Foster Family Matters

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January 2, 2020  

Negotiation: Part 5 of the Four Tenets of Healthy Relationships

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue, LPC. Our show is a production of CK Family Services and we are a foster care, adoption, and behavioral health non-profit organization serving children and families in North and Central Texas.

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today’s episode is part 5 of our 5-part series, The Four Tenets of Health Relationships. Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four tenets that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive.  The four tenants we are discussing are; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our discussions. In this episode, we are looking at the important role that negotiation plays in the context of healthy relationships.

Discussion Points

  • Needs vs. Wants
  • Get Good at Setting Boundaries
  • Compromises
  • Prioritize Teachable Moments
  • Debating vs. Negotiating
  • Keep it Playful
  • Realize and Understand What You and Your Child are Bringing to the Negotiation
  • Negotiation is a Skill to be Practiced and Improved
  • Win, Win or No Deal Mindset
  • More "YES" = Better Reception of "No"
  • Create Hope

In the context of a healthy relationship, negotiate from the perspective of trying to meet the other person's needs.  You have to remember that you value the other person and that you want them to get what they want/need.  So negotiate with a win, win mindset where all parties seek to leave with Hope.

Be mindful of your own identity and esteem.  Your voice needs and deserves to be heard.

 

Connect With Our Hosts

The Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org

The Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters

Subscribe

If you found value in today’s episode, remember to subscribe to the show (so you’ll be notified when we post new content) and share the link with your friends to spread the love.

Thank you for listening!

December 19, 2019  

Interdependence: Part 4 of the Four Tenets of Health Relationships

Interdependence: Part 4 of the Four Tenets of Healthy Relationships

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue, LPC. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas.

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today’s episode is part 4 of our 5-part series, The Four Tenets of Health Relationships.   There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our discussions. In this episode, we are looking at the important role that interdependence plays in the context of healthy relationships.

A Little Background

Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the importance of interdependence in the context of healthy relationships.

In This Episode

  • What interdependence means
  • Losing your identity as a parent
  • Making relationships a priority
  • Quality vs quantity relationships
  • Relationships need two people
  • Raising an independent member of society

Interdependent does not mean independence. Interdependence is the notion that you must be dependent on someone in order to gain a sense of independence. In order to get to a certain level of independence, we will have to rely on others and allow others to help us.

It’s common to take on whatever we spend most of our time doing. We aren’t just a spouse, a parent or our job. Part of your identity is made up of different things. Not one of those things is the totality of your identity. What is your identity?

You must honor who you are to be present for others. Do you feel comfortable doing things by yourself? Do you end one intimate relationship and jump to the next one without taking time for reflection and self-care? Do you need someone else to make you feel worthy? If so, it may be time to evaluate your independence.

Interdependence is the healthy version of independence. We were made to take care of each other and be in relationship with others. There’s a line between independence and isolation. We weren’t created for isolation.

Connect With Our Hosts

The Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org

The Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters

Subscribe

If you found value in today’s episode, remember to subscribe to the show (so you’ll be notified when we post new content) and share the link with your friends to spread the love.

Thank you for listening!

November 5, 2019  

National Adoption Month: A Conversation with Lauren Hudgeons

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas.

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today we have a special guest with us. Her name is Lauren Hudgeons. She is a foster and adoptive parent as well as an attorney. Lauren works with kids in the state’s conservatorship. She will be answering various questions that many foster parents have.  

Lauren has a passion for supporting other parents going through this. 90 percent of what she does is represent children. On the other side, she has been a foster to adoptive mom twice. She has a wide perspective that encompasses both sides of the process.

All Things Social Media

We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out!

If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with likeminded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships.

