Saturday, June 20, 2015


The Purpose of this post is to share our at-a-glance parenting. As we continue to learn and grow as parents, this post changes and grows with us.

1.  Realizing Behavior Communicates Need:  Our children from hard places most often demonstrate their fear and that they need safety not by their words but by their behavior, and when they do this, we let them know what they’re telling us and respond by creating felt safety for them.    

2.  Not Letting Our Children “Make” Us Angry:.  We also need to remember we are communicating to our children through our behavior! In our experience, our children seemed to start trusting us when we started responding to their real need (the need the behavior is communicating) with empathy, rather than anger.

3.  Safety!!!!!:  We know where our children are at each moment and who they are with and we guard against them hurting themselves and each other as well as we can.

4.  Individualizing “Safe” Limits:  As parents, we set limits according to what our children need---at the moment, not by what may seem age-appropriate or what all the other children in our family are doing. We set their personal limits according to their ability and they communicate their ability through their behavior.

5.  Parenting at Emotional Ages:  We parent our children according to their emotional ages- not their chronological ages.

6.  “Simplifying” and Tightening Boundaries:  When we simplify by creating intense structure, our children from hard places are more peaceful and feel more safe.  When a child is impulsive, we gently, subtly tighten his boundaries until he is in a safe place.

7.  Reducing Clutter:  We try to have as little clutter as possible and the possessions we have are purposeful, and [please don’t freak out] we don’t have a TV or video games (this has been good- seriously!).

8.  Self-Care:  We need to do all we can do to keep this family healthy! Care for one member cannot mean every other member is neglected.

9. Indirect Praise:  We have conversations about the things we love about each person in our family within earshot of the hurting child.

10. Limiting Relationships: We have realized both of our sons from hard places are more secure and regulated when we limit the the adults in their life to individuals they know are extremely safe and are on the same team with us, as parents.

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