Archive
Monthly Archives: January 2018

CTTR: My Kids Program

my kids

In this show we discuss the My Kids program for parents who are struggling with foster, adoptive or biological kids who are hurt and insecure. We examine the My Kids Program DANCE Model and how it can help you and your family thrive.

God Is Calling You To Radical Dependence

radical dependence God, my kids community

“God does not protect us from the things he will perfect us through!”

That’s a quote from a Family Life Marriage curriculum we use at our counseling centers.

It’s also a concept deeply embedded in our My Kids Therapeutic Parenting program (www.MyKidsCommunity.com)

I LOVE this concept…until I’m IN those times of hardship which God is using to refine and perfect me!

Isn’t that so easy to do…we raise our hands in praise, shout amen when the pastor preaches but then… “oh, wait, me? I’m going to have to struggle? I have to go through those things? Wait I thought that was just a nice concept we hear the preacher say and we agree with before we go home to our comfortable lives!”

Nope, God is showing me that He WILL allow us to struggle because it makes us better.

Think about it for a second…do you protect your children from all discomfort? I hope not…if you do, that is really bad parenting. Have you ever met a child raised this way? They’ve actually shown through psychological and neurological tests that over-protective and permissive parenting has the same effect as abusive parenting.

Yep, you read that right! So, we often want God to protect us from all struggles even though if we did this ourselves as parents, we would severely damage our children.

So, if you are struggling in your parenting or in other areas of life…God is calling you to RADICAL DEPENDENCE!

Not lukewarm or fair-weather dependence…I’m talking about RADICAL DEPENDENCE where you are willing to give up everything and depend on Him alone!

That’s the kind of dependence we need when our kids bring chaos into our home. Judging from the Facebook groups I belong to for parents of attachment disordered children, even the Christian ones, people do not want to have to be dependent on God in this way while raising their children.

That breaks my heart…we so often want comfort or to feel validated in our complaining more than we want to hit our knees and call out to God.

Think about that, God spoke, and 100 billion galaxies came into existence! This God calls you His child and loves you. This God wants you to depend on Him and not on whether we have the peace in our home we want or the money in our bank account we think we need. He is bigger than anything else we can depend on! Call out to Him today and cling to Him as He guides you to peace and contentment in your home.

Our Christ-Centered therapeutic parenting program is designed to come along side you as you depend on Him.

We have a free eBook for you.

PS: If you are in need of learning how to have RADICAL DEPENDENCE on God in other areas of life we can help you there too…visit www.TheGraceWellnessCenter.com for Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling and Coaching.

Hey This DANCE Thing Works!

dance model my kids community

I gave someone a copy of my DANCE Model book…Hey have you gotten that? It free for download at www.mykidscommunity.com

But anyways…after a week or so I saw this person and they said, “hey this DANCE thing works.”

I wasn’t sure if I should be offended…I mean did she think I would write a book on something that didn’t work?

I don’t know but anyways, I just said “yeah tell me what’s been going on.” She went on to tell me that she has been using it with both her adopted kids and her biological kids and things are SO much better in the home.

AWESOMENESS!

Love hearing things like this.

By the way, did I ask if you had gotten your copy of the DANCE Model eBook yet?

I guess I should ask if you’ve read it…if not…why not? What do you have to lose, after all I wouldn’t write about something that doesn’t work, right?

www.MyKidsCommunity.com

 

PS: Hey when you read the book, can you do me a couple favors? Can you email me and let me know how it’s working for you? And second, can you tell someone else where they can get their free copy? Thanks, I really appreciate it!

 

You are Called To THRIVE!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor and Therapeutic Parent Coach

www.MyKidsCommunity.com

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/MyKidsTherapeuticParenting/

Oh Crap…I’m Screwed!

brain chemistry, security

A moment of fear overtook me…I had to get this right. My wife had handed me her laptop and asked me to hook up the new wireless printer. I opened the computer and it prompted me for a pin so of course this should be easy, right? I just ask my wife, she tells me, and we are all good.

No, not that easy! She looks at me with a sly smile and instead of giving me the pin she says “its our first date!” Oh man, I’m screwed!

So, a date comes to me that I think might be right but am not confident at all…of course I am doing my best to look confident. I slowly type in the digits and hold my breath…

Wallah…it worked! Disaster averted! Now it was my turn to give the sly look as if to say, “you thought you had me…not even close!”

Okay so why am I telling you this? Because something important was going on in my brain. I went from secure to insecure in a millisecond of time…and then back to secure just as quickly.

This process happens over and over again and this shift between secure and insecure is monitored by a small almond shaped structure in our brain called the amygdala…the amygdala is kind of like the guard of our brain. It tells us if we are okay or not.

Then my frontal lobe…the frontal lobe is kind of like the control center of the brain…attempts to regulate, manage and resolve these signals from the guard. If the control center doesn’t have an answer, it lets the guard signal the survival part of our brain to take over until security is restored.

