Decorate Sitting room : Buy Multi Color Cotton Ball Thailand Holiday And

Beautiful decor, Layla! I love your creativity and your taste.

This is off-topic, but I saw it elsewhere and thought it might be helpful for you in preparing Steevenson for Christmas. It was originally posted on a blog by someone named Jen Hatmaker, but the link I found was broken. Here is the text that was posted on a message board by someone else:

“It could be said accurately of me that I am a slow-learner.

This is our 4th Christmas with Ben and Remy home, and last year I finally tracked our history and noticed that Christmas produced an inevitable cocktail of unintentional sabotage, overreactions, and meltdowns (or total withdrawal). The best of days ended in their tears, yelling, and devastation. Until last year, I kept thinking, “Dang! I am just not getting this Christmas thing right!”

I’m I thought I failed once again to provide the perfect mix of togetherness, meaning, Advent, and memories.

I’m onto it now.

Example: For four weeks until Christmas, Remy talks about gifts/dates/plans/expectations CONSTANTLY. I mean constantly. What starts as ordinary preparation turns tense and anxious. A week or two out, it gets darker: lots of entitlement, demands, the outer edges of fit-pitching. Nothing is enough. Every Christmas activity lacks; she displays a constant state of disappointment or anger. (She had her first meltdown this year when we decorated the tree and drank hot chocolate while watching Elf. It was a total disaster for her, start to finish, no matter how we all rallied. Sydney said, “Mom? What is really going on?” EXACTLY.)

On Christmas morning, behavior turns insufferable over the smallest thing, over nothing. The “who got more” tally is in full effect (Ben particularly struggles with scarcity). The six thoughtful, loving presents are discarded for the one unreasonable, outrageous thing she didn’t get. We will absolutely hear: “This is the worst day OF MY LIFE!!” (We hear this regularly on Big Days.) She will end up crying in her bedroom, devolving into shame: “I am the worst girl! I am on the naughty list! I ruined Christmas! I’m giving all my presents away!” I feel so frustrated that I sometimes snap, making it all worse. Ultimately, I dread Big Days altogether and while she is thinking she is the worst kid (bless her), I am thinking I am definitely the worst mom.

Big Day Sabotage is no joke, man.

For all my adoption friends (as well as grownups who also sabotage Big Days unwittingly or have other kids who do), we’ve learned much about our kids’ unintentional behavior and how to help them. Maybe you find yourself wrecking Big Days like Christmas, feeling frustrated year after year at your own self. Perhaps this will be helpful for you too, dear one. So many factors contribute to this grief and self-preserving behavior; being abandoned/adopted is one contributor, but other heartbreaks result in the same reaction.

First, the WHY. This is multifaceted and certainly varies from person to person. I’ll discuss what we see in our adopted kids, and I’d love to hear your personal experiences in the comments.

WHY: For adopted kids, abandonment is a deep shame so entrenched, our kids don’t even know they are operating out of it. Whether with full memories in hand like ours or kids given up at birth, it doesn’t matter. The narrative is: I wasn’t good enough to keep. This sense of unworthiness is so deep, it takes a lifetime of intentional work to overcome. What that shame tells them is this: I am not worthy of love, happiness, or goodness. It seems ridiculous to parents who love them madly, who go to every game and concert, who sing to them and tuck them in, but those affections can’t erase the beginning of their story. They don’t feel worthy of happiness on Big Days, so they sabotage to hasten the disappointment before it gets to them first. Double bonus if their behavior triggers our anger, because then their shame is validated just like they suspected.

WHY: Big Days trigger Big Feelings. No matter the extreme (good or bad), it is all INTENSE and triggering. It conjures their most tender emotions, their most volatile responses, kind of like laughing hysterically at a funeral. Of course the reaction is outrageous, but Big is Big and when a traumatized kid opens the door to Big, everything is free to spill out. They spend so much energy keeping a lid on their pain and fear and trying to just “act normal, ” so when permission is granted to feel all their feels, both ends of the spectrum dump their restrained contents and it is a cluster of hysteria.

WHY: They exit the safe space of ordinary, regulated, predictable routine and enter the scary space of extraordinary, disregulated, unpredictable practice. There is a reason adoption counselors urge parents to establish regular routines with no deviation for awhile. When their insides are out of control, it is incredibly calming to have a schedule they can count on; no big surprises to derail them, no left field scenarios to navigate, no uncertain activities to worry about. With Big Days, not only do they possess exceptional emotions (not normal), but everyone else places heightened expectations on the impending (not normal) celebration, and the stress is unmanageable.

Or the opposite. Remy places her own unreasonable expectations on Big Days. She imagines a narrative so impossible, so idealistic, so over-the-top, every normal detour is devastating. Her desire to craft the Most Perfect Day Ever reaches a fever pitch, and with the slightest wobble to the plan, she comes unraveled. She wants to control the outcome all the way to perfection, but that doesn’t exist and her inner shame trumps it anyway. She falls from an exceptional height of Expectations + “I am unworthy of happiness.”

WHY: Regret and sadness. We learned this the first year we decorated the tree. My bios received an ornament every year of their lives, and for Ben and Remy’s first Christmas, I backlogged ornaments to their birth year too. But when my big kids started hanging ornaments and declaring memories, “Remember this one!” and “This was my favorite when I was five!” and so on, Ben fell off the ledge so hard, it took two days to get him back. (Ditto: old family videos of the big kids’ childhood…) You know what? It is just sad to realize your birth family couldn’t or wouldn’t give you a happy childhood. Big Days are a reminder of what should have been but wasn’t, all that was lost, all that will never be. While their siblings happily skip through every charmed childhood Christmas memory, my littles are remembering lost birth parents, crushing poverty, and Christmases in orphanages.

Bless their precious little broken hearts.

So here is what we do to love them and help them through Big Days.

If we can, we shrink the runway to Big Days. The longer the season (THANKS FOR NOTHING CHRISTMAS SEASON THAT NOW STARTS IN OCTOBER), the greater their stress. It’s just too much to worry about for too long. So if possible, we don’t say a word until the day before or day of. On seasons like Christmas, the next suggestion is helpful…

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