In This Episode

  • Guardian ad litem vs attorney ad litem
  • The legal system moves at its own pace
  • Permanency hearings
  • Primary and secondary goals
  • How Lori got into law and fostering
  • Investing and committing to a child
  • Requirements for termination and best interest of the child
  • What intervention is
  • PMC and what it is
  • Contacting an adoption attorney and when to do so
  • Cost of a CPS adoption

 

With adoption, you will have various individuals involved in the process, including an agency worker, attorney ad litem, etc. Many people don’t know who shows up when. During this episode, we will cover the different people who will be involved in the process of adoption and when to expect to interact with them. For example, you can expect to see Casa typically each month.

The legal process can be somewhere between intimidating and frustrating. That can stem from a lack of understanding of how things happen. Expectations of how things should happen can cause frustration. Part of the reason the process takes so long is the statutory guidelines.

During the process, there are primary and secondary goals. These can change at any point in the process depending on the circumstances. Another topic of conversation is intervention. An intervention is where the foster parent hires an attorney and becomes a legal party to the suit.

When adopting, it’s important to remember no two cases are the same. There are so many components and moving pieces as well as people. It’s important to solidify realistic expectations. You can’t compare and contrast your situation to anyone else because that can be really unhealthy. The game is the same, but the players are different. Each team is different. Each case is different.

Learn more about the process of adoption, things to be aware of, how Lauren helps clients and so much more during this episode of Foster Family Matters.

Final Thoughts

If you are available to adopt in November, contact Lauren!

Connect

FFM Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

FFM Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters

FFM YouTube Playlist:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-oi9c-AikwduSh2O6dYeTzgC3LbpibTh

FFM Facebook Playlist:  https://www.facebook.com/CKFamServices/playlist/366303627602461

 

Lauren Hudgeons Website:  www.hudgeonslawfirm.net

Subscribe!

If you liked this episode remember to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know when we upload new content.  Also, we appreciate your positive feedback in the form of reviews and comments.  Finally, if you have the option, remember to tap the “heart”, “thumbs up”, and share icons on your listening platform to help them understand you like what we are doing.

 

Thanks for listening!

November 5, 2019  

Receiving Care: Part 3 of the Four Tenets of Health Relationships

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas.

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today’s episode is a continuation of one we started last time talking about relationships. Specifically, we will be looking at indicators of healthy relationships. What truly makes a healthy relationship? There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during our four-part series.

All Things Social Media

We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out!

 

If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with likeminded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships.

A Little Background

Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the ability to receive nurture and care.

In This Episode

  • Receiving nurture and care
  • Taking care of someone vs doing something for someone
  • Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps
  • How receiving care looks
  • Not taking how someone receives care personally
  • The practice of accepting nurture and care

 

What does it really mean to receive nurture and care? That is what we are talking about today. It can be hard to allow someone else to step in. It can take a conscious effort to allow others to really take care of you. There are many reasons for this. Most are centered around belief systems, coping mechanisms and the way we are accustomed to receiving care.

 

It’s easy to fall into being an independent person and rejecting the help of others. To be in a healthy relationship, it requires give and take. That means you have to be willing to take and willing to receive love and care.

 

Smart people ask for help. Healthy people ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Even though this goes against a lot of popular belief. Vulnerability is important to healthy relationships, it’s not a sign of weakness or something to afraid of.

 

We are continuously growing in relationship with people. For foster parents, the moment the children come home we just want the relationship to be where we think it should be. Yet that’s not always the case. For most foster children, taking care of themselves has been part of their survival mode. They’ve learned survival skills and it’s going to be hard to let those go. It’s going to take time to develop that ability to receive care.

 

We tend to want to receive care in a way that feels familiar to us. Kids may only know care as neglect or abuse. They are waiting for the fists, red faces, yelling, screaming, etc. It’s not care; but that’s the only care that some kids have ever known.

 

Sometimes kids won’t take care the way we expect and then we take it personally. Giving care is just as important as receiving care. We must receive care so others can give care.

 

Learn more about receiving care in a healthy way, being patient as we grow in our ability to receive care and this important component of having healthy relationships in this episode of Foster Family Matters.

