HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD DEAL WITH A BULLY

*Originally posted on Defying Shadows Blog.*

With the start of a new school year, I thought this would be a good time to re-post this.

This is a subject that has to be talked about. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s not the reality we live in. Bullying. It’s something our kids are going to deal with at some point, either they’ll they be the victim or a friend. It stinks, just plain stinks and I won’t sugar-coat it at all. It can do so much damage to a child, self-esteem, anxiety, panic attacks and so much more.

My oldest was a victim of this, and at times still, has trouble with social anxiety due to it. It broke my heart to watch my baby go through this. Another student threatened her and her friend, saying she was going to come to school and cut them. Now, let me tell you, my child wasn’t the type to cause problems or get into fights. She’d be the first to walk away from a fight. A straight A student, friendly to everyone.

We did all we could in our power to get this handled, but the school did nothing. They actually blamed my child for being scared. Yeah, my hubby and I didn’t handle that well at all. It not only happened once but twice within 3 days. The school refused to do anything, including the school board, so in our case, we pulled her out and homeschooled along with my other kiddos. For us, it was what we had to do to know that they’d be safe while learning. Not everyone has to do that or needs to, each situation is different.

Let’s take a look at what should be done if your child gets bullied.

First and foremost, talk with your child. Ask what happened. Give them time to tell you and don’t rush. They might be scared and that is very common. Don’t brush your child off that it’s nothing.

Praise them for opening up and telling you what happened.

Go and talk to the Principal right then or if it is late the next morning. Always go to them first, so that they know this is going on and can handle it. If you must go even higher until the situation is taken care of.

Hold your anger. Teach your child that it won’t make the situation better. It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).

Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Have your child stay away from the person the best they. Tell them, if they bother them to go straight to a teacher or the principal and let them know what happened.

Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully.Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.

Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Help to restore the confidence they had. Keep positive and tell them to hand with others who are nice and friendly.

These are a few things that you can do to help your child and to teach them for dealing with a bully. Some of the tips came from Kids Health. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/bullies.html

 

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Fifty Shades of Not

*Disclaimer a couple of the graphics have curse words but I felt it showed how he’s abusive so I left them in.* This was originally posted on my author website.

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Fifty Shades

This week a movie that has a big following will open in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Fifty Shades of Grey. For me, it is more like Fifty Shades of Not. I’ll admit I read the books when I was writing in the same genre before switching. Except it didn’t take me long to put that down. To me, it screamed emotional abuse. Half the time I wanted to smack Ana and say ‘what is wrong with you?’ The other half, I wanted to punch Christian for how he was with her. Ana with her saying he’s so hot about 500 times on one page. It is like, okay, come on…we get it you think he’s really hot. You don’t need to keep telling us this.

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Fifty Shades

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a pre-teen and to me, this isn’t romance. He’s a stalker! He finds out everything about her, where she lives, where she works. For goodness sakes, he even buys the publishing house she gets a job with. What guy does that? He reminds her more than one time that he can track her down. FREAKY!

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Fifty Shades

I have tons of friends and even some family who have read it and loved it. I just didn’t. Like I said I got the vibe that this man is abusive. What someone does inside the bedroom is between that person, their spouse, and God. Many in the BDSM community have come out against the movie saying that this isn’t how they do things. They’ve called it an abuse of power as well. Again, I’m not judging those in these relationships at all, this is between them their spouse and God like I said above.

Would those who love this book want their daughters in a relationship like this? Ana says a lot that she needs space. He’s too much and comes on too strong. Honey, that’s your gut instinct telling you to get out. I know for a fact if my daughters brought home a man like Christian mama bear would come out fast.

This was a fan fiction before it turned into what it is now. Do you know which one? Twilight. That was written for pre-teens and teens. I have one of each and no way in heck would I want them reading 50 Shades because they found out it was at one time a fan fiction of Twilight. That’s something that bothers me a lot about this book. My daughters have read some fan fictions of Twilight and I thank God they never came across this one.

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Fifty Shades

Onto my last point…the actors who played Christian and Ana are both uncomfortable with the roles they played. Between awkward sighs, eye-rolling about with an air of contention, including Dakota Johnson’s own admission she wishes people won’t see the film.

This movie gives a wrong message about abuse, that is romantic and all and it’s not.

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A BAD EXPERIENCE AND MY REACTION

*This was originally posted over at Defying Shadows blog.*

I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes dealing with people with my twins autism is hard. One time at the store. We were in line getting ready to pay for our groceries and I had all four kids with me. The twins were having a rough sensory day and this mama was flat our worn out.

It felt like everything was coming against my family that day. My patience was running super thin at this point. Twins had a few meltdowns in the store and I couldn’t figure out why. Might have been the lighting in the store or whatever they used to clean with.

