Oh dear readers. You bless me and encourage me. Your comments and messages and emails and texts. Your willingness to listen, be broken, try harder and be more to someone who is less. You are a gift.
Do you know who you are?
You are parents living with difficult kids, teachers leading difficult minds, friends learning how to love difficult children you know, pastors leading difficult churches.
Collectively you are souls feeding souls. Let these words encourage you today!
Our house is the one place our son feels completely safe. One of the most exhausting things for us is leaving the house. He likes to be at home and every time we manage to leave it is a small miracle.
Leaving home automatically puts up defenses. Where are we going, is it a place I feel safe and comfortable? Who is going to be there, people I know and who already accept me or strangers which makes me nervous? What are we doing, is it an activity I will enjoy or something I’m being forced to engage in? Any one of these things, if approached the wrong way, can lead to screaming/yelling/physical tantrums /terrible words or all of the above.
For Us: “Talk it out before you walk it out” says Sally Clarkson. It’s good advice for any parent but particularly the ones leading Difficult Minds. We try and answer all the questions and imagine all the potential positives as clearly and simply as we can. While this doesn’t fix everything, it does help!
For Fellow Parents: Do whatever works for you and your particular child, there is no one way. If you are new to this journey, Practice and Prepare! Overshare with your Difficult Mind. Have the hard conversations at home before you leave. This means we may set aside 30+ minutes before we leave but if it makes our time out of the house more manageable, every minute was worth it.
For the Teachers: Transitions are hard! Having a visual schedule in your classroom or at that child’s desk and always giving 5 minute warnings before the next transition might save your whole day. Setting a timer and giving the Difficult Student the responsibility to turn it off might be just the thing you need to help them move easily along with the class.
For the Friends: Find out what interests the Difficult Child in your life and learn about it, talk about it with them, become an expert in it. It may not be the most interesting subject but it will make that child feel loved and safe in ways you will never understand.
For the Pastors: Difficult Minds exist everywhere, even in churches. Find people (who aren’t you) in your community willing and able to take a special interest and love and connect with these people. As a pastor pray for them so your heart will be gentle towards them when your plate is already too full. Minister to them by sharing the encouraging words of scripture with them, let the Gospel speak through your gifting of teaching and leading.
As parents, teachers, friends and pastors you are the people I trust and hope for every time I leave my home with our son. The gift of loving our son and becoming a safe person to him does not go unnoticed. We are forever grateful.
“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”
There’s Rescue: There are some very precious safe people in our life that make it possible to leave our home without too much stress.
There’s Not: Every time we leave our home it is work. It would be nice to just pick up and go on occasion.
Today I am thankful for people who have loved us by becoming safe people for our son. Saying thank you will never be enough.