November 29, 2013

Triangulation and Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Narcissistic Famlies

Setting healthy boundaries requires direct statements and clear communication. Narcissistic families commonly have a skewed, ineffective communication style called “TRIANGULATION.” Instead of the mother talking to the daughter, the mother may express her thoughts and feelings—usually negative and criticizing—to another family member in the hope that he or she will tell the daughter. Then the mother can deny that she said it, although the message somehow got out there anyway. This triangulation in communication is PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE and is an expression of the sentiment “I will get you back, but not directly to your face.” Many families, unfortunately, communicate in this dysfunctional manner, but narcissistic families are the poster example.

H/T: Karyl McBride, Ph.D.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 22, 2013

Duct Tape

I should seriously consider carrying some of this around and making sure to have it everywhere I go. Sometimes I am amazed by what comes out of people’s mouths. In case you were wondering, the duct tape isn’t for them, it’s for me. One of these days someone’s going to make an ignorant uneducated comment around me and there will be no duct tape to save them.

November 20, 2013

10 On Tues: Love & Logic Style

Children are not caged birds!

2. "Anger and frustration feed misbehavior." We know a mom who repeats this to herself when she feels like responding with lots of anger and wrath.

3. When a kid challenges your decision with a "But, why!!??", experiment with a "What do you think the reasons might be?" instead of a long justification.

4. Signs Love and Logic skills & products may NOT be right for you: 1) You had your sense of humor removed in 1987 2) You believe raising kids has to be miserable 3) You find something negative about everything 4) You secretly want kids to be incapable so they need you 5) You enjoy punishing 6) You hate fun Aren't you glad none of these describe you?

5. Just because kids are star athletes or talented in other activities, we should NOT give them a 'character pass'.

6. "The struggle my child faces today can become the strength my child possesses tomorrow."

7. My kids will face challenges. I will empower, not enable.

8. "Love you [pause] too much to fight about this." ~Said lovingly, but without a lot of emotional energy.

9. Stay classy... when there is a conflict. That way, your kids will see how to stay classy when there is a conflict.

10. We want kids THINKING about and owning their problems. Often, it's a matter of ASKING them what they are going to do about it instead of TELLING them.

Hat Tip: Love and Logic Institute, Inc.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 11, 2013

Get used to it—life is messy!

Foster care classes are going well. We’ve been faithfully attending each class for five weeks. We finally finished our questionnaire a couple of weeks ago and have four classes left including the one we will go to today.

In the beginning of the classes our instructors said not everyone starting the class would be there at the end. There are a few people who have already dropped the class and it’s totally understandable.

Right now we are in the process of getting our home in order. For example, we keep our cleaning supplies under our kitchen sink as well as all our bathroom sinks. Yesterday we started the process of gathering our cleaning supplies and transferring them to a high shelf in the unfinished part of our basement where we store boxes and other extras. We also have prescription medications that need to be locked up, too.

I would like to have a clutter-free home before we get our license. Our house is really not that bad but I want everything to have its place and make sense. Slowly but surely the goal is to get our home organization project done before we become licensed.

So far we still want to foster, even after all of the difficult scenarios we have encountered during class time. It has also been pretty interesting the various reactions we have received concerning becoming a foster family. I am always amazed at what naysayers will come up with to try and put a damper on things. I have a whole new take on “diarrhea of the mouth” and am simply amazed at the filth that is spewed in our direction.

Our family has been through enough “mess” to know that life is not a fancy wrapped boxed with a pretty bow on top. Life is messy! Our family has a lot of love to give to all the kids who find themselves in our home.

God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)

Photo Credit: Pinterest

November 8, 2013

Helicopter Parenting is a Problem

Helicopters are exciting because they make a lot of wind, noise, and vibration, and they don't go very fast (except for jet-powered attack helicopters; which we will discuss later). Their place in the world is to hover, rescue, and protect. Emergency response teams couldn't function without them.

But what if the helicopter hovers overhead when there's no emergency? Then it's a problem.

When parents insist on hovering overhead to provide constant protection, it's a nuisance. It can even hinder normal life. We call those who use this approach "helicopter parents." They stay close by in order to rescue their children whenever a problem arises.

To get a good look at helicopter parents, just visit your local middle or high school. You'll see them hovering in and out the front door, carrying field-trip permission slips, homework assignments, band or orchestra instruments, and coats. Helicopter parents watch for their beloved offspring to send up a signal flare, and then they swoop in to shield their children from teachers, playmates, and other apparently hostile elements. Unfortunately, they also shield their children from any of the significant learning opportunities offered; helicopter parents accept the worry for consequences their children should be shouldering themselves. You'll hear the principal muttering under his breath, "Wow! How long did it take the kid to train his parents to do stuff like that?"

Other moms and dads sometimes regard helicopter parents as model citizens. After all, look at how involved they are. They're on every committee and seem to be at school more than some of the teachers. They seem so caring. They're always "there" for their kids. Besides, the dangers are real, so kids need rescuing, right?

But if you look just under the surface, you'll discover that helicopter parents often do things for their kids because of the way they—the parents—feel. Out of "love" or guilt, they will refrain from imposing or allowing consequences, because they feel uncomfortable with consequences. When their children hurt, they bail them out—because they hurt too.

Helicopter parents behave the way they do because they confuse love, protection, and caring. Each of these concepts is good, but they aren't synonymous with each other. 

Helicopter parents won't allow their children to fail. If their kids fail, they mistakenly reason, it means they are uncaring and unloving parents. Rescuing parents often rescue out of their own needs. They unconsciously enjoy healing another's hurts. They are parents who need to be needed, not parents who want to be needed. 

Children who are raised with the "love" of helicopter parents will turn into helicopters themselves. But some day they will run out of fuel and crash their personal lives. Why? Because their learning opportunities were stolen from them in the name of love. 

These kids keep breaking the speed limit because they know Dad will pay the fine, or they engage in promiscuous sex because Mom paid for the birth control pills. A few years later, they flunk out of college, mishandle what little money they have, or meander about "getting their heads together." The real world, these young adults discover, doesn't offer a grand helicopter parent in the sky to heal their diseases, pay for their bounced checks, save them from irresponsible people, or literally bail them out of jail.

Hat Tip: Parenting Teens with Love and Logic
Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin 

November 7, 2013

Mathematical Operations

Sisterly Questions and Answers

Yesterday on the way to church the girls were having a pretty intense discussion about God and the bible. Lately Fiona has had a lot of questions and Kinsley is pretty black and white when it comes to this stuff.

Fiona: Okay, how do we really know that God is not a she instead of a he?

Kinsley: Come on Fiona! The bible says that Mary gave birth to a baby and HIS name is JESUS. That makes him a BOY. Get over it!

Later on in the van on the way to church Fiona said she was a little confused by the trinity. She said the thing that is confusing for her is that the bible says Jesus prayed in the garden to God.

Fiona: So mom—what does that mean? Jesus prayed to himself in the garden?

We talked about the trinity some more. I also brought up H2O and how you can get it in three forms but at the end of the day it’s still H2O. That seemed to make sense to her.

I think the trinity is pretty confusing for a lot of people and while the actual word “trinity” is not mentioned in the bible it does exist.

I think we will be doing more bible reading together. Fiona is asking some really good age appropriate questions. Kinsley has some great answers for her sister, too!