Final Thoughts

If you ask for help, it means you aren’t pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, which creates cultural tension for us because that’s what we are supposed to do and be. Vulnerability has wrongly become categorized as weakness. Whereas, really, it’s a sign of strength.

Connect

Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

Show Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters

Subscribe!

If you liked this episode remember to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know when we upload new content.  Also, we appreciate your positive feedback in the form of reviews and comments.  Finally, if you have the option, remember to tap the “heart”, “thumbs up”, and share icons on your listening platform to help them understand you like what we are doing.

October 24, 2019  

Part 2: Four Tenets of Healthy Relationships

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas.

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today’s episode is a continuation of one we started last time talking about relationships. Specifically, we will be looking at indicators of healthy relationships. What truly makes a healthy relationship? There are four tenants; giving nurture, receiving nurture, negotiating wants and needs and being interdependent. We will dive into each of these during this series.

All Things Social Media

We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out!

If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find a community with like-minded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships.

You can find a video recording of this discussion on YouTube or Facebook!  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so you will get a friendly reminder when we upload new content.

A Little Background

Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are specifically talking about the ability to give nurture and care.

In This Episode

  • The ability to give nurture and care
  • What is compassion
  • Empathy vs sympathy
  • Putting the work in to empathize
  • Expressions of love and care
  • Context matters
  • Coaching giving care
  • The footprints to empathy
  • Driving positive changes

 

We are wanting to broaden your perspective of what it means to be nurtured. There is a level of subjectivity to that word. How we define that world will relate to how we show care and nurture to others. All of us feel nurtured in different ways.

 

A relationship requires at least two people. We can initially appear to be super compassionate. If all you have is sympathy, you’ll never get there. What you really need is empathy. Sympathy is just a starting point while empathy is a required component of compassion.

 

Compassionate parenting is so much more than feeling sorry. It’s a growth process to get there. You don’t just wake up in healthy relationships, because healthy relationships take work. Most people don’t empathize easily. It has to be practiced regularly to be able to step outside ourselves and into someone else’s shoes. When there is self-centeredness, there is no way to truly embody empathy.

 

We tend to go back to the way we were taught to love and care. Love and care can look differently for different people. It’s important to understand how you like to help vs what help is actually needed. Sometimes you have to coach people on how to care for someone else. For example, you can have your kids put band-aids on each other.

 

It’s also important to be aware of your reason for giving nurture and care. Help is always welcome. It’s great to help in any compacity. Yet, sometimes we help more for ourselves rather than for those who need help. This is just something to be aware of.

 

Sometimes it’s easy to assume we are great caregivers, even if maybe we aren’t. Find people you are doing life with to speak truth to you. They can provide insight into how you provide nurture and care.

 

Adults have to drive change in our homes. Parents drive positive change. Kids can learn things or they can catch things. It’s taught or it’s caught. What do you want your kids being taught?

 

Side note, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up on giving-care if the person you trying to give care to is not good at receiving care. We will be talking about that in our next episode. Next time we will be talking all about receiving care and how to best receive care.

Final Thoughts

If you think about these things, it makes perfect sense. If someone matters to you, you should want what’s best for them. If these things aren’t evident in your relationships, it’s a good opportunity to reflect and figure out why that is. Don’t be disillusioned by the simplicity of these concepts. Reflecting on these can be very helpful.

Connect

Facebook Group:  Foster Family Matters

Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

Subscribe!

Don’t forget to subscribe, like, thumbs up, heart us. We love the "Hearts", especially in the name of love.

September 5, 2019  

Part 1: Four Tenets of Healthy Relationships

Welcome to Foster Family Matters

Thank you for joining us! Welcome to another episode of Foster Family Matters with your hosts Shawn Wilson, Ryan North, and Lori Fangue. If you don’t already know, we are a foster care, adoption, and behavior health non-profit in North Texas. We believe that our show is perfect for parents of children and the people in their support networks (friends, family, co-workers, etc . . . ).

What Are We Chatting About Today?