Okay so for those of us who are fairly secure and have a lot of coping strategies this process isn’t a big deal and helps us live in an adaptive way in our world.

But what about our hurting kids who have a guard that is very sensitive because it was trained to fear and believe that disaster is always lurking? These same kids also typically lack the coping strategies and resources in their control center to manage these fears.

Hurting kids go into survival mode very easily and it is difficult to get them back to secure…but when they do function in security life is good, right?

Have you ever asked yourself “why can my child function well sometimes but most of the time they don’t?” This is why…when they are secure they make good choices but when they are insecure and in survival mode they make poor choices. This is true for all of us…It’s just that most of us don’t live in survival mode and when we go there, we come back quickly.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to help your kids function in secure mode more often?

The My Kids Community uses a brain based model for Therapeutic Parenting to help you DANCE (Have you gotten your free DANCE eBook? www.ebook.mykidscommunity.com ) with where you child is functioning in their brain. We show you how to be in sync with your child and move smoothly into the hurt, insecure places of their brain and invite them to come out and function in a more secure manner.

Do you want this for your family? If so, join us in the community where we will help you master these skills so you can guide your family out of the chaos and THRIVE!

PS: After my moment of gloating about easily remembering our first date my wife and I had a good laugh about how I was really just a good guesser!

 

I Woke Up In A Panic…

panic my kids community

Here’s how things work in my house…we like our sleep. So, I get my kids up at 6:25AM and they are on the bus by 6:45AM. 20 minutes to get ready, eat breakfast, do a small chore and out the door. We’re super efficient! No getting up at 5AM and cooking bacon…which as a vegan I think is one of the worst things you can eat besides like drinking a cup of bleach.

But anyways, you get it…there’s no time to spare.

So, one morning this past week I woke up and looked at my clock and it was 7:05…Oh crap, the kids missed the bus, I’m going to have to drive them, my wife is going to kill me…

I go to my daughters’ room and open the door…no one there. I go to my sons’ room…again, no one there. I rush downstairs and can’t find anyone. I open the refrigerator….all the lunches are gone. I look at the hooks where they hang their back packs and they’re gone.

My wife is sound asleep, my kids are gone. So either someone kid napped them…making sure to take their lunches for when they get hungry and their backpacks so they can keep learning while being held captive…or…

My kids managed this on their own, did the right thing, and are on their way to school.

Figuring the second of these two options is more likely I was settling down with a cup of coffee…when my wife came down the stairs. She goes into the kitchen and yells in…”hey why didn’t you make sure the kids emptied the dishwasher this morning.”

So I’m sitting there with this, “I’m in trouble” look on my face as I explain, ”I’m not really sure what happened this morning.”

I explained what happened and that the best I could figure, one of the kids woke up, got the rest of the kids up and made sure they all got out the door to the bus on time. As it turns out my kids ages, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 did just that. They helped each other out and made it to the bus without Dad!

My kids did the right thing!

This was awesome…my wife wasn’t surprised, she knows our kids and figured that would be what they would do so she just said…”well you need to empty the dish washer then.” Okay gladly!

So why am I telling you this? Because it hasn’t always been that way. We had more than our fair share of chaos and doing the wrong thing with our 13 kids, many of whom came through the foster care system. And don’t get me wrong, they aren’t perfect now either…but generally this is how things go. They do the right thing!

But 12 years ago, my family was really struggling, and this type of thing didn’t happen. I was studying for my second master’s degree in counseling and found no answers…I later figured out that most therapists don’t have the training and tools to work with foster and adoptive kids with attachment issues.

Don’t get me wrong…it’s not their fault…they’ve never been taught.

That was my experience in school…nothing I was learning helped me with my foster kids. That’s why I put together the My Kids Community.

It is my passion to help families with foster and adoptive kids THRIVE! It is my God given calling and I literally sit here and get excited about the families who are being helped by this community and who don’t have to struggle for a decade trying to figure this all out like I did.

Hey thanks for reading and if you’re doing really well and don’t need this, that’s awesome, please pass this information on to someone who could benefit.

For the rest of you who don’t have this therapeutic parenting thing down…check it out and see if you are as excited as I am about this!

www.MyKidsCommunity.com

PS: Please no emails about how much you love bacon…and for those of you who just need to know…yes I get enough protein as a vegan!

 

You are Called To THRIVE!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor and Therapeutic Parent Coach

www.MyKidsCommunity.com

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/MyKidsTherapeuticParenting/

Be a Wise Chicken

my kids chicken

What does parenting have to do with chickens? I’m glad you asked! Let me begin with a story about my chickens. When we first got our chickens we had them in an area enclosed by a 4 foot fence. It didn’t take long before the chickens figured out that they could get over the fence. What did they do when they got out? They crossed the road! So I raised the fence and they couldn’t get over it. However, it didn’t take long before they found a gap under one area of the fence and, you guessed it, they got out and crossed the road. I was left pondering a very real question about why the chickens crossed the road. It seemed as though they had a singular focus of getting to the other side and nothing else mattered.

