Thursday, March 6, 2008

Post Training Blues

I am tired and fighting the blues this morning. I often feel this way after an evening spent training foster and adoptive parents. Don't get me wrong, I love training, I am passionate about passing on valuable information and teaching important skills to help parents succeed at this incredibly tough job they have taken on. I also think I am a pretty good teacher and interesting speaker.

It is really the magnitude of the job that gives me the blues. I want to just go home with each and every family in my class and spend some quality time helping them implement the learning. Too many of these families are close to disruption and they don't want to be, they just don't have the skills to do it well.

I do love the "Ah Ha" moments though, those wonderful breakthroughs when you can see that the parent has gotten a vital insight into their child and is completely reevaluating their understanding of the child's behaviors and their own responses. We were talking about the attachment cycle, (actually that wasn't really part of the lesson on therapeutic communication, but it is amazing how relevant that cycle is to so many things) and how meeting the child's needs builds trust (in this case the need to be heard or listened to). This one adoptive mother who has really struggled to understand how her children's earliest experiences could possibly be affecting their behavior now as teens finally put it together. She was able to see how her children's neglect in those crucial first two years of life could set up a whole world view that made it very hard for the child to accept love, understand safety and security, and truly believe that they were a lovable and capable person.

This woman has been very resistant to the training up until last night, she has argued that a lot of what I have spoken about doesn't apply to her situation, etc. So it was really nice to see her finally put some pieces together and accept that her kids, despite the many years of wonderful parenting she has done, still carry around issues from their youngest years. I am hoping that the "Ah ha" moment might lead her to recommit, as she is very burnt out and has basically given up and just can't wait for the kids to get old enough to get out of the house. But I know that one "ah ha" moment in class will not really do it, she is one of the ones that I just want to go spend a lot more time with and help her implement some of the strategies and let her see some positive outcomes. I could just see me, "Super Nanny" to the foster/adoptive family set!

To digress, I just love that show, "Super Nanny". I love it for 3 main reasons, first I do think many of her strategies and ideas are right on, logical and appropriate discipline strategies, second she does a good job of holding the parents responsible for their attitudes and issues, and third I just get a kick out of seeing "normal", as in not foster/adoptive children behave so badly, it makes me feel better about my own kids and my own parenting.

1 comment:

Lyn said...

I have to say that if a family is in need of on the job training, I as a mother would be ok with you coming into my home for some quality time to help me put the lesson to practice. I just finished up some of our adoption training and I have to say that I would welcome the insight...esp if they're close to disruption. I know that it's not in your job descript but it would be nice if it was! Sometimes we can't communicate the behavior correctly and therefore can't imagine using the techniques.