Turnaround Moments

In the StandUp Parenting Program, a Turnaround Moment for a parent is when a parent realizes that an action they took resulted in a real and lasting change in their own behavior, attitude, or actions to help influence a change in their child’s behavior, attitude or actions…  It could be an action or behavior that helped begin to rebuild a relationship or their own belief in their efforts to do the right thing for their family through the  StandUp Program.

The small changes we make build up to make us stronger, but we don’t always recognize the changes when we’re making small changes each week.  When we start out in the group, we recognize that we need to make changes in our own behavior and how we act and react in order to influence changes in our kids.  We begin to make changes week after week and the progress sometimes seems slow.

We keep going because we begin to feel better about ourselves and our families, and we’re encouraged by changes we see other parents making and that gives us hope.  We sometimes find that other parents in the group recognize our changes and our ‘A ha!” moments before we do.

We encourage each other in our support calls and in the group, but we don’t often stop to celebrate or recognize how significant those small changes are in rebuilding our families. Think about some changes you’ve made and see how they really are a “turnaround moment” when they begin to become second nature to you.  A Turnaround Moment is an action you took that you feel resulted in a change in you or may have influenced a change in your child.

Share briefly in a sentence or phrase, one of your own turnaround moments – ‘when I stopped handing out money’ – ‘I walked away instead of arguing’ – ‘When I invited a group member to meet with the school counselor with me’ – ‘when I  sincerely stopped responding with sarcasm and saw my responses were hurting and not helping’ Encourage parents around you to tell their stories to new members WHEN THE TIME is right to encourage parents with hope that they can rebuild their family.

How To Help the Grieving

Note: I began writing this post over a month ago – pardon the time lags.
Today I learned my son is dead. Missing since December, his body was found and identified this week.
This blog post on grieving was to have been full of sage observations of how folks have come along side and comforted grieving parents, spouses, siblings, friends. Not a new experience for me, but this is the first time losing an adult child, and I’ve been experiencing this comfort first hand.
Matthew left behind a wife, three young children, parents, siblings, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, church family, co-workers and many, many friends.
We are stunned, grieved and relieved all at once. The waiting is over. Some ugly possible scenarios turned out not to be true, but many questions remain. Was it alcohol? A mental crisis? Could we have done something to change the outcome? God knows, and we leave it in His hands.
So – here are my previous ideas interspersed with what folks have been doing for us these past few weeks;
Put the pie on the table, sit in the corner and wait for us to come to you. (Novelist Michael Walsh during an interview on 3/14/13). Be there for them. Show up and shut up. (Hugh Hewitt, interviewer of Michael Walsh.) This particularly regards recent and sudden death. Grieving families can be overwhelmed in group situations, just being there counts. You don’t have to say much more than, “I’m sorry.” Profound isn’t what is required, being there is.
Our family appreciated the food, cards, phone calls, visits, texts, and Facebook posts. Facebook, in particular was a great way to communicate swiftly and at great distance – we have friends around the world and were blessed by their support and prayers. We also appreciated those of you who forgave us for overlooking you – mybrain was certainly fried, and I thoughtI’d contacted everyone…
Listen, because the grieving are angry, scared and confused – all at once. They may trust God implicitly, but how that should work out in real time is something different all together. Pray over them. Pray for them. For comfort, encouragement and a way forward.
Hold them. Give them hand squeezes. Bear hugs that go on and on. Sitting shoulder to shoulder. Sit and drink together; Hot cocoa, iced tea, fizzy soft drinks or coke and rum. Be willing to talk. Don’t be afraid to remember.
Books can encourage. Give them with the good parts bookmarked and highlighted. They’ll read it when they’re ready. It you are desperate to impart some gem immediately, read the passage to your friend when you visit, then leave the book. The ‘ah hah!’ may come later. Maybe not. I can now recommend Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, a picture book about grief for adults (and given to me by a StandUp parent).
Decide how much time to spend with your friend. An initial burst of support may be helpful, but if you want to be there for the long haul, pace yourself so you don’t burn out and your friend doesn’t grow tired or become annoyed with you. Some move through their grief quickly, others can take a good long time. Be flexible.
www.takethemameal.com; Take Them a Meal is a website where you can schedule meals to be taken to a person in need. It’s free and there is the ability for people to see what days are available and what others are bringing so there aren’t repeats. Also included are recipes, ideas of how to package and present a meal, as well as other things that can be done to help out a family.
This is long, and some of these thoughts are random – but I’m finding, for me, this is part of the grieving process – being random, accident prone, forgetful.

Two days ago, Saturday, we had Matthew’s memorial service. It was wonderful. A conglomeration of his friends and co-workers, our friends, family (some we had never met – our son was adopted), folks from StandUp Parenting, and our churches. I left the service being energized by all the love and wonderful memories. Thank you.

via Blogger http://standupparent.blogspot.com/2013/07/how-to-help-grieving.html

Living a Normal Life in Traumatic Times

First the Newtown murders, now the Boston Marathon Bombing – is your family on overload? It’s hard enough to steer your family through the push and pull of living with an out of control kid. Add to it a national trauma that may well involve someone you know, and your own family members could easily spiral down to a very bad place.

September 11, 2001 was such a time. We were all stunned. The skies were silent, except for the occasion scream of fighter jets flying low on patrol. We gathered round our televisions for hours at a time watching airplanes crashing into towers, and the towers collapsing, over and over.

The FlyLady (www.flylady.net) sounded a note of encouragement. Turn off the TV and pursue comforting family activities – pull out board games, tell stories, read favorite books out loud, go for a walk together, prepare comfort foods.
Early this week blogger Nancy Schwartz (www.NancySchwartz.com) quoted Mr. Rogers; “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”.

Of course that was what we saw at the Boston Marathon – runners and all manner of first responders running towards the bomb blasts – their first impulse was to help. Then a few days later the hunt for the bombers began and the first casualty was MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. What got my attention was a news picture of a mom and her two elementary aged sons being escorted by officers as they brought flowers and food to the Collier home.

Our world is full of trauma – nationally, locally and personally. I would like to be that person who is helping. Taking a meal, getting together for a game night – being there. I would like to help my friends and family do normal things along with reaching out to the victims. I will pray for them, look for opportunities to donate to organizations that will help them. How about you?

via Blogger http://standupparent.blogspot.com/2013/04/living-normal-life-in-traumatic-times.html