I hope that in a year’s time (or less) we can look back at this time of chaos and confusion and realise that perhaps globally this is what we needed. To review how we are living our lives and treating the planet and that we can survive with so much less stuff.
If like me you have adopted children at home however, this may be the biggest challenge of your life!
Those of you who have been on one of my workshops or met me through my e-courses will know that I have a very challenging son who is now eleven. Having been a foster carer to nine other children, they would all be easier to collectively look after than just him. Now I am not trying to win the "who has got the trickiest child competition" ...
being put into a head lock in front of five of his teachers was a bit of a low point in my life!!!
Child to parent violence and aggression have been a feature in our relationship along with manipulation, defiance, stealing........ mostly life is sweet between us because of all that I have put in place and now teach, but as you know there is always that possibility to regress. So the thought of several months together, just him and me is one I can either dread or embrace or probably a mixture of the two.
I decided that I would treat this like another stint of adoption leave, to focus on strengthening our relationship and building his self esteem. I also decided to view it as a much needed holiday.
I have a routine in place but is it very, very relaxed. I have decided to only do an hour or so of schooling a day, let my son stay in bed til 9.30am so I can work a couple of hours in peace, let him have as much screen as he likes after 4pm (so I can resume work) as long as during the day he does his homework and chores, we exercise every day and he comes off for meals, shower and bedtime.
This whilst not ideal, has proved so far (and it is early days) a winning formula. It means that we are having lots and lots of bonding time together, reading in bed in the mornings, playing games, being with our pets, just hanging out together and there has been a noticeable change in my boy already.
Once we are up and out of bed I have a bit of a routine which includes time with me in the morning and chores, homework in the afternoon and exercise. In the mornings, after much cajoling and whining, he has cleaned out his hamster ON HIS OWN for the first time ever, painted a garden gate (yes!) and a large window frame and helped me with gardening.
So my message- take it easy over the home schooling. With all their trauma and hypervigilence, how much do they actually learn at school anyway?
The benefits in improved bonding, new life skills and increased self-esteem are going to pay off hugely at school when he does return, and in life after school.
Now I know first-hand, it can be hugely stressful trying to get children to do homework at the best of times and at a time like this we need to keep stress at a minimum. Stress lowers immunity and we need our precious immune systems right now to be working to protect us from the corona virus.
You may not know that in a previous life I taught anatomy and physiology as part of the syllabus at my school of massage. This may be the ideal time to think about on our immune system, primarily the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is made up of a series of vessels (tubes) organs, nodes, ducts and tissue that provide the body’s first line of defence against disease and infection. If you cut your finger and dirt gets into the cut, lymph cells called lymphocytes would flood to the area to surround the bacteria in the dirt, rendering it safe and ready to be excreted from the body.
The spleen, a major lymph organ, works hard to protect the body in this way and the bacteria and dirt would be carried to here. Within the spleen white blood cells called macrophages are also produced which ingest infection. The spleen also clears out old red blood cells from our cardio-vascular system.
The lymphatic system also produces anti-bodies to counter disease. The human body is quite remarkable and often there is no cure for disease and the role of the medical profession is to support a persons’ body, whilst the lymphatic system is doing its work to fight off the infection.
It is therefore vital in these challenging times to really focus on looking after our health and boosting our own immunity.
Of course our diet is absolutely key; This is an interesting article on CNN on how to boost your immunity.
But managing our stress and building resilience is vital too and my Building Resilience E-Course may be the right place to start. Would you like to have more harmony in your home? Take a look at the free trial.
I would love to offer it free of charge if I could. Instead to support as many people as I can I am offering it with a massive 66% discount, bringing the price down to just £33.
A small price to pay to keen you sane!
Use the discount code; £64Off
You can watch it and work through it with your partner which makes it even better value for money and even more impactful on the harmony in your home. I really hope this time at home together proves to be bonding and healing for your family.
In 1989 Gill became lost in the African jungle on her own on the sides of Mount Kenya emerging 5 days later a very different person, having discovered strengths, a level of resourcefulness and creativity that she help others tap into. She is a master practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and trained in Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
She has twenty years’ experience teaching stress management to industry and giving Key-note speeches entitled “It’s a Jungle out There” based on her time lost in Kenya. Gill also owned at the same time, the UK’s largest school of massage and she now provides training on therapeutic touch to enhance bonding.
Having been a foster carer, Gill adopted a very challenging children as a single Mum in 2011, causing everything to change, including professionally. Her interest in the mind body connection led Gill to study Neuro-Agility, Rhythmic Movement Training and Non-Violent Resistance and she now works with families to reduce the effects of trauma in children.
She and her son have benefitted hugely from DDP, rhythmic movement and NVR. Gills’ personal experience of trauma, child to parent violence, attachment disorder and blocked care, provides her with a unique empathy and understanding for other parents and carers. She is a skilled and accomplished trainer.
She provides specialist Resilience, Well Being and Attachment courses, key-note appearances and parent mentoring.
In 2019 she worked with fourteen different adoption and foster care agencies and looks forward to working with even more.
"Always good to refresh and remind plus some new ideas too. This adoption support course on adoption stress and depression was very helpful. Loved the way your referred to your son and were very honest about getting it ‘wrong’ sometimes. I think it’s always good for adopters to remind themselves that were are not perfect, not should we strive to be. ‘Good enough’ most of the time is great."
- L -
Member of the International Stress Management Association
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