As I pondered this, I began to think about how much we tend to be like that as people and as parents. We often put the blinders on and pursue our goal without really thinking it through. Parents often get so focused on traditional approaches, such as rewards and consequences, that they don’t stop to ask if they are working. When we do this, we react and often get run over by the stress of parenting; we get stuck in unwanted battles and end up with chaos. If you are a parent to a hurting child, this is even more important as it is so easy to fall into that chaos. Or, alternatively, we don’t pursue our goals because of fear of what we cannot see. We shut down and just let the chaos control us or believe that it is just going to be this way. It breaks my heart when I hear a parent of a hurting child just counting down the years and months until the child turns 18. While I understand and empathize with this feeling, there is a better way!

 

A wise chicken keeps his goal, the other side of the road, in focus but broadens his view to consider other valuable information such as whether a car is coming. He acts wisely. As a parent to a hurting child, are you setting goals and working towards them wisely? Are you considering the hurt your kids have gone through and the specialized parenting techniques needed to repair those wounds? Do you have a vision for your family that includes having peace and joy in your home? Or have you given up on that?

 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20

Parenting hurting kids is full of stress. Often we see stress as the enemy, but stress is good if it is kept under control. It helps us know that we need to act in some way, keeps us sharp and builds our resources for not just coping with life, but living the extraordinary and victorious life God calls us to. When we are stressed, we will proceed down one of two paths, the path of the wise chicken or the path of the unwise chicken. These two paths are rooted in one of two primary emotional states, love/security or fear/insecurity. If I can stay on the wise path, I will act in love and security. I don’t act hastily but I do act. I think things through and seek wise counsel. If I stay on this path I will find success and possibilities will unfold before my eyes. This is the green path on the diagram below. If however, I chose the path of the unwise chicken, I will react either by proceeding without considering the potential problems that will run me over, or I stand paralyzed. Both options are motivated by fear and insecurity. This WILL end in some failure in life and will bog me down with limitations and problems. This is the red path on the diagram below.

my kids stress diagram wisdom, wise,

In the My Kids Therapeutic Parenting Community we specialize in helping parents be wise chicken. We help you learn specific therapeutic parenting techniques and mindsets that will help you not only manage your internal stress but also help you connect with your children in a way that gives them the best opportunity to heal. We would love to come along side you and help you be a wise chicken…are you ready to THRIVE as a parent and have PEACE in your family?

 

To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!

 

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor and Therapeutic Parent Coach

www.MyKidsCommunity.com

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/MyKidsTherapeuticParenting/

Parents, Let’s Talk About Consequences

my kids are kids

What is your primary goal as a parent? To give consequences, right? Sound absurd; well it is. But unfortunately that is the unspoken goal of many parents. I know this because as a parent coach when I challenge a parent on the consequences they are giving I get very interesting and often defiant responses. Perhaps the parents need a consequence for their defiance 😉. Wouldn’t that shock them if I immediately put them in time out? I get responses like “But I can’t let them get away with it” or “but I have to give a consequence” or “where does parenting come in then?’

Ok let’s look at this. Write down all the consequences you use that work. What do I mean by work? If it works you won’t have to do it anymore. Not that it stops the behavior in that moment. I’m talking about real change; you do the consequence, you child is changed and you don’t have to do it again. Ok, how many do you have on that list? Maybe there are one or two but I bet you don’t have many. You see, our goal isn’t consequences and really isn’t changed behavior. Our goal is a changed heart. How do we change a person’s heart? We connect with them! You need to connect with your child. Any consequences we give are secondary and honestly only have value if you have a very good connection with your child. It is one tool but not the only tool. What if you could change my child’s heart without a consequence? Would that be ok?

Therapeutic parent coaching and the My Kids Program is about connecting with your child. This can be difficult if your child is damaged or if your relationship with them has slowly broken down over the years. This is even more difficult for foster and adopted kids because they are damaged at the very core of who they are and are incapable, without repair work, of connecting with you. So whatever your situation, if things aren’t working, most likely consequences are only making things worse and validating your child’s belief that you are the enemy. The My Kids Program and Community helps you repair the damage and bring the joy back to your relationship with your children.

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy your kids again? Let us help. Check us out at: www.MyKidsCommunity.com.

 

To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MyKidsTherapeuticParenting/

CTTR: Thrive Continuum

continuum health my kids

We are all on a journey from just surviving to thriving. The thrive continuum helps you look at where you are on that journey in various areas of life and how you can move from brokenness to healing in each area. The thrive continuum is made up of three levels, the Walking Wounded, the Stumbling and Stuck and the Thriving Well. We all want to get to the place where we are the Thriving Well in all areas of our life but sometimes we need support and guidance.