Why Mom’s Attitude Matters!

by | Emotions

It’s no secret that the attitude and behavior of children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, Complex PTSD, or other trauma-related problems can have a negative impact on the entire family. What about us as parents, though? Have you ever stopped to wonder, though, how mom’s attitude affects things? 

I’ve noticed this is a topic that is often overlooked. It’s very easy to blame our kids…or their birth parents…or the school…or the POTUS…or whomever for contributing to the chaos going on in our world. It’s not so easy to point the finger back at and look ourselves.

Parenting hurt kids is hard!

I’ll be the first to admit that our traumatized kids aren’t very likable or easy to live with. In fact, most of the time it’s about the equivalent of living with and trying to love a rabid porcupine!

I get asked all the time “How do I fix my kid?”

The answer is “You can’t.”

You can teach, you can listen, you can change your own beliefs, responses, and reactions, and you can create an environment that inspires them to want change. But you can’t change them or do the work for them. The only person that any of us have the power to change is ourselves. That is also where the most powerful kind of change happens.

Traumatized kids can’t do it alone

Since most of our kids who had a rough start in life have social, emotional, and cognitive delays (aka emotional and psychological impairments), they often don’t even have the ability to make those changes. Nor do they understand why everyone around them is so mean and trying to make them change. In their minds, they are the normal ones. It’s everyone else that is messed up!

When that kind of a quill gets shot back at us from our sweet little porcupine, it can sting. It puts us on the defensive and can quickly throw us into a battle of wills to see who can prove they are right the fastest.  This will never get anyone anywhere.

Traumatized kids can’t do it alone.

Since most of our kids who had a rough start in life have social, emotional, and cognitive delays (aka emotional and psychological impairments), they often don’t even have the ability to make those changes. Nor do they understand why everyone around them is so mean and trying to make them change. In their minds, they are the normal ones. It’s everyone else that is messed up!

When that kind of a quill gets shot back at us from our sweet little porcupine, it can sting. It puts us on the defensive and can quickly throw us into a battle of wills to see who can prove they are right the fastest.  This will never get anyone anywhere.

When you want to fight back…

Next time you’re tempted to engage in the fight, or you’re tempted to blame your child, or you just want to head for the hills and drop the sweetie off at the nearest homeless shelter along the way, take a step back and examine your own attitude.

Let’s start by looking at how you’re feeling about what you’re reading right now. Do any of these sound like you?

  • Wow! This is great stuff…for someone else.
  • It’s not me that has the problem. It’s my kid.
  • Yada, yada, yada. I already know all this stuff…and it doesn’t work for me or for my kid.
  • Whatever. I’m too tired.
  • I’ll get right on this…tomorrow.
  • I didn’t make this mess, I’m not going to be the one who cleans it up!
  • My kid is just a jerk who is choosing not to get with the program or work on their life.
  • I don’t even like this kid enough to care anymore.

These are common attitude traps for us mamas. I can also promise you from experience that these are some of the most toxic gremlins there are. At some point, I’ve said or done every one of them myself. For this reason, I can tell you with 100% authority, they are also the biggest and strongest stumbling blocks that keep everyone, including our kids…and sometimes especially our kids, stuck and spinning instead of moving forward and healing.

The kids always know.

Our traumatized children have sonar radar capabilities. We might think we’re hiding these types of beliefs and attitudes, but we can’t. Our kids always know, and they know when we’re faking our way through things.

They can and will pick up on even the slightest whiff of stuff like this and they will magnify it by about a million.

Once that happens, their fear responses kick into high gear. Everything is on high alert, the quills are primed and ready for shooting, and the slightest look or even a sigh can send them spinning.

What we CAN change

Does that mean it’s our fault that our kids blow out? Of course not! Remember, they have significant emotional, social, and cognitive impairments (even if they are really smart when it comes to stuff like school.) Blowouts are going to happen.

What we moms do have the power to do, though, is change our own attitude. We can change how we choose to see things. We can choose a response that will encourage peace and safety rather than destruction.

It’s long been said that your attitude determines your beliefs. Your beliefs determine your actions. Your actions determine the outcome. 

What if I don’t like how things are going?

If things aren’t where you’d like them to be in your life right now, I want to challenge you to look at your own attitude. How might these hidden thoughts and beliefs be keeping you stuck? How might they be escalating things with your child? Which one of those can you work on changing this week in order to achieve a more peaceful and positive outcome?

As always, I believe in you and you CAN do this!

Join my Facebook Group!

If you’re a mom or grandma of children who struggle with issues related to early childhood trauma, attachment problems, prenatal drug or alcohol exposure, or other mental illness, come on over and join us! Climbing Back the to Light is a positive, no venting allowed “think tank” group for those truly seeking to help their child and their family heal.

Diana

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We all know children with Reactive Attachment Disorder and other issues related to complex PTSD can have a toxic attitude. What about us as moms, though? Our attitude matters even more than whatever our kids are spewing. Our sweet darlings (most of whom have invisible disabilities and brain injury) always know when we’re faking it. If you don’t like how things are rolling at your house, check your own attitude. #serenitylinkscoaching #specialneedsmom #therapeuticparenting #parentingtrauma

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