Today we are starting a multi-part series on healthy relationships. To start things off, we’ll be chatting about what the different components to a healthy relationship are. This episode’s discussion will be an intro into these specific areas or aspects. You’ll get a preview of what to expect in upcoming episodes.

All Things Social Media

We are currently focused on social media and trying to grow the show. We are extremely grateful and excited about the success we’ve seen so far. We’ve also started posting video versions of the show on Facebook and YouTube as well as highlights on Instagram TV. Make sure to check those out!

If you aren’t already a member, you can also join our Facebook group called Foster Family Matters to find community with like-minded parents. The group is really about relationships in a familial setting and connecting with people who have similar interests in improving relationships.

You can find a video recording of this discussion on YouTube or Facebook!  Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so you will get a friendly reminder when we upload new content.

A Little Background

Jude Cassidy did some research and formulated a theory that there are four things that a secure relationship in order to be healthy and positive. Today we are providing a foundation and introduction to those four concepts. We’ll touch on each one in this episode and then further unpack them in upcoming episodes.

In This Episode

  • What healthy relationships “look like”
  • Why bad relationships form
  • Living in isolation
  • Wired for connection
  • Unhealthy relationships passed on
  • Importance of empathy in relationships
  • Breaking the cycle
  • Serve and return

We were made to seek and form relationships. God says it’s not good for man to be alone.

We are to be in relationship, not isolation. Furthermore, we as adults are the ones who can heal and teach others, especially children, how to be in relationship.

If we as adults don’t know how to live in healthy relationships with each other it’s going to be very hard to live in healthy relationships with children. It will also be hard to teach those children how to live in healthy relationships themselves.

God is a God of relationships and the greatest therapy in the world is love. Love is fostered through relationships. When we live in isolation we don’t grow, mature or thrive.

For us to do life well, we need to be with people who love and support us, and we need to do the same. Some people have bad relationships or claim to be bad at relationships. There is a reason for that. It is learned. The good news is you can learn how to have good relationships and how to be good at relationships.

The first step is empathy. Empathy allows you to care. This is very important in having healthy relationships. The thing is we are wired for connection. We were born to live in reciprocating relationships with other people. You can get back to a place of a healthy relationship. Just because you have relationships doesn’t mean they are healthy. Negative connection is still a connection.

An unhealthy relationship can be passed on. It can be cyclical. That means it’s time to break the cycle. We must also have empathy for those that weren’t loved well. Many don’t know how to love well because they were not loved well.

All of this resonates in self-awareness. Relationships happen at the intersection of two people’s histories. Each party brings all their baggage. At baggage claim is where we have the potential for problems. In a relationship that baggage is combined and sometimes this is where problems occur. If we can work on our issues as individuals it equips us to help the kids. It also allows us to model for children what needs to be done.

During this episode, we also talk about the ability to negotiate your wants and needs, the impact of being a people-pleaser and the importance of being interdependent.

Final Thoughts

For us, this research we will be diving more into in the following episodes solidifies personal relationships. It’s about being the agent of change. You oversee the trajectory of your relationships. Yes, it is 50/50 but you can own your own part.

This is about getting to the core of who you are. A lot of times we try to fix relationships by fixing someone else, yet we don’t have any control over the other person.

We encourage you to come to this conversation with the mindset that this is about you, not someone else. Make the changes you need to make and then you can share this information with others so maybe they will do the same.

Resources Mentioned

Anatomy of the Soul

Connect

Facebook Group: Foster Family Matters

Show Website:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org

Subscribe!

Don’t forget to subscribe, like, thumbs up, heart us. We love hearts, especially in the name of love.  :)

August 22, 2019  

School is Back in Session: Parenting Tips

In episode 14, Shawn, Lori, and Ryan discuss tips for parenting success during the transition from summer routine to the school year.

If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori.

The transition back to school can be a source of mixed feelings for both parents and children. Some kids may be making a transition from homeschooling into a private/public school. Others may be coming back from an amazing summer holiday and are forced to face the reality of going back to school. The drastic change of events can be accompanied by strong feelings of emptiness and anxiety. Parents have a major role to play to help their school-going children to manage the transition back to school.

