Why Kids Lie and How to End It! Part 2
1/05/2023 LoveMore Blog | Read Time: 2 Min. 2 sec. Why kids lie is a natural part of child development as they learn to sort out facts from imagination. As they grow, some see lying as a way to get what they want, avoid punishment, and others as a way to survive. Learning how to deal positively and restoratively is our job as parents. As always, Choose Love and end lying. Learn More, Love More →
Read Time: 7 Min. 35 sec. If you have been a fan of The Post Institute for a while, you likely have been touched by the journey into the power of love while helping to heal the lives of "children from hard places," as recently departed Dr. Karyn Purvis calls these dear little ones.
My love journey started with Bryan Post in 2005, and life has never been the same since. I fell in love with love.
However, that was five years too late. My wife and I had been fostering for years and had already adopted three children (a boy, age 6, siblings brother, 15, and sister, 16). Our fourth girl (adopted at age 21) came later.
We immensely enjoyed the work of parenting other people's children. We saw some genuinely miraculous (metaphorically speaking) events in the lives of hurting children. We also found it unbelievably and unexpectedly unnerving as it began tearing away the fabric of our marriage.
When my wife told me in hopeless despair, "You keep the boy, I am leaving," I knew we were in trouble. No one wants to hear this from the love of their life. She might have said, "It is either him or me." Either way, they were both the same. I chose her and would continue choosing her, and I had to figure out how best to love this child with her, not without her.
You may have heard my story before, but I hope it will encourage you to understand that fostering and adopting may be the most challenging and most needed thing we can do. No matter how good, I do not think that any training can prepare us for what we will face from these challenging children with trauma histories.
We had it bad at times. Yet, compared to the stories I heard from our readers over the years, we were in paradise. What a contrast!
To give you a glimpse, I will share a comment from an anonymous parent, which I know echoes many of your experiences. It breaks my heart to read things like this, but it also motivated me to keep trying to help.
Once I understood it, I followed The Post Institute's methods of love parenting best as I could. To a large extent, it worked wonderfully. To some extent, it did not. My adopted kids came from early abuse and prenatal alcohol and drug exposure. Love worked exceptionally well with my son. My daughter was more affected, i.e., FASD. She would rage at me until I sometimes hit. I have huddled in a corner with her raging, breaking doors, and kicking me. I have called 911. I knew hitting was not a solution. Me huddling in a corner was not either. Going into another room and closing or locking the door was a recipe for a broken door. My leaving was not an answer since she would block the door or take the car keys. She is now 21 and no longer rages, although she is often rude. I stay available to her because she is not mature yet and shows incremental progress in getting there. I also stay available because I'm a caregiver for her daughter. The only answers seem to be holding the course the best I can.
This is just one story that happened to cross my desk today but one of many that came over sixteen years of working with The Post Institute.
Children don't act out because they want attention. They act out because they need attention. Our job is to find out what they need and fill that need. Their attacks on us, whether verbal or physical, are not personal. They are intended as defense mechanisms toward all those who have hurt them in the past. If you keep this in mind, you will begin or continue to see a more straightforward pathway toward this love that we all so dearly need and want.
Then