Archives for posts with tag: behavior

Well, after two and a half weeks, I’m back to blogging!  We returned from our week in paradise, enjoyed Christmas at home, went to bed early on New Year’s Eve, and started back to our usual routine of home school and life today.  Great to have a break from writing to process it all.

Vacation…what can I say…it was over the top fantastic!  It was worth the 15 year wait to have a real beach holiday with my main man, and all the kids did so great without us!

We stayed out late, we slept in, we did what we wanted, we didn’t have to do anything, we had our own schedule, we experienced new adventures, we were lazy, we soaked in the hot tub, we read on chaise lounges poolside, we dined on our balcony, we tanned on the beach, every restaurant we ate at was better than the one before, and we caught fish!

Wow, I even got to read four whole books! (I’ll review them in the next posts this week.)  My honey even upgraded us to a convertible!  He even found a car show (while I shopped!)  We acted like twenty-somethings, and lived like kings.  I forgot how much fun it can be to be the girlfriend instead of the mom!

And did I mention room service, and maid service, and drinks poolside service?

The kids had lots of fun with big sister home from college. She and big brother took wonderful care of their younger siblings.   They decorated for Christmas, shopped for and wrapped gifts, baked all kinds of fabulous treats, played games, watched movies, stayed up late, and didn’t miss us, much!  No one acted out, or at least we weren’t told about it, the house was still standing, the livestock were all well fed and watered, the dishes got washed, the meals got cooked, and most of the laundry was caught up. 

It may never happen again so I am relishing in the fact we had such a perfect week in paradise.  We are happily married, refreshed, can wink and laugh at our memories (we bought a souvenir sign ‘It’s 5 o’clock somewhere’,) and appreciate our kids all the more.

Life is good.  God is great.  And we are crazy!

 

One of the more exhausting things related to adopting older children is the vigilent supervision that comes with the task.  From sun-up to sun-down the work never stops.  Why the full-time, all-time hovering? 

Most children adopted when they are older, have issues related to a background of abuse or neglect.  If you are a responsible parent, you have taught your children right from wrong from birth.  Kids from the ‘system’ did not have this advantage.  Therefore, their behaviors are often times destructive to themselves, and/or unsafe for other children. 

A mild case of this would be the fact that a child has no clue how to dress for the elements.  Wearing a winter jacket when it is 100 degrees, can be just as problematic for their health as not wearing a coat, hat, and gloves when it is below freezing.  They often lack logic for simple things.

A more serious case would be an older child having sexualized behavior (that does not mean sexual assault, but instead an overactive imagination or fascination with sex) around younger, impressionable children.

In our home we have 3 particular children that have needed constant supervision since they were placed with us.  At first, we did not realize we needed to provide this.  Over the years we have learned the necessity for it.  They are not bad kids, they just need more supervision, and more time with parents to learn right from wrong.

Last evening my husband and older children were occupied elsewhere.  The rest of the kids got to have a ‘mom date’.  We played games then watched a classic comedy movie, enjoying popcorn on my king size bed, staying up way past normal bedtime.

During the 5 hours of ‘mom date’ I had to leave my 5 adopted children unsupervised for a few minutes, several times, as I did laundry, checked email, popped corn, and took a shower.  I left my two teens ‘in charge’ of the board games and subsequent movie each time.  This is highly uncommon for me as usually I am there every minute.  My two teens actually had safe behavior (of course they knew I could pop in at any moment), were responsible , and enjoyed being recreation directors for their younger siblings.

This doesn’t mean from now on I am going to leave anyone unattended for more than a few minutes at a time, but it does give me hope that over the years of ‘helicopter parenting’, progress is being made.  Our effort to serve the Lord through adoption is bearing fruit – I thought I would never see the day!

Adoptive parents have a difficult job.  In the day-to-day burdens it doesn’t seem like your sacrifices mean anything.   Over the years, however, the 24/7/365 work pays off.

Pewwwwwwwwwy…what stinks?  My fridge not only smelled rank, but I saw a number of science experiments!  Time to clean, again.  Because we have a large family living in the middle of nowhere, we keep a good supply of food. We have 3 freezers and 3 refrigerators.  I need to clean one of these at least once a week to keep up.  I hate, hate, hate cleaning out the refrigerator!  Why, I wonder?  Well, because it is a thankless job that must be done regularly.  You’ve got to throw out the junk, clean the inside, reset the  controls to achieve the right temperature, and restock with the good stuff – fresh items.

Raising adopted children can be a stinky business, too.    A daughter may have become disrespectful in her responses to me.  Another may be acting out by bedwetting,  One could be playing alone too much.  A son may be violent or unsafe.  When my children’s behavior becomes stinky, I need to get back to the basics of good parenting, and  ‘clean the fridge’:

1. Throw out the junk:  too much electronic time, too much activity in a given day, impatience, lack of empathy, rotten attitudes, recurring sin in our lives. 

2. Deep clean:  purify my heart and theirs with God’s word, forgive past wrongs, use the 10 commandments as rules for life, model appropriate attitudes and behaviors, make home a safe place where trust and bonding can grow.

3.  Adjust my controls: studying God’s word daily and having His song in my heart will restore my thermometer (attitude) to the right setting.

4.  Restock my family with the good stuff: share more one-on-one time, give lots of hugs, use encouraging words, make family fun time, stay home more, have a regular routine, be consistent in correction, give appropriate discipline, set healthy lifestyle habits.

If I could only do those things as I should, there would be no stinky fridge, children, or parents!  Better go clean that mess now….

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