Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 169

Another Friday, another #WASO!Week 169

Hello again, and welcome back to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. It’s week 169 can you believe it? We have a theme this week – don’t worry it’s optional so you don’t have to join in, but if you want a little inspiration or a starting point for your blog you could use ‘What Makes You Feel Good’.

As always, please do like, comment and share as many #WASO posts as you can. It’s a great boost to bloggers to see comments and shares, and it’s nice to see that readers can relate to and empathise with posts. Be sure to include the hashtag #WASO in your comments, tweets and Facebook posts too.

Because it’s a bank holiday weekend, we’ll be extending the linky so it’ll remain open an extra day. Go forth and link you lovely people….


Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief by Kate Collins-Donnelly

Today we bring you a review by Sarah from The Puffin Diaries, of the book Banish your Self-Esteem Thief by Kate Collins-Donnelly

This book aims to teach young people, from aged ten, to use cognitive behavioural therapy to build positive self-esteem. The book can be used by a parent or a practitioner with the young person and is a combination of segments to read and activities to carry out.

self esteemWe have had this book some time, over a year, however we have used the book on and off through out this time. One of the main reasons for this is that we’ve accessed sections of the books which have I have considered age appropriate. So whilst my son at ten could access the first three chapters, which explored the concept of self esteem, he seemed less able to grasp the concepts of following chapters which delve deeper into how self-esteem develops. We have however returned to these sections at a later date.

The book is highly interactive and easy to follow, making a logical progression for the reader, building on one idea to the next. It was easy to break into smaller sections, which suited my son, as whole chapters include quite a lot to digest in one sitting for a younger child. That said my son asked on a number of occasions if we could work together from the book. He enjoys the one to one time and also the opportunity to explore himself with someone that feels safe by his side.

My son particularly enjoyed designing his own self-esteem vault, where you keep safe all the positive beliefs you have about yourself, from the self esteem thief, who you can also draw your own version of.

There are activities and parts of the text that are much more suited to teenagers than young adolescents. For example, there are case studies from older children which include incidents of self harming. I think this is particularly important to take into consideration when dealing with children who have suffered early life trauma and have a younger emotional intelligence than their physical age. My own son struggled a little with some of the list of emotional labels unable to differentiate between words like, embarrassment and shame or sadness and a low mood.

Another good reason to work in small sections was that reading about all the bad things you feel about yourself as you tick a long list of words you agree describe you, can be upsetting in itself. Sometimes I’d see we need to switch mode so that a dark mood didn’t stay with my son.

As the parent or teacher it is worth reading through to the end first and finding sections you can turn to and use to create positive endings to your sessions. There are some deep breathing and relaxation exercises which we introduced earlier than the progressive stage in the book because they were enjoyable to use. 

So in conclusion, this book is a really thorough and useful workbook to help young people understand how their own self-esteem works. I do consider the whole book suited more to teenagers, however I found there were sections that can still be useful for  those younger. My own son is turning thirteen soon and I’m sure he will ask me again if we can look at it again.

App Happy – by The Boys Behaviour

Apps – these days we can’t live without them, but which do you use the most? Which apps have you installed for the sake of someone else? Today it’s the turn of The Boy’s Behaviour to answer these questions…

The App I Use the Most.  Well aside from Instagram and Facebook, I suppose I use my camera loads, and then after that the Amazon Kindle app. Before bed, in the car waiting for the kids after school, in a snatched 5 minutes here and there, I do try to read fiction to transport me away from everyday life, and it’s much easier to do that on my phone, than carry a book around.app happy

The App which is my guilty pleasure.
I’m going to sound like the poster girl for Amazon after my previous answer but I suppose the general Amazon app is my guilty pleasure. I have Prime membership, so it’s super easy to have a quick flick for an item, order it and have it the next day. The downside is that one-click ordering – makes it far too easy to spend!

The App I really should remove.
I’m pleased to say I don’t have any that I should remove. I hate having an untidy app screen so I periodically get rid of those I don’t use anymore. Plus I’m in the honeymoon period of my phone (having only had it a fortnight) so having filled it up with rubbish…yet!

The App on my phone/tablet which is not for me.
I don’t have many – in fact just one for Dollop which is Endless ABC. It’s educational so I don’t really mind, but to be honest, she rarely plays it as she has her own tablet now.

The App I would recommend.
Several actually – Ocado, which I use frequently to order and edit my shopping; Ringo – because I never have change on me for parking, and this means I can use my card to park and S Health (a Samsung app) which helps me track my steps, meals and weight, which is important to me.