This one particular store would always set them off.

So, we’re in line like I said and twin two starts screaming like crazy and then his brother joins in. I’m boxed in with customer in front of us and four behind us. I can’t get out to take to the car to help. Hubby could have paid for our things.

The person behind us starts by rolling their eyes at me. I’m seriously trying to be nice and calm the boys down. My husband and daughters are trying as well. Most were being nice to us, but one. You guessed it the person behind us.

He starts in a loud voice, “you need to spank their behinds.” At this point, I’d been praying and still was ready to snap. I turned around and my poor husband said under his breath, oh my no wrong thing to say to my wife.

I tried to explain in a calm voice that they have autism and we’re having a sensory issue, which they can’t help. I was going the best I could.

He wasn’t having it and pretty much called me a horrible parent and that spanking the autism out of them would help.

I snapped. I went off and said some not so nice things, which I shouldn’t have and regretted saying.

Some in line and on each side were getting upset with how this man was acting toward my family and was telling him. My husband stepped in as well. It was a mess.

Looking back now I could have handled it a lot better. I tend to go all mama bear on someone who is mean to my babies. I did remove us from the situation as soon as I was able to get through, and they calmed down once we got to our van. They couldn’t help the overload on their sensory system

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Conflict, Refined Fire, and Being Made New For God

*First posted on Putting On The New Blog.*

Conflict. This one word can send hives all over our body. I don’t know about you, but I hate it at all cost. Okay, so maybe not always. It’s great in writing, just not in real life. I’m sure we’ve all heard, God won’t give us more than we can handle. Have you ever thought that at times, God presses us? Not to hurt us. No. To mold us into what He wants.

That can be a hard thing to hear. God refines us. It’s for our own good. Does it hurt? You bet it does. Sometimes, it is God pressing the hand down on us to make us listen, or a godly friend. It doesn’t matter which, because each of these hurt. It’s supposed to. This is to change us, remove things in our lives that aren’t from Him. I recently went through this. It was with a close friend. She didn’t want to call me out. I’m glad she did because I didn’t have any clue what I was doing was hindering my faith.

She did it because she loves me. More importantly, she loves God and listened to His voice. God used her in my life to bring attention to an area of my life that wasn’t in line with Him. Do I still struggle? Yes, at times I do. I’m more aware of the issue now and do my best to not fall into Satan’s temptations on this. It takes prayers. I have two great prayer warriors that I can go to with anything. I mean anything. There’s not judgment and I know they’ll storm Heaven for me, and me for them

1 Peter 1:7

so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 

Zechariah 13:9

“And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Isaiah 48:10

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

If you’re going through being refined, don’t be upset. Rejoice, God is taking you and molding you. He’s got you in His hands. What better place to be? This reminds me of a song out now called, Diamonds. I’ll post the lyrics below and also the video for it.

 

“Diamonds”
Here and now I’m in the fire,
In above my head
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Being held under the pressure,
Don’t know what’ll be left
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
But it’s here in the ashes
I’m finding treasure

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of us

I’ll surrender to the power
Of being crushed by love
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Till the beauty that was hidden
Isn’t covered up
Oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh
Oh it’s not what I hoped for
It’s something much better

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of us

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making diamonds

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making diamonds

Oh the joy of the lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He’s making, he’s making

He’s making diamonds, diamonds
Making us rise up from the dust
He is refining in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

I won’t be afraid to shine
I won’t be afraid to shine
I won’t be afraid to shine
Cause he’s making diamonds out of dust
Making diamonds out of us

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Questions I Had About Autism

*This was originally posted over at Defying Shadows blog.*

Questions. We all have them. I think we have them even more after a family member is diagnosed with a mental health condition. I know I did.  For sure after we learned my twins had autism. I sort of knew what it was, but not fully. A family friend had a son with autism and that’s all I knew. Here are the questions that ran through my mind.

  • Did I cause this? No. We don’t cause our children to have this.
  • What causes Autism? Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and non genetic or environmental influences. It is generally accepted that it is caused be abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children on the spectrums.
  • What does this mean for my boys? What I’ve found is that it means they’ll always be a little slower at picking up on certain things. At times behavior will be an issue, but with tons of ABA therapy and consequences they do learn to stop doing those things. It may take them a little longer to pick up things in school, but they get there. What it doesn’t mean is that life is over for them. It’s just beginning.
  • What therapy is there to help? Oh my! There’s so much. It all depends on what your child will need what you will be looking for. My twins have had speech, occupational and ABA therapy. They still continue with two of these. I’m looking into music therapy next.
  • What does it mean for their future? This one I’m not sure, but I know God knows what he’s doing.

