2. Always find time to play. Another common request is to play with him. Very often, it is when w are tired, or not really wanting to. 
  3. Express your emirates   In theMidwest off the no, or later, he will often cry. He can go over the top sometimes, but there is no doubt h mo doubt how he feels. 

Just some thoughts from a weary parent. 

If we’re honest……

July 29, 2016

Secrets can hold a great deal of power, if we let them.

There are good secrets, like presents and surprises.  These secrets are usually kept for a short period of time, and because they are for a good purpose.

The secrets that have power tend to be darker, the things that we don’t want known from our past. People go to great lengths to keep things quiet and out of sight.

There are some things that shouldn’t necessarily be widely known.

We often go to great lengths to put up a front that everything is going well, even though things may becoming completely unglued.

The power of secrets is broken by being honest, with people that are safe.  These are usually close friends, with a relationship developed and tested over time.

Francesca Battistelli is a Christian artist. She released an album in 2014 titled “If We’re Honest”.   The title track is very powerful. Here’s a link to the YouTube videoIf We’re Honest.

When we admit to each other that we are a mess, we gain freedom. We don’t have to waste energy hiding our crap.  We can just be real with each other

It can be a long road to get to this point.

Not everyone is safe to be brutally honest with.

Still, it is important to be honest.

It takes too much energy to keep the walls from falling in.

To be honest, it is life draining.

The cumulative effect of things takes a toll over time.  In the last 18 months, we have received a significant diagnosis for each of our kids.  My parents have both had challenges.  Our extended family has been dealing with a number of challenges.  To be honest, I am worn down by all of these things.  But is necessary to keep moving forward, and finding a place where energy can be restored.  It can be a huge challenge, especially when it seems everyone wants one more piece.

In spite of this, life is still good.  God provides.

And energy is better spent on living, rather than keeping up the walls.

 

Work by design summit

June 4, 2016

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading a few different blogs, and picking up a few different tips about how to function more efficiently in all aspects of life.

The most recent resource I participared in was the Work by Design summit, hosted by Claire Diaz-Ortiz. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, and helped shape the experience.

Access is available to the Work by Design Summit here.

Exhaustion

February 8, 2016

There are some days, even weeks, that feel like they suck the life out of you.

Thus week has had a few of those. Some of the behaviours and defiance are just enough to make me wish I could crawl under a rock.

I was talking to another parent who has adopted a couple of kids with FASD. I commended her for making it. She said the teen years can be tough, especially with hormones and all of the fun that’s on with that.

There has been so much going on that I just feel wrung out.

In the past couple of months , I came across a new to me blog, Confessions of an adoptive parent, blogged by Mike and Kristin Berry.

They have been wiring for a while. They have adopted some kids with special needs, including FASD.

They have just launched a podcast called Honestly Speakimg, which can be found on their website. It can also be found on iTunes.

They also offer a free resource, “The Weary Parent’s Guide to Escaping Exhaustion”, for subscribing to their email.

I have found several posts to be right where I’m living at the moment.

Parenting

September 19, 2013

I saw a post from Ellen at lovethatmax.com about those who comment about how great parents of special needs kids are.  Check out “I’m not a great parent just because  have a kid with special needs.”

Ellen writes about the assumption that people make that parents with special needs kids are great parents.

The help we give our kids is just parenting.  All children need to to be parented differently.

There are far too many instance of parents divorcing after a special need happens, often because the father has left.  It is unfortunate that so many in this day and age, often men, but not always, abandon ship with things get tough.

Parenting is a tough calling.  I have heard it said that God has placed children in our lives to help us grow up, as much as it is to help them grow up.  Children can bring out our selfishness and point out our pride at the most embarrassing times.

In these times when we blow it, we can set an important example for our kids when we admit we messed up and ask for forgiveness.  Not that I always do that.  Just do it more often than not.

A quiet afternoon and thinking about things

June 22, 2013

It is too easy to get lost in where we wish things would be, and we should just be glad for how far things have come.

As we all know, life is busy.

As parents of a child with delays, we get stuck on how we wish things could be different.

But, they’re not.  And that’s how it is.

We have to be thankful for:

  • developing vocabulary
  • increasing attention span, allowing for more involved activities
  • generally good health
  • other developmental progressions
  • good supports available in the community that are free to us, or not overly expensive.

As we move through life, we don’t realize how important those things are to the enjoyment of life.

We are blessed to live in a relatively prosperous community, where there have been several individuals who have been generous and supported the development of many things.  The most significant for us is a centre for child development that provides services to the community at no cost to the user.  Funding is from a mix of source s – the provincial health care system, and private donors.

There are numerous opportunities to support worthy causes.  Always consider whether it is a worthy cause.  Most are trustworthy, but there are some that are looking to take advantage of people who trust them.

 

Advice for friends of adoptive families

June 15, 2013

I have shared many links to Instant Mama’s blog.

Her family has changed recently.  Her and her husband fostered six children for almost two years, before the were reunited with their mother.

A couple of months after that, they were matched with a group of five biological children, and they became a family

In a post called Supporting and Understanding, she refers to Ashlee’s (another blogger) post about supporting adoptive families.

This provides some insights for older children joining a family through adoption.

 

Things that matter

June 4, 2013

It is a common misconception that there overnight successes

The “overnight success” may have taken five to ten years of working evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays to become the apparent “overnight success”.

I spent a few hours this afternoon listening to Jon Acuff reading his audiobook “Quitter” talking about his “overnight” success.

He tells of his journey through advertising and working for several years in the IT department of a number of companies writing material and honing his skills as he eventually got his dream job as a writer as part of the Dave Ramsey group.  He started his wildly successful blog “Stuff Christians Like (stuffchristianslike.net, which now points to jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike) while working for another company in Atlanta.  He traveled to speak on weekends while he worked for another company.

Anyhow, Jon talked about how we all are busy and don’t necessarily have “enough” time for anything.  We have to stop shooting for perfection, because it is not achievable.  We should shoot for great.  Great and published or finished is better than perfect and stuck in your head.

He also talked about the importance of being great at your day job, and it will spill over into the rest of your life.

It was definitely good food for thought.

Make some time and get started.  I’m talking to myself as well.

Identity

May 22, 2013

We all struggle with who we are at some point.  Adopted children in a particular way, as they struggle with rejection.

There are times that life is frustrating.  Demands on our time, energy, and just pure exhaustion can add up.

This morning I came to the computer and saw a list of potential video choices on youtube after I had watched on a few hours ago when I had a hard time sleeping.  I saw a guy sitting holding a guitar.  I put the pointer over the clip, and it was Jason Gray, the song title, Remind Me Who I Am.  It is a video with a several people holding up a piece of cardboard with some words that describes how they are not valued or have been abused.  Toward the end fo the video, the artist has everyone who has held up a piece of cardboard saying “Beloved”.  There is also a version with the lyrics running on screen.

It is a simple, powerful prayer to God, our creator, to remind who we are to Him, and that we belong to him.  He loves us in our mess, but wants to take us out of our mess.

10 Goals You Should Accomplish in 10 Years | All Pro Dad

April 19, 2013

10 Goals You Should Accomplish in 10 Years | All Pro Dad.

Here are 10 goals for long-term success.

The article suggested we overestimate our potential to accomplish in one year and underestimate for our potential to accomplish in ten years.

By thinking for the long run, we set ourselves up for more success.


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