Today I am avoiding the pain that I feel as we leave Texas and talking about parenting instead. It's intentional and a welcome distraction from the puffy eyes.
One of the challenges of parenting kids with trauma is not getting sucked into the drama. (I could turn this into a rap but will spare you that.) They love to throw you off track and cause you to lose focus. I know for me my RADish will do all that she can to see any sort of reaction from me. Some days I can keep my cool, others I can got from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds.
When we were seeing our attachment therapist in Wisconsin she introduced us to a book that has stuck with us and I'm now using to keep my sanity. It's called So You Want to be a Princess which is perfect because my daughter is in full on princess mode.
We have taken the concept, which basically says that my daughter is a Princess and I am The Queen and this Queen wants very much to help the Princess turn into the best Princess that she can. The Queen is good and loving and loves the Princess very much. And while sometimes the Princess wants to do things that are harmful, the Queen will still do all that she can to help the Princess.
Yesterday we had a rough morning which included me carrying my youngest to Christine's home, so she could continue to rage, while I rubbed the back of my 11 year old, who was puking. I was not feeling therapeutic at all. After getting my crap together I got creative.
The bedroom is now the Princesses sleeping quarters, the RV is now the castle. There's a brown and pink horse that carries the Princess into her sleeping quarters at the end of the day. His name is Sam. Where before there was lunch, now there is a royal banquet, where all of the Royalty use their best manners.
I am finding that life as the Queen is much better than that of a mom who loses her cool and gets sucked into the negative. I am separating myself and my own triggers from my child's. I am using my creativity to parent a child who wants very much to believe there is a Princess inside of her, past her hurt and her fears. After all a Queen is held to a higher standard. She does not lose it in front of others because the paparazzi may catch it on film and use it against her later. It does not mean that the Queen is perfect, it means that her strategy and choices are very intentional.
So what could it be for you? What creative thing could you do to make parenting more fun? Whether or not you parent trauma, it is so much more fun to mix things up and use your imagination. Maybe your child is a Rockstar and you are her Manager., helping her get her message out and making sure that the crowds don't wear her down. Maybe your child is an Astronaut and you are his Trainer for life in space. Maybe they are a bear cub and you are the Mama bear who makes the den a safe place and takes the baby bear into the field to run and play.
It's back to the Royal Castle for me and possibly a new jewel for my crown. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.