"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Many of us have adopted older children who not only have extreme trauma backgrounds, but also lived in orphanages where the rules were rather lax. They didn't grow up in functional families, obviously, so it is VERY NEW to them to be told, "It is time for bed!"
Sometimes their reactions are negative. "I don't want to?" or "Why do I have to?"
Establishing routines is VERY important for ALL kids, adopted or not.
Communication skills are usually VERY POOR when our kids come home, especially international kids. The communication issue is HUGE. They may not understand what is expected, or they may complain in a way that seems more rebellious than it is. "NO! I won't go to bed!" My not be what they are actually trying to say. They may be saying, "I don't want to." Or , "Do I have to?" But with limited English skills, and the "halted" Russian or Eastern European Accent, it can seem like they are saying "NO! I WILL NOT!" LOL..... I remember Erika sounding that way all the time when she was first home.
Alli came home at 11. We simply went back to our old bedtime routine that we had when each of the girls was newly home. (newly, meaning the first YEAR)
We started the bedtime ritual of teeth brushing, baths, pj's. and then we went into the room and read a good story. The kids LOVE stories, even big kids. :) This way, we weren't saying "Go to bed!" Instead they were already ON their beds, intently listening to a good story. We would finish, pray with them and tuck them into bed, without them realizing what was happening. "Hey, I'm in bed and ...... yawn... I am kinda tired.... zzzzzzzz." :)
As the kids become more comfortable and assimilate into family life, bedtime routine can be less intense for us. We don't always HAVE to read a story. Sometimes we put on a "Story CD".... and just kiss everybody good night.
Once the routine of bedtime is established, it works like clockwork. :)