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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heather Forbes/ Beyond Consequences

Today I attended the Beyond Consequences Logic and Control Conference that was hosted by Buckner Children's Services and Garland Independent School District.

I read the original work by Heather Forbes and Bryan Post a few years ago. Much of what was in that book was something that we were mostly already doing, but with a spiritual twist. :)
After reading the book, I began to discuss it with others and found there were some who thought it was the work of a very imbalanced person, and they would have nothing to do with it because of rumor about Mr. Post's education, and weird therapy techniques.
I won't get into that here, as I don't know Mr. Post, where he attended school or if any of the rumor was true. None of what was suggested he does was in this book.

Mr.Post and Heather Forbes are no longer doing seminars together. She said he is working more on "group homes", and she is teaching parent/counselor seminars.
Honestly, I'm a little relieved that the controversy has blown over abit and the focus of what she is doing has overcome, as I think what she teaches and says has great validity.

Many people think that she advocates no discipline in the home, no rules, and chaos reigns. That could not be further from the truth.

What she DOES do, is give people a paradigm shift, so they can focus on SUCCESSFULLY parenting the most difficult of traumatized children. Her focus is on children who have experienced unspeakable trauma and are at risk for antisocial behavior.

Part of how I got involved in even reading her book was because of the obvious. 3 traumatized little girls.
It would be FOOLISH to think that we could lazidazically shoot from the hip of parenting with such a delicate and precarious group of little souls.
From the information we had, the parenting styles being used on them were not working, were non existent, or the history was so shattered going from home to home there was no stability.
That does not mean that the parents or caregivers didn't have the best of intentions, I'm sure they did. But children with trauma backgrounds are not going to be your typical child.

Truth be told, much of what I learned in scripture on parenting our children stems from the New Testament. All one need to do is read how Christ treated the disciples and you will have a good picture. All one need to do is read the one command in the New Testament, "Fathers. Do NOT provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
In Colossians 3:21, it says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged."

The basis of the Beyond Consequences book is that a child who does not have a nurturing loving background, but a traumatized, neglected, abusive one, will not have logic, they will not respond to "traditional" parenting styles. I agree. At the same time, I don't think I have ever been that "traditional" of a parent.

The biggest thing I got out of the seminar was that "It isn't about you, it is about them." Discipline them according to their best interest, not how you feel.

There is no book that one can read, other than scripture that is 100%, but I must say, there are a lot of good principles that Heather Forbes teaches for parents that really truly do work.

If you can keep your child in a state of calm, you can reach their heart. You will not reach their heart by locking the horns of force and defiance. But to disarm them with unconditional love, will open their hearts to hear the truth of the scripture and receive the ONE who TRULY shows us unconditional love.

All I can say is, when it comes to Adults, many times we want Mercy and Grace for ourselves, and law for our children. You mess up, you get punished. What about when we mess up. Do we want to be punished? Does God punish us every time? No, we always pray for mercy.
I just wonder, if it isn't confusing to raise our children under such "law", and at the same time try to teach them the mercy and grace of Christ, if we lack the patience to model our heavenly father to them.

I just don't think you can err on the side of love. Perfect Love Casts out Fear. And Fear is what drives many of our children;fear of rejection, losing their parents, losing their lives permeates many of their little lives. FEAR is what also drives many parents to respond in the way they do. They are afraid their child will not love Christ, that they will be delinquent, that they will become criminals. We should not parent from fear but from Love, and from knowledge of the truth with all humility and wisdom.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to show them Christ. REALLY show them Christ.


Keri said...

wonderful, wonderful post, Christie.

Debora Hoffmann said...

Our social worker recommended we read the book and attend a seminar if one comes to town. Thank you for writing about it, and about what Scripture says. Thank you for the encouragement.

Diana said...

Very well said! I'm still amazed at how many people either don't know about these methods or aren't willing to even try them. BCLC isn't the only place that preaches these principles. The phylosphy that our therapist works off of is almost identical to BCLC, but she'd never heard of Heather Forbes or the books until she started working with us. But whoever writes the book (BCLC is the most easily attainable and most well known), the principals DO WORK - and yes, they are the only method that is really and truely in line with the teachings of our Savior.

Annie said...

I was so excited to recognize someone I "know" from blogging on the Beyond Consequences site! Heather is wonderful and this has worked so well...not only for the adopted children but for all my relationships. It is love.

Annie said...

I also wanted to add that when I was explaining "my" philosophy to one of our priests he pointed out that in the Bible Jesus said "Be not afraid" more than he said anything else. That is such a huge part of Jesus' message. Fear is what stands in our way. Love conquers all; in that I agree with Heather. That's why this parenting style has enhanced my own faith live amazingly.

junglemama said...

So glad you went and shared too! Thanks!

Lorraine Fuller said...

I do think you have to be very aware of your child as well. I read this book and many others. Some of the methods in this book which worked well with my daughter, did not work at all with my son. He falls apart if the consequences are not there. He craves that structure. He has even verbalized this and it bothers him if the consequences are not there and he flies out of control. My method that is working on him, is really a hodge podge from the many books I have read, and the result of a lot of prayer and becoming a student of my child and parenting the way that works best for him.

Blog said...

just curious, your blog came up when I did a google search for the book. This book was reccomended to me because I have an ADHD child that is not adopted. Are all of your children adopted?

Christie M said...

No, we have 7 children total. Only 3 are adopted. If you have any other questions, we have dealt with ADHD too:) with one of our bio guys.Feel free to email me directly. You can find my email in my profile. :)

Christie M said...

Actually, let me clarify that. 4 of our children are my bio children; but my husband adopted them, so it is a little different from older child orphan adoption.

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