The last App I used today.
Nissan EV – a very useful app for people with Nissan Leaf electric cars, but very boring for those without. It helps me see how much charge (and therefore how many miles) I have left on the car, I can track how efficient the car and my driving are and I can see from a distance how well it’s charging – I love this because I can sit and enjoy a cuppa somewhere and see exactly how fast it’s charging. Or even, like tonight, I could check from the comfort of the sofa to see whether I needed to charge the car overnight. Which incidentally I do…so excuse me whilst I go and plug in…

 Would you like to share your App secrets??? Answer the above questions and email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Life on the Frontline – 24.05.16

lotf

A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

I’m even later this week, a whole day. Whilst no new incidents have occurred in the last week, previous events have continued to take their toll on our family and shake our foundations.

It’s hard to explain just how much ill considered comments can damage the progress of a family. When one or two members of school staff take a snapshot of your family at one of those rare moments of chaos and complete vulnerability, and then base all thoughts and beliefs on that moment.

I know it is not real, I know what they’ve seen is not reality; many people around us can confirm this. However it is hard to prevent this image of yourself from eating away at all the positive work you and your family have been doing.

We have come so far in recent months, I know we’ve turned a massive corner, although I don’t deny that we have come from a place that wasn’t perfect. As always I have asked for and sought out the support we need and deserve and lots of that support is now in place.

Tall and I are doing the DDP, I have received therapy which has helped me with the secondary trauma which I was undoubtedly struggling with. Small is in a new school and that school is much more capable of supporting his needs and we are working well with them.

I’ve never denied that we’ve struggled at times, or that we’ve not always made the right choices during our struggles. However, we have repeatedly shown extreme resilience in the face of poor or none existent support.  We have regained balance and enjoyed lots of success and progress, in the face of much adversity.

To me those in the roll of supporting children with additional needs will always extend to supporting the family. It’s impossible to not be involved with that child’s home life if you are fully supporting the child.  Therefore those supporting the child/family should not be creating the adversity with which this family are challenged. I think it’s deplorable that people in such roles are not made more accountable for their flippant opinions and ignorant ideas, which can lead to families feeling victimised and vulnerable.

That said, I am managing to see beyond a couple of peoples inaccurate views of my family. We are bigger and better than their ignorance and arrogance and these views will not knock us down.

In Other News

3 Reasons to be Cheerful…

1, the sun is shining

2. we are getting new guinea pigs tomorrow

3, I have yoga in my life.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 168

Friday – that means it’s time for #WASO.

168If you haven’t taken part before, it’s quite simple, just copy the web address for the post you want to link (that bit’s important, not just your blog address, but specifically the address for the post), and paste it into the form at the bottom of this blog post. We do our very best to read and share them all each week on Twitter and Facebook, and hopefully therefore adding more traffic to your blogs, and gaining you more readers.

Our blogging community is brilliant, and they read and share as much as they can too, so get involved, say ‘Hi’ on Twitter, and make some new friends.

There’s no theme this week, so just join in with your best, worst, favourite or newest post.



Book Review – Seahorse’s Magical Sun Sequences

This week I was able to use this book to teach yoga to a group of primary school children.

The Stories are all about how the magical seahorse uses yoga to help his friends in the ocean. You will meet The Starfish Brothers, Eel, Crab and Octopus, each has their own story and their own version of the sun sequence.

I used the first story featuring The Starfish Brothers as I was working with fully able bodied children aged five. The other stories adapt the sun sequence for children in wheelchairs, Children with Autism and older children who may also struggle with standing.sun sal

The characters are very friendly and easily accessible for the children to be involved with. The colourful illustrations help to engage the children with these characters.  The words are easy to follow and easy to read to the children, or for older children to read themselves. I think this makes the book work on lots of different levels and can be used in school but also at home. I like the fact that in the stories yoga is used to help with physical and mental difficulties that the characters are facing and has a very positive message about yoga. 

The illustrated movements of the sun sequence are also very clear and easy to follow. You can also print off a copy of the posters with all the movements on, via a related website, which is a great resource for teachers and parents alike.

Once you have performed the sun sequence with the children, the story continues and suggests that someone else leads the group through the sun sequence. I didn’t do this with my group of children because it was a large group which I had not previously worked with and felt, I needed to remain in charge. However with a smaller group or a group I was maybe more familiar with I could see how this might be fun.

The only thing I wasn’t overly keen on was the version of the sun sequence used in the first story which was supposed to be for the age group I was teaching, three to five. I instead used the full version of the sequence which appears later in the book, in a second story featuring the Starfish Brothers. I felt that it offered more movement and more fun for the children and they were more than capable of following the sequence.

I would recommend this book to teachers and parents alike and feel you need to have no real experience of yoga in order to use it.

