I’ve chosen the song "The Dark and the Light" by Kristine Robin to be the theme song of the Attachment Disorder Support Group. This song says it all. It is the journey we must engage in if we are to be successful in raising special needs children. It can bring comfort, peace, and joy in stressful times and remind us of the path we are on. When we veer from the path, the song brings comfort helping us to steer back to the path of love and plant our feet a bit deeper.
Dark and light, to me equates to the two (2) primary emotions of fear and love. It is true, it is our experiences with fear and love that dictate how we will live our lives. And it is our knowledge and understanding of our fears that empowers us to make those decisions that will guide our footsteps through life. Yes, it is fear and love that guides us and our children through life.
We can only work to provide ourselves and our children with a safe and loving environment while working to ease and comfort ours as well as their fears. It is imperative that we as parents be there for our children every time they fall and help them not only get back up, but help them plant their feet just a little firmer than the time before. No matter how hard it gets, we must keep trying to show them the light (love).
Kristine Robin wrote and recorded this song. It is a song on her album “Everchanging Tides” which she has released. She wrote the song for her son and has offered everyone at the ADSG site the opportunity to download this song from the internet to show her thanks for the support she has received on the ADSG Forums. I encourage you to take the time to listen to this song, maybe buy the CD, and play it for yourself and your children often.
The children we are raising are consumed with an enormous amount of fears and it is our job to guide them into the light (love) and lovingly help them understand their fears while working to heal their wounds with an overpowering abundance of love. As a parent, we need to make sure that no matter where the fear leads our children that we are there to support them, calm them, and help them look inside as well as help them get their feet back on the ground.
When you have one of those days where everything you are doing is just the wrong thing and your children are bouncing off the walls, hitting others, urinating on the carpet, yelling, and throwing everything they can get their hands on, put the song in the CD player and play it over and over and over again. Then spend 10 minutes just loving and playing with each child no matter what they did wrong that day and say, “you know what, even though I am stressed and upset about some of the things that went on today, I just love you to pieces!”
If you are not at a point where you are ready and able to do that. Then you need to stop what you are doing and spend some time contemplating what you need to do in your life that will help you get there. And don't expect anyone around you to change, because they won't. They will all remain the same. So then you have to stop and think, what can you do, even though everyone else will remain the same, to help you be able to do that even when you are really really really stressed and/or upset and mad at what your child has done, as well as be happy yourself!?
You say, you have no more love in you, just hurt and pain? Oh.. but love is overpowering and never ending. You still have love in you, it is just locked up and too afraid to come out right now.
We can only try to do our best and be there for our children when they need us. With some kids, they need us all day long. That's ok.
Sometimes we will fail and totally do the wrong thing and sometimes we will know exactly what to do and be there to support our children. It is important to remember, there will be times that we make mistakes and times that we don’t. But no matter what, we will always do our best to be there when they need us. Let your children know that. Let them experience the peace that can bring to them.
When the school calls for the 100th time and says your kid is uncontrollable; right then, you know, your kid is stressed to the max and feeling all alone. Which has then resulted in him/her doing something wrong or harmful. Stop a minute, and re-think what I just said. I said, right then you know, your kid was stressed to the max and feeling alone and threatened! It may be an irrational threat that adults don't comprehend, but nevertheless, it was a threat your child perceived which resulted in him/her becoming overwhelmingly stressed. Remember when you deal with the situation, let your child know that you are there for him/her. You go calmly.. you hug your child and say, wow.. you must have really been scared and upset. And give your kid time to tell you what happened. Listen to him/her, even if it sounds ridiculous, even if it is a lie and it is apparent that your kid made bad choice after bad choice. Doesn’t mean you agree with the bad choices.. just means that you love him even though he made bad choices and that you will handle it and help him in a calm loving manner. At that moment you just changed your role to one that is guiding his footsteps in the future verses a disappointed, angry, parent. You also are not condemning him to doing it again, because you aren’t saying “Why’d ya do that? You always do that.. or He always does that. Yeah.. not surprised, he also hits the dog, terrorizes the neighbor kid, and annoys the crap out of me and his dad.” Instead of condemnation, he feels love and support. Sure the school will give him a consequence, they might even send him home for the day, if you are providing him with love, then it will end up being the only consequence he needs.
Here is an example to remember whenever your child does something that you don't like. Let's say you got upset with a co-worker at your place of employment and yelled or snapped at them and then got fired as the consequence; when you got home would you want your husband to say, “Why’d ya do that? You always do that.. Yeah.. not surprised because people tend to irritate you, you also argue with the neighbor, you got into it with some of the ladies at the church, and you annoy the crap out of Sally and George.” And later when one of his buddies stopped by the house on a day that was really stressful to you, he said “yeah.. my wife loses every job she gets, I can never count on her bringing in a steady income to help the family.” Nah.. you just want your husband to be there, listen to what you have to say, and then offer comfort to you and hug you. Then once you get that you will begin to work it out on your own, at the moment you just needed love and support, because you knew you did something that you wished you hadn't. You then will know that your husband is there to support you and you will feel loved, no matter what you did. Which will also give you the incentive to want to do better because you value the love and support you get from your husband enough that you want to be able to come back the next day or next week or next month and say.. wow.. I almost got into it with Sally, but I kept my mouth shut and didn’t worry about what she had to say and just went on with my own business.
In that situation it was what your husband chose to do (the dark or the light) that would have guided your footsteps on the next occurrence. Had he said those other things to you, you would just have sunk deeper into shame and maybe into depression as well as felt like you were the skum of the earth and next time it happened to you, you probably would have yelled even louder at the co-worker.
Whether you support a person or a child by the dark or the light, guides and paves that persons future. One person can and does make a difference! It is especially important when dealing with children, they can’t process the situation the same as an adult, all they know is dark or light (fear or love). And children with trauma constantly live in the dark, someone has to show them the light. It is our jobs as parents to walk them to the light and we must teach them what the light is; by example!
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