Tips for Parents to Help Children Transition Back to School

Develop a bedtime routine

Start to bring the child up to a consistent routine before school begins. Allowing the child to go to bed early every night for two weeks until they get to a typical school routine will ease them into school-life with minimal stress and disruption.

Perform Test Runs to the school with the Child

Make a few trips to the school where the child will be reporting in a few weeks to achieve a sense of familiarity. A predictable run will help bring the child up to the challenge of making a transition back to school. The child will eventually work up to his/her typical school routine before making the transition. Parents can also make appointments with the school administration and other related professionals to have the child meet them in person before school begins.

Approach and Develop a Relationship with Teachers

Parents should also cultivate a positive relationship with teachers. Treat the teachers kindly and with respect because they will also reciprocate in a similar manner. Teaching is a challenging profession as it is, and no teacher would appreciate a cruel and rude parent. A positive and fulfilling parent-teacher relationship will work in favor of the child’s welfare in school.

Help Children Get Organized

Have all necessities for your child ready prior to his/her first school day. It will minimize confusion and chaos on the first day of school.

Cultivate a Relationship with your Child

A parent-child relationship is critical because only then will the parent understand the child’s needs. Children need to feel supported regardless of how minute their fears may seem. They need to know that their parents are close and available during this often challenging transition. Parents can set aside quality time to spend with children. Breakfast, dinner, and bedtime are among the activities that can be used to listen to their needs.

Advocate and Support your Child’s Needs

School-going children have various physical, social and academic needs that can only be explained fully by their parents. Therefore, parents should advocate for their children’s needs by meeting with relevant parties, including counselors, therapists, and school nurses. They should ensure that their children’s needs are accommodated for a smooth transition. Some children have special needs that will need to be addressed as soon as they transition back to school. Parents should ensure that they are met and satisfied to facilitate learning. Only then will the transition be successful. Failure to do will create an unhealthy transition that may become traumatic for the child. Parents have to understand that children have no capacity to learn when they are unsettled. 

Stay Involved

Parents need to continue being involved. They should know their children’s schedule. They should also take advantage of any help that the school offers.

Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions.

If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters

If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so that you don't miss an episode. God bless!

August 8, 2019  

Part 5: “The Whole Brain Child” Book Discussion

Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 6 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show.

If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori.

The focus of this chapter is the "Me-We Connection: Integrating Self and Other".  The team covers the “me-we” connections in parent-child relationships. Relationships are the foundation of human need, beginning as found in the Bible when God recognizes that Adam should not be alone. This can also be seen when a baby smiles at an adult and the adult naturally smiles. Emotional responses and engagement learned as children contribute to the development of skills children need for healthy relationships as adults. Fun-filled discussions around the purpose and pronunciation of mirror neurons, or “Looking Glass” neurons create a lively beginning to the podcast. As explained, mirror neurons are the neurons people have the enable the reflection of other people's emotions, such as smiling when another person smiles. 

Chapter 6 provides us with two more strategies; #11:  Increase the Family Fun Factor: Making a Point to Enjoy Each Other, and #12:  Connect Through Conflict: Teach Kids to Argue with a "We" in Mind.

Engaging in play is largely discussed in parenting classes and therapy; however, the team really brings this discussion into the real world with stories of their own personal experiences. Play provides an opportunity to include children in daily chores and activities by promoting shared experiences. Further, engaging children through dancing, funny sounds, and even storytelling contributes to communicative channels. Shared experiences, such as cleaning up or heading to bed can increase understanding of how tasks that are generally a source of argument in the family can be developed into bonding opportunities. Some examples found in the podcast include racing to bed, contests for evening cleaning, and cooperative interactions. 