WASO Top 3 – April

top 3

There is always such a unique array of stories being told on #WASO. Thank you all for being so open, honest and real, we love you all but unfortunately can only choose three each, and here are those three…….

 

 

Sarah :

I was immediately transported to a muddy path beside a bubbling brook in this post. Beautiful descriptions and captivating words describe this family’s moments of contentment.

In this post I can just feel the physical, emotional and mental strain this parent is suffering in the face of such bewildering behaviour. We’ve all been there and are with you all the way.

And finally, thank you to Suddenly Mummy for a post which is both informative, highly thought provoking and left me feeling all stirred up about the plight of social care in the UK.

Vicki:

This post very eloquently describes many of the feelings that surface when you find out that your impending adoptive placement is being challenged. As well as the anger, worry and disappointment, this mum describes the feelings she felt towards birth mum too.

After a panel discussion, this post by Transfiguring Adoption was created to share the thoughts of adoptees when contact is not possible.

3 Pink Diamonds adopted 3 girls several years ago now, but have come to the difficult decision to disrupt the placement of their youngest girl. This post, explains what, why and gives thanks.

The highs and lows of adoptive parenting

Today we have a guest post from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. This is his experience as father to a 7 year old boy, and as a family they are undergoing attachment based therapy. They have been together as a family for 6 years now.

Joy…in that honeymoon period. Finally we were a family.
But…
Deep grief, as he settled in and missed his foster family.

First words. First steps. So many firsts to celebrate.
But…
First tantrums. First rejections. After all, this wasn’t his first separation, his first grief experience.

Content and settled. Sleepy head, all calm and restful. We watched him sleep.
But…
The nightmares came. We held and rocked and consoled and soothed on repeat.

Nursery, school, friendships and play. All those things that children should have.
But…
Endless conversations about bullying, disruption in lessons, no concentration.

Family time. Parks, days out, games and fun.
But…
Always the fear of meltdown, losing control, how to help him.

A new therapy? Yes, we’ll give anything a ago – improvements!
But…
He’s cottoned on. And the anger, anxiety, frustration, and negativity all come back, whilst the confidence, positivity, and carefree attitude have all but disappeared.

As a dad, I don’t know what is coming from one day to the next, let alone the weeks, months and years ahead for us as a family. This scares me – a 38 year old grown man. I can’t make sense of what my boy has experienced, and I struggle to help him handle his emotions.

How on earth does it make my 7 year old boy feel? – a child with limited life experiences, many of which have been challenging to him, in a world he doesn’t fully understand? How can I ever hope to equip him with all the tools he needs to decipher and make sense of himself, his past and his future.

Parenting is hard. Adoptive parenting involves more guesswork, strategic planning and psychology. But being that child – being my boy, is so much harder.

Life on the Frontline – 16/05/16

lotfA weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

I know I’m late with this post and I apologise, things are very busy here again. On top of all the busy things going on I’ve not been sure what to write this week. It’s not that there is nothing to say on the contrary, lots happened last week, within two school related meetings. I’m still coming to terms with some of the information both of those meetings brought to the table, relating to one of the schools and specifically an individual in that school.

I am struggling to get my head around the fact that this person, who is very much responsible for supporting one of my sons in school has a perspective of me, and our family, which is so skewed it would be hilarious if wasn’t so harmful and hurtful. So I’ve not really been laughing about but instead struggling to keep my chin up and feel good about myself.

So if you don’t mind I’m going to take a little bit more time to digest and decide how best to proceed. I’ll be back next week and will try to fill you in then.

In Other News

Tall attend his Saturday superstar club this weekend and received three certificates for outstanding work and behaviour, a new school record.

Small did an amazing presentation on his own progress in his new school which made dad and I so proud.

Dad and I had a lovely adults only lunch with a friend this weekend whilst the boys enjoyed some time with grandparents, it was so enjoyable for and the children had fun too, so everyone was a winner.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 167

Yes, that time again already – it’s the Weekly Adoption Shout Out

week 167

How has your week been? I must admit that mine hasn’t been the best week with medical emergencies and a safeguarding at school incident that I witnessed as well as being an exceptionally busy week with visitors, helping out a friend and a birthday to prepare for!
So, I’m hoping that some of your blog posts might calm me down and cheer me up.

There is a theme this week. It’s ‘This Week I…’ and I’m hoping to read all sorts. Whose perspective will you write from? Will it be positive or negative? A diary entry or a list? I’m anticipating a range of posts.

Now, as most of you know there aren’t really any rules, but we do appreciate you sharing as may posts as you can and showing your support by commenting on posts. If you include our hashtag #WASO in your comment then the blogger knows how you found them too. If you feel unable to do these, that’s OK too.