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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Telling the kids

Here is a killer quote from Alanon's One Day At a Time daily reader for June 26th:

We who really try to use the Alanon program have various reasons to be grateful as we see the results.  This was one member's experience, which she told her friends at a meeting.
Her greatest difficulty concerned her children. "I never knew what to do about them when my husband came home drunk and disorderly. I felt they should be shielded from violence, yet over-protection wouldn't be good for them. I didn't want to influence them against their father; I knew he loved them, and they him.
"I found all the answers in Alanon. I made sensible explanations about their father's illness and found them naturally compassionate. I avoided scenes by not allowing my frustrations to erupt into anger. I tried hard to be consistent and fair to them. The results have been everything I hoped for, and I am so grateful to Alanon for this."
Today's Reminder: Our children are a first thing to consider first. Our attitude is the key to a successful family relationship - and their normal growing up.
"And above all, I never use the children as pawns in any conflicts. They respond so well to respect."

For me, this is what I would to do when one of the parents, father or mother, is suffering from PTSD in the  acute stage. Or even the chronic stage. When I recognize that my husband, Bob, is not trying to hurt me, is not able to calm down and that what I choose to do (argue or let go) will be the primary decider in the way the day goes. It helps me give up trying to point out what is wrong with him and work on myself, on being the kind of person who can say, "You may be right," and let go. I may be thinking on Mars, but I don't have to say it. After all, I don't have PTSD. He does. I married him for better and for worse. If he had cancer, I would not be expecting him to get over it, put it behind him, or be the same person he was. War changes people, but it also gives them experiences that can propel them to new levels of usefulness to their fellows. Like talking about the costs of war.

For a sensible explanation of PTSD symptoms for children, use my two kids books, Why Is Daddy Like He Is? and the deployment version of Why Is Mommy Like She Is? I was told by VA therapists who use the book that the kids stop at every page and talk over the symptoms and relate it to their lives and it is really helpful to them to understand that they are not causing the symptoms. Kids commonly worry that something they are doing is the problem. These books will be available as free downloads in the next week at Patience Press. Right now there are thirteen free articles available there. Hope you will download them and read them and find them helpful.

I will post when the kids books are up.

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