Lori introduces the concepts from the book regarding the philosophy of enjoyment having a larger place in the family interactions than that of conflict experienced. Conflict is an aspect that parents can work towards reducing negative responses from children or in communication with the child. Engagement can be developed in a way that reduces the amount of conflict to increase the positive in the interactions. This returns to the "me versus we" relationship development, which is necessary for healthy relationship building skills. Although conflict is unavoidable in life, conflict management and resolution development require learning experiences during childhood. The team discusses how children are expected to achieve conflict management skills and other adult understanding when they have barely learned to tie their shoes. As described in the podcast, children must see how conflict is resolved to be able to repeat these behaviors themselves.

Mindfulness is considering how the past influences the future, such as experiences as children or relationships with parents and other adults. “Making sense” of the narrative of your life, as indicated by Lori, creates situations that we “pass on emotional life” to our children, whether good or bad. Further, repressing childhood or working towards doing the opposite of your parents, can create situations that are unaware to us as parents, and prevents us from making sense of the past and managing our understanding of those incidents.

This episode concludes our summer-long discussion of The Whole-Brain Child.  We hope you found it informative and entertaining.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions.

If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/

If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4

If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

Remember to subscribe and turn on notifications so that you don't miss an episode.  In our next episode, we will discuss the process of transitioning from summer to the school year.  God bless!

July 25, 2019  

Part 4: “The Whole Brain Child” Book Discussion

Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show.

If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori.

Chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child talks about our feelings – what they are and how can we distinguish between how we’re feeling as compared to who we really are. This chapter, like most of the book, can be applied not only to children but also to adults. Successful people are always incredibly self-aware, so understanding ourselves and integrating our feelings and our minds is crucial for transferring that same behavior to our children – we can’t expect them to behave in a certain way if we don’t do the same. That’s why it’s important to learn how to distinguish between feeling like a failure and actually thinking you’re a failure. When we think we’re a failure this becomes our reality, so we stop trying harder, and this completely changes who we are. So, the idea behind Strategy 8 (Let the Clouds of Emotion Roll: Teaching That Feelings Come and Go) is to understand that we all have feelings but there is a difference between what we feel and what the reality is like. No matter how terrible we might feel at the moment, these feelings will eventually pass.

Then, we go on to talk about the ways to deal with anxiety in children. It’s very common for parents to deny and dismiss children when they express their fears or anxieties. A great example of this is when children are afraid at night – parents usually just say “there’s nothing to be afraid of, go to sleep, you’re safe.” We’re almost all guilty of dismissing our children when we feel that they’re being “childish”, but the relationship we form with them by doing so is rarely the relationship we want to have with them. When they’re afraid, children seek out those who are supposed to protect them and care for them, so when we deny their feelings and dismiss them, we don’t help them overcome their issues. Even worse, when they grow up and enter adolescence, their lives get more complicated, and although we, then, desperately want to know what’s happening with them, we’ll see that we have already taught our children not to come to us with their problems.

In fact, most of us have been raised with the phrase “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about,” but this and other such phrases have now been labeled as emotional abuse of children – parents want the child to stop bothering them and suppress his/her feelings, but the child is injured. So, when we say that sentence, what we really mean is “if you don’t deny your emotions, I will hurt you.” So, ultimately, if we want our children to be compassionate and empathetic, we need to be mindful in order to know how to connect with them and facilitate them in that process.

Strategy 9 (SIFT: Paying Attention to What's Going On Inside) is all about helping our children to soft through the variety of sensations, images, feelings and thoughts that are affecting their state of being.  What we need to do is to teach children what feelings they are experiencing. It’s extremely useful to teach them how to name their feelings and be able to tell when they’re feeling angry, sad, or even when they’re experiencing mixed feelings. In this way, we give them the vocabulary they need to actually process and understand their feelings. In addition, it’s important to understand that we (and our children) are not only made of feelings but also of thoughts, sensations, and images. So, knowing all this can help us in times when we feel overwhelmed or when we freeze, because it can guide us in understanding and evaluating what we’re feeling at the moment. This is closely related to the idea of replacing scary images related to certain experiences in the minds of children with positive images.

