Hey all! I hope I don't drive you all crazy and make you roll your eyes with all of the Post Institute stuff. I realize that I'm on a bigtime high right now, and that soon enough I'll be over this mountaintop experience. I don't think that I will be "over" this belief system anytime soon, but I'll have to prove that to you (and me) as time goes by! Right now even my daily updates on myself and my family are going to be full of this GBB stuff because we're living it and learning from it constantly.
I talked to my mom today. She said she liked what I wrote on the blog about stress causing kids to "freeze." She said it made sense. I said, "Would it still make sense if I told you we don't plan to give the kids consequences for their poor behavior in the future?" A few seconds of silence and then, "Umm...that might not make as much sense!" She's got an open mind though. That's what I love about my mom. She is a lifetime learner.
At lunch today Taevy said, "Mom, this Bryan Post stuff really pays off!" I asked her why she thought that and she responded with, "Because. Now we have better ways to solve our problems." LOVE hearing that from my sweet girl! She is already getting it! Tonight Bright and his neighborhood friend got into an argument and Taevy totally tried to "Post" it! LOL! She stopped the boys and was like, "B and C, what's going on right now? I think you're really stressed about something!" [Which isn't really how you do it, but she's trying.] It worked because the boys totally forgot what they were fighting about and then one of them said, "Taevy, I don't need that therapy stuff!" LOL!
I am so EXCITED to see how Bright responds to this long-term. I am seeing very good signs already, but he has a very long road ahead of him. It took me a long time (3+ years) to figure out that he is so totally anxiety-ridden (thank you Kami). It took me 4+ years to figure out that his anxiety is based in fear, which was caused by trauma. NOW I feel like we are on the right road and I am truly in a place to help him.
Kendi is going to heal quickly. Her big thing is crying for "no reason." Do you know, I think she's only cried twice today (rather than 50 times). Maybe it was just a good day, or maybe she is super smart and is figuring out already that until she can figure out how to deal with the stress on her own, she can come to me and I can help her through it. =-)
Samren is testing this bigtime! Oh man, he is really trying to figure out if I will "allow" him to "get stressed" over and over and over again. You can see it, right? The kid looks for a new way to manipulate mommy by acting like he's stressed every time I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do. Oh, but mommy is smart too! I asked in class about what to do with kids who try this. My teacher brought me back to reality. Let him test me. First, how smart is he to figure it out enough to test me? Smart! Second, if he's testing me (which looks like manipulation), he NEEDS to do that because of the REAL stress in him that isn't believing what he's seeing. I'm telling ya'll, the looks on my kids faces when I respond to them with a hug rather than a reprimand is PRICELESS.
Was today better than lots of days? Yep, sure was. Was it perfect. NOPE. After Eric got home I had been keeping my cool with 4 testy kids all day long. And within a 5 minute span of time (1) one of Taevy's friends called 5 times, (2) I couldn't open my laundry room because it was too full with laundry which meant that (3) I couldn't go to the outside pantry to get the items I needed to cook dinner, and (4) both of the little kids were screaming for dinner because they were hungry. I hit my limit and busted out with some stressed out words! Even as I raised my voice I saw this look of fear in my older kids' face. Oh, it's making me cry to think of it now. It was like, "Oh. That other stuff wasn't for real. The real mommy is back now." Ugh. You know what was good though? My husband was able to step in and say, "Hon, it's okay. Breathe. Go take a moment. I've got dinner." Instead of a total de-railing, it was just a few minutes of being off the tracks. Thanks Eric.
To tell you the truth, I've felt stressed all night long. I've kept my cool with the kids, but inside, not so much. I'm thinking that it is going to be a challenge for me to do this alone with the kids all day, and then still be the "main caregiver" all night, without having any time to be alone to just check out for a bit. The kids are learning to let me help them through their stress, but haven't really gotten that daddy's able to do that too. We'll figure it out.
Oh! Did I mention we're doing the "family bed" again? Yeah. Well, "family bedROOM." Another discovery this weekend that all of my kids' circadian rhythms are way screwed up. Until we get that worked out (with a way out there practice), we think they need the OPTION of sleeping with us if they want to. Of course it's the first week so they ALL want to. 2 adults, 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 4 kids in a 12X13 bedroom! We are seriously considering moving our bedroom back upstairs so that we can all sleep close to each other on the same level, but maybe NOT in the same room. =-) [Our room is downstairs, with 3 more upstairs.]
Tomorrow is the first big step towards preparing for the Ghana trip. Time to get a tooth pulled! Seems like I always do major dental work right before a trip to Ghana. I'm so paranoid of getting there and having a dental issue. It's like the only thing that gets me to the dentist! LOL! I have GOT to set down with a calender and start trying to schedule each day of this trip. A daunting task when dealing with my Ghanaian friends who would rather wait and schedule everything once I'm there.