Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Blessing List

There are links and products in this post, but they aren't affiliate. This is a personal, non-business blog.

Emotionally right now, I'm about as disabled as I was thirteen years ago, after losing a baby. Sleep is elusive, aggravating everything. Everyday tasks feel overwhelming at times, and all of life's problems seem insurmountable. Intellectually, I know it 'aint so, but convincing my heart or mind of that is difficult.

The grace of God has keep this from affecting my children very much, but I see that no matter what the reason, a broken heart is a tragedy to walk through. There are no short cuts.

I thought that disengaging myself from an extended-family dysfunction would help reduce stress, but it turns out that disengaging oneself from the only family ever known, leads to a terrible sense of isolation. I didn't make a mistake; I just made a very costly decision. Morally and intellectually, it was the right thing, but with dysfunction there are no winners. Everyone hurts, just for different reasons.

Such events in our lives help us understand more fully that we live for eternity. There is pain here and our task is not to run away from pain, or even prevent it from happening (outside of following God's precepts so things go as well as possible for us).

Rather, our task is to make sure that every day of our lives resembles a gratitude toward Christ - that we live for Him and His purposes, not for our own. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Making His will our own is our daily task, which is why we must cling to His Word and commune with The Comforter in prayer.

Tuesday is list day and since that may be all I'm capable of, I'm participating today.

A few of my blessings:

1. The books I previously wrote about are helping my family a great deal. I purchased four of them, and I already see the problem-solving steps being implemented by my boys, especially.

What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Ocd

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger

What to Do When You Grumble Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Negativity

2. I also purchased The Total Transformation program, which you may have heard about on the radio. It promises to end obnoxious behavior in your problem children - back-talking, arguing, abuse, disrespect. Designed for children who have poor problem-solving skills, it addresses the behavior difficulties children with ADHD or ADD or autism would have, or problems exhibited by children who have been in orphanages, or abusive situations, or multiple foster homes.

In some cases children are so wounded, they develop faulty thinking that inhibits their ability to take responsibility for their behavior. The program helps these kids identify their faulty thinking patterns, and begin to take responsibility for their actions, though it is written to the parent, not to the child. The parent learns, and then teaches the child.

In cases of AD/HD  or autism - often accompanied by learning disabilities - it helps the parent deliver systematic instruction these kids can understand, while at the same time addressing the kids' faulty thinking patterns.

Additionally, it helps parents identify their ineffective parenting styles, correct them, and effectively help their children. I have always been an assertive parent, but the stress caused by my son's disorders makes it easy for me to sink into ineffective patterns.

Problem behavior is a cover for these kids' poor problem-solving skills, and if the underlying issues are not addressed, behavior becomes more dangerous over time, especially for kids entering adolescence.

The program cost me $19 up front (called shipping and processing costs). Then, once a month for three months, $100 will be charged to me, but that $300 is all refunded if I answer every question in a survey that comes with the program (within 180 days of purchase). It comes with a stamped receipt and two employee signatures, so the date of purchase is well documented. I will send back the survey far sooner than 180 days, so I expect not to pay the whole $300.

The survey is extensive, but not too extensive. It is fair, and truly designed to help the therapists improve and develop new products.

The two married therapists who developed it - James and Janet Lehman - appear in two DVD's that come with it, and there are also 7 or 8 audio teaching CD's, in which James explains the principles in a conversational style. A workbook also explains everything involved.

James was a former problem child who ended up in and out of prison for 7 years. After he was ordered to take an accountability workshop, his life turned around, and he went to college to become a therapist, which he did successfully for 30 years before producing this program. As far as I know, he is still a private-practice therapist.

3. Audio books continue to be a blessing here. When the kids ask for a library DVD, I am putting in audio books instead, which help keep the sanity around here as I prepare dinner (husband is gone 7AM to 7PM). Often I have Peter's help, other times he helps make the surroundings pretty stressful and hyper, so a DVD or audio book help me think clearly and measure accurately as I cook. I feel guilt for the DVD's, even though we choose them carefully, but the audio books come with no guilt at all, and they keep the children calm and engaged - either drawing, coloring, playing trains or Legos or blocks, or just listening.

4. God's Word is a blessing to me always, but especially in times of trouble. We ( and I) are also listening to more audio Bible. Reading 1 and 2 Kings during morning devotions exhausted me because of the difficult names of the kings. The names are so similar, I was getting confused and the pronunciation effort robbed me of some comprehension. Now, lately, we gather in the family room (playroom) with the desktop computer, open our Bibles, and read along as the audio runs. Then I read the commentary aloud, we discuss it, and finally, we end in round-robin prayer and dedicate the day and our work to the Lord.

What is blessing you, my friend?



Angela said...

I'm saying a prayer for you today. May you feel God work intimately in you life to move you towards better days. Some days are just hard.
I have never heard of any of those resources, I will have to bookmark them for the future.

Christine said...

I feel the prayer. Thank you, Angela. And thank you for stopping by.

Tesha Papik said...

Oh I am so sorry you are struggling. I know that emotional pain all to well. Please know I am praying for you and I am available if you need to talk! I love the audio book idea! We have recently cut out visions and there are times I NEED something to keep the kids quite! I will have to check our library! I am also interested Inthe total transformation and I hope you will do a detailed review! People have ask me my option on it before but I have not met anyone that has tried it! Praying you find comfort today!

Christine said...

Thank you, Tesha. Today definitely feels better. I will post a review in a few weeks about the behavior program.

The libraries carry tons of audio books now. Yeah!