This brings us to the last strategy, Strategy 10 Exercise Mindsight:  Getting Back to the Hub, which refers to talking children through their feelings rather than letting their feelings dominate. We might sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about thoughts and feelings with our children in such a detail, but that’s likely the case between we do not understand ourselves and our minds very well yet, so, then, we need to work not only on the child but also on ourselves.

Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 6 of The Whole-Brain Child and will also be the last episode in our series discussing the book.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions.

If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/

If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4

If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

God bless!

July 11, 2019  

Part 3: “The Whole Brain Child” Book Discussion

Shawn, Ryan, and Lori discuss Chapter 4 of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.  This is one of several books that CK Family Services recommends that all parents read, and it holds a special place with our show hosts.  We invite you to join us and read through the book alongside us this Summer.  Whether you are new to the book or have already read it through, we are confident that you’ll be glad you did.  If you need a copy of the book, please consider using the link above to purchase a copy via smile.Amazon.com.  Be sure to choose CK Family Services as your charity and Amazon will make a donation to support the work of our staff and volunteers each time you make a purchase.  Doing so will help support the show.

If you have a community in which you already draw support, consider using this series to fuel your discussion topics.  If you are looking for community consider joining our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/ where you can get direct access to Shawn, Ryan, and Lori.

The book describes two types of memory: explicit and implicit.  The differences and significance of these two types of memories can be hard to grasp.  The book describes implicit memories as those you don't actively recall.  Implicit memories are your past experiences that influence your behavior in the present without any realization that your memory has even been triggered.  The example provided in the book is that when you "remember" how to change the diaper on a child, you don't actively remember the steps.  Your brain triggers the memories from your past experiences that influence the actions you take in the present to accomplish the task.  Explicit memories are those you thoughtfully access, for example, if you were to pause while changing the diaper and recall the first time you learned to change a diaper.  Those thoughtfully recallable memories are explicit.  

We typically mean explicit memory, when we discuss memories.  They are the memories we draw from when trying to pass a test, remember a work colleague's name or when we are searching for our keys.  But it is important that we understand the role that implicit memories play in influencing our present-day actions.  Once we grasp the concepts ourselves, we can transfer them to our understanding of our children's present behaviors and use them to inform our parenting strategies. To accomplish this, we need a few strategies to help us learn to integrate the implicit and the explicit.  Integration of these two types of memories can be like assembling a puzzle.  We (and our children) often wonder why we behave a certain way today; maybe we suffer from poor dietary choices or staying up too late.  When we connect with the implicit and turn them into explicit memories, we can name them and tame them.

The first strategy of Chapter 4 (the 6th strategy of the book) is Use the Remote of the Mind: Replaying Memories.  Many of our children become familiar with the way remote controls allow us to rewind, pause, play and fast-forward TV shows, movies, and music.  We can use the symbol of remote control and our children's familiarity with its function to help them rewind and find implicit memories.

The second strategy of Chapter 4 (the 7th of the book) is Remember to Remember:  Making Recollection a Part of Your Family's Daily Life.  The ability to recall memories is like many of our functions, the more you use it (or practice remembering) the better you will become at it.  By creating a culture within your family of recollecting memories from the past, you set the stage for empowering yourself and your children to become better rememberers and thereby pave the way for deeper and more insightful self-awareness.

Our next episode will focus on the strategies in chapter 5 of The Whole-Brain Child.  Thank you for downloading and joining with us in this study/discussion.  If you enjoy the content, please remember to help us grow-the-show by sharing a link to our podcast or its episodes with your friends and family.  Also, remember to subscribe and give us a positive review.  Doing so helps the podcast directories better understand who else might be interested in our discussions.

If you have not already, join our Facebook Group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/fosterfamilymatters/

If you have not already, pick up a copy of the book here:  https://amzn.to/2IJuJh4

If you are looking for our website, you will find it here:  www.fosterfamilymatters.org 

God bless!

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