Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Praises

Something I've noticed this week....

My child who once would have a complete and utter meltdown if you gave her one word of praise now loves to receive it. A year ago....unconditional praise....heaven help us.

Shortly after J came home I took her for a haircut. My dear friend, Robin, unknowingly told her that she was so beautiful. It was repeated many times over during our visit. As soon as we climbed in the car complete destruction of my backseat occurred. Cupholders were ripped out, seats were damaged, console broken beyond repair. Screaming bloody murder all the way home. Needless to say it was a long evening. Anytime she received an unconditional praise it resulted in a nasty hot mess.

From that time on I spent hiding at far away grocery stores. Distant town shopping, dining, etc. Getting family/friends to get it. Fat chance.

So we spent months (years) working on praise but it was done with conditional praise. I like the way you tied your shoes. Nice job wiping the table. I noticed you did a good job on your picture. You matched your clothes well today. Nice job cleaning up your room. I noticed you were responsible with your laundry. Etc. I was also very careful to hold up on the negatives comments if at all possible. Not that I ever did this perfectly by any stretch of the imagination.

See....my child had no self-esteem. None. Nada. Zilch. On the inside she felt like one one organism lower than an amoeba. Telling her that she was beautiful when she didn't believe it for one whit of a second meant that she pulled out an all-out attack. Search and destroy. Take no prisoners.

When you love someone more than they love themselves they will ALWAYS attack you. Sorry, I don't know who that quote is from so I can't give proper credit. It is a true statement. Just think about it for a minute.

Today she loves to hear unconditional praise and she will feed on it. Now I can lavish her with loves and praises (hugs and kisses) and her little face lights up like a Christmas tree. Then mine reciprocates. It warms my heart. For over a year now she will melt into me when I hug her. A real genuine hug. Not board-stiff-something-might-break-and-fall-off hug.

A lot of people discouraged me from thinking we'd ever make progress. Truthfully there was many times that I doubted it myself. Grateful I didn't listen to anyone. Including myself.

So glad we made it.

16 comments:

Sugar-n-Spice said...

your right. blubbering. and i'm not a pretty crier, either. ;)

i've heard the song a thousand times. never thought of it like that. wow.

SocialWrkr24/7 said...

Sweet tears for your sweet girl!

Hannah_Rae said...

Beautiful.

Gives me hope I need today. :)

Blessings!

Hannah

Diana said...

Yee-Haw!! This post makes me want to do a happy dance on the table! I'm so glad I didn't listen when everyone told me to leave my kids in Ukraine, or that they'd never be anything more than wild animals. I'm so glad I never listened when they told me they'd never heal and nothing would ever change. BALOGNA!!! Yeah for progress, yeah for great kids, yeah for surviving the journey in getting there!

Little Wonder said...

My B does much better with comments like "I noticed you picked up your dirty clothes and put them in the basket" rather than, "Good Job! PUtting your clothes in the basket!" It also gives him a chance to respond when I use the I NOTICED statements...it's been a positive thing in healing our mother/son relationship!

So happy that you can give hugs & kisses...not quite there yet with B, but we're making progress!

Shanti said...

so wonderful to read her progress! and YAY for hugs and kisses!

Tricia said...

I can not wait to get a real hug from Jess! He still does the stiff hug =( and god forbid I try to kiss him goodnight.

pam said...

What a wonderful, heart warming post Lisa. Must give you such hope:)

Linda B said...

Oh isn't that the best feeling in the world when you get a real hug-the the stiff board! Nay to the nay sayers!

obladi oblada said...

WOO HOO...completely cool. Congrats to you both...that puts a smile on my face.

Lee said...

Happy Dancin for such amazing healing progress!

SocialWrkr24/7 said...

You were right, I loved the video!

Mama Drama Times Two said...

I am so happy and hopeful for you and J!!! How lucky Special K gets to observe her big sis giving love and taking in love and being in the family in a whole new, and emotionally settled way - it will send a very powerful message.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

We had the same issue, only with Genea it was like the one way to guarantee she would act out was to catch her being good and comment on it. It's a new trick every day huh? LOL
That is such a huge step for J. Gosh, I mean, a lot of adults have trouble with compliments!

BT said...

Loved loved loved this post. Bravo, once again, to you and J!

Maury said...

It is just amazing how far she has come. You HAVE to write a book. 2...one just a story of your girls, and one being a help book on all the healing techniqes you have learned.

I am so glad I found you, what you do for your girls, always makes me smile, and is such an encouragement to me.