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― C. S. Lewis


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some More BCLC Examples

I have been working on practical examples for those who have trouble understanding the BCLC paradigm. It is really simple, but it takes a shift in thinking.

Heather Forbes calls it shifting from "Fear Based Parenting" to "Love Based Parenting".
For some who hear that, they think, "I'm not making my child afraid; and are you saying I don't love my kids?"
Of course she isn't saying that.

When I first read about BCLC the title: "Love Based Parenting", attracted me because I want to be a love based parent. It didn't make me think I wasn't.

There are many successful ways to parent kids that work, there is no question about that. BUT... when you are dealing with a child who has a trauma and neglect background,
many of those traditional methods do not work and can even cause more trauma.

BCLC was designed for Special Kids, but can work for all kids.

Many people I have talked to think that this method lets a kid get away with anything, there are no rules or limits and the kid rules the roost. That could not be further from the truth.

Love Hopes all things, believes all things, endures all things and it never fails.
(1 Corinthians) end of chapter... beginning of 14

So if I am hoping, believing and enduring, there is no Fear in that. Perfect Love Casts out FEAR!

Here is an example:

Lets say a child who has experienced internal turmoil over circumstances in their life,begins to act out in ways that are unacceptable.

Typically the parent is going to have all sorts of fears regarding this child's future. The parent starts confessing, this child has no conscience, this child is bad.
This child needs severe consequences to straighten them up and make them fly right!
The child is grounded, with loss of freedoms. It is a punishment to teach a lesson, and it stings. This may work for a well rounded child, or not. The child will most certainly feel shame, and possibly anger and hurt. They may not feel anything and just wait out their sentence, hoping they do it better next time and don't get caught.
This puts the parent at odds with the child. Instead of coming along side, we draw a line and demand the child not cross it.

A simple paradigm shift can make things very different.

The same exact thing happens. The parent instead of being fearful, recognizes that their child needs loving supportive instruction. Instead of getting angry and throwing out "consequences", the parent in a calm state takes the child near and says, " we need to talk about what happened". "You aren't making wise decisions, and that tells me that I need to help you along some. So for a while, I'm going to keep you close by and that way you won't be distracted. You may need to make sure your child is calm before this discussion, but they will get there.

It builds the child's trust that you have forgiven them, you have recognized their need for guidance, AND you begin to guide them in a tender and loving manner. And humor goes a long way!

"Come and cook dinner with me", "What would you like to make", "Hey son, lets get your bike fixed together". The child's shame is replaced with unconditional love and therefore their fear is removed.
Many kids fear that if they have done something wrong, they will be abandoned, or left, because that is exactly what happened to them. They were abandoned.That is why it is so important to hold them close in a loving manner when they have acted out. Some act out because they are so afraid to feel love, thinking it will end. So they mis behave just to reject before they can be rejected again. They cannot handle that kind of pain.

If you can get through that barrier through patience, kindness, wisdom, love, charity, gentleness and self control; the child's response will be AMAZINGLY strong and positive.

You will have opened them to a whole new world, where you can THEN, teach them to handle more and more in regards to how others treat them within society. They won't be so afraid or angry. It will take time, but it is a direction and a process. If we can remember that raising children is a LONG process with ups and downs, it takes much of the fear out of it.

I remember several years ago when we first had our Anna. She would have a wonderful time with something we did, and then on the way home have a fit saying "I had a terrible time, I hated my time, I don't like those people.... etc. We were very puzzled at first and I would say, "I saw you having a good time." WRONG>..... LOL
It would just make her pull away more. I even said, "well I guess we won't have fun then." WRONG WRONG! That just made her mad.

But when we figured out what was going on (she was afraid she wouldn't have a good time again, things never lasted in her life) we simply said, "we had a great time too.
When we got home we would head straight for the rocking chair and rock her saying, "we will have a good time again, it is ok. It will happen again.
The change in her was amazing. A little repentant heart that said, "Mommy, I'm sorry, I really did have a good time. "
And then we'd say, " We know, we did too." We would pray with her, or for her and it was over. Next day, we might say, before we go have some fun, remember, we will be able to do it again, mom loves you, you are safe. And eventually those behaviors stopped. It took a while, but they stopped.

Children are not adults. They are children. They think like children. Many times we try to reason with a child, like we would talk to an adult. As they grow older, and become more self regulated, with more internal control; which is the goal for all parents to achieve, (kids with self control and good sense) that might be possible, but children who come with baggage, need us to help them and sometimes demonstrate to them what we are trying to convey, with much humor, love, acceptance and coming along side.

I think BCLC keeps you on the same side without that dividing line, and give you a rope and a flashlight to guide your child to the right side. :)

A load of prayer helps too. :)


ann clary said...


Can I send your blog link to my older sister? She has step-children who live with her and hubby who have horrendous backgrounds and I think she could really use this post.


Christie M said...

Sure! :)

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

My stepson has been basically abandoned by his bio-mother and has a lot of issues. Reading this post has made some light bulbs go off in my brain.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help others!

Odysseus said...

Thank you for sharing what God and BCLC have shared with you. I attended the BLCL conference but still have not fully utilized this method. I think I have some of my own healing and repenting to do. Today. Thanks.

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