Tag Archive | parent-child relationships

Rest in Peace – Molly’s Movement

restinpeacemollysmovement

My heartfelt sadness goes out to Joey Daley as his mom Molly passed away recently.  If you are a caregiver or have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, please take a few moments to watch the video below and listen to Joey.  Molly had Lewy Body Dementia for ten years and through Joey’s chronicles, he has shown us Molly’s true courage and his as well.

There are so many inspiring people in our world.  Thank you Joey and Molly for being you!  A mother’s love and support never die and they stay with us forever.

Shine On!

xo

Advertisements

Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

Hold Onto the Rainbow

holdontotherainbowHold Onto the Rainbow

Being a caregiver for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it’s a daily struggle for them and for us as caregivers.  Some days are harder than others.  Some moments are stormy and then when the sun breaks through with a glorious rainbow, we are rewarded with a real time reality moment of lucidity with a loved one ~ whether it be a shared trip down memory lane or a moment of recognition, a shared laugh, even a hug with the knowledge that we both know who we are.  For me, it’s the rainbow throughout the storms that their minds are enduring.

I feel compassion as I take time to observe how they live in the world of their minds.  It’s frightening when your mind doesn’t work as it used to and it’s beleaguering the point when I say it over and over that I can’t imagine how hard it must be.  We go with the flow here.  Allowing whatever comes to her mind to flow and I try to ride the wave even when the tsunami hits us.  Dogged determination takes over common sense and many times it’s wasted breath to explain.  Changing the channel, getting up to do something else or pausing to change the focus does help sometimes, but at others, it changes nothing and she perseverates all the harder on the thought at hand.

What I live for are the stolen moments of rainbows through the storm:  the laughter which releases anxiety, the connection when I’ve surprised her with a visit from an old friend of hers, the banter which we share when we travel down memory lane.

The storms pass, but get longer as the days do.  Riding this roller coaster of brain firings and misfirings is hard for us both as we travel down the end of the journey.  She longs to crawl back into my womb at times and it saddens me.  She is not my child by birth, yet she’s now my child.  If I were able to carry her, protect her and keep her with me safe and secure, I would try, but it’s not an option.  To release her as she wishes at times would be beneficial I believe, even though it saddens me a great deal.

I long for the carefree days of youth and vitality which are no longer.  I long to be held and protected myself, but I only have my own arms to do that for me.  So I take moments of peace whenever I can, to hold and to hug myself so that I can continue to have strength to do it for her as well.

It’s hard to watch a loved one’s mind deteriorate while they sometimes understand what is happening to them.  All I can do is be there for her which I am doing, heart, mind, soul and physically, seeing to her needs and allowing my own a back seat while we carry onwards to a destination which makes no sense to either of us.

Thanks for reading my blog today.  I just needed to write, to mourn, to have a quiet moment to center myself again so that when she awakens, I can be fresh as a daisy, upbeat and filled with loving kindness and empathy in order to find the rainbows whenever I can through the storms.

Shine On!

xo