These are just a few of the questions that I had at first. The ones I have are always changing as things come up for my twins an also my middle child who has aspies.

What are some questions you’ve had about Autism?

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Disappearing Friends-Autism-and A Godly Response

 

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You know this meme had me thinking. Want to know who your friends are? Have a child with Autism. IT IS SO TRUE!

Like, people don’t talk about this at all. Well, it needs to be talked about. When you get the final diagnosis of Autism from the doctor of your child, you’d think you could count on your friends. Now some you can…others though will run the other direction. It is like they think their child can catch this from yours. Let me give a piece of mind. YOU CAN’T! Did you hear me correctly? You can’t. Period. I know some family falls into this category and it sucks.

I’d even venture to say these people weren’t really your friends in the first place if something like this can make them stop talking to you or coming around. Goodbye, you don’t need that stuff in your life as you have enough to deal with. Pray for them and move on. Listen to me, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. This is on them. What we can do is pray. Like I said a little bit ago, that’s all we can do.

You know somethings they miss out on? I bet you’ve never thought about this…let me share some.

1. Getting to know an amazing child! God made this child and they’re precious in His sight. When He looks at them, He doesn’t see their special needs. He sees into their heart.

2. Pure and honest. Those with Autism are some of the purest and honest people you will ever met. Who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that?

3. Love. They have so much love to share.

4. Miracles. They’re miracles from God. Not only that to be given a chance to pray for them. To watch them do things that therapists and doctors say they’ll never be able to do.

5. Being able to stand in the gap for us as we’re going through a hard time with our kiddos. We need people who aren’t afraid to stand with us during the hard times. Someone who will grab our hands and say it will be ok. People who will pray over us, over our kids and not back down, storming God’s throne.

So, when people walk out of your life because of your child’s special needs, let them. Don’t chase them. This is God’s way of giving you someone else who will stand with and for you during the hard times.

What’s some other wisdom or advice for those going through something like this with friends or family?

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Pointing To God

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As moms I’m sure others think about this or even worry about are we pointing to God enough to our children? I know I do. Because let’s face it as moms we’re the other and also dads who show our children who God is. They get their ideas of who God is from us. Plain and simple.

So, how do we want to show Him? Loving and caring. Angry and always ready to strike. I hope ya’ll would say the first. These are just some of the small ways we can point our children to Jesus.

  • Praise Him for everything.
  • Pray with and over them.
  • Talk about God
  • Be the hands and feet of Jesus to other people.
  • Let them see you reading your Bible.
  • Quiet time as a family.

What are some other ways to point to God?

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Wordless Wednesday–Circus

A few week’s back we took the kids to the circus for the first time. It was also my first time ever going. Yeah, I and the kids were super excited to go. We weren’t sure how well the twins with do with sensory issues due to their autism. They hate, and I mean hate loud noises. Our middle child has issues with loud noises too with having aspies.

I’m glad to report…THEY DID AMAZING! Now we had to leave a little after intermission was over. The flashing lights were bothering one of the twins. They both have seizures and I didn’t even think about the lights. Did I mention that’s a new thing we’ve been thrown because it is? Here are a few pics from the circus.

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So Not A Supermom

So Not A Supermom

A couple of weeks ago we had some guests over and when they were leaving one of them said, “you’re a supermom.”

I have to say it took all I had in me to resist rolling my eyes at said person. Yes, I have a sarcasm side at times. You ask why? Well, because I’m so far from being a super mom or even close to it.  Truthfully, I don’t know any super moms. I know a lot of moms who make mistakes and who never give up. They dust themselves off and keep going.  Plus, on top of things I had a deadline to turn in a book and homeschooling the kids.

God knows that I make mistakes. Daily. I admit it. No need to hide it. Some days, I only get through by praying every hour, minute and sometimes every second. Plus, on top of things I had a deadline to turn in a book and homeschooling the kids.

So Not A Supermom That day, I had so many things that needed my attention. Things that had to be done that day and I was stressing about how it would all get finished.  Plus, on top of things I had a deadline to turn in a book and homeschooling the kids.

For me, I cringe if someone calls me a super mom because, in reality, I’m not. I’m just a mom trying to get things done that need to be done. It is as simple as that. Sure, in our home things are done a little different with the way we believe, homeschool and have three of our four children on the autism spectrum. My twins having epilepsy.

Like really, how do you respond to someone who says this to you? I bit the inside of my cheek, smiled and said, “no, I just get things done like any other mom does.” Which two of the three still tried to insist on saying I was the picture of super mom. So, yes, it does drive me nuts.

I do things like any other mom. I get dressed the same way, clean and cook and all those things that moms do. I just have a little more on my plate to deal with.

Has anyone ever called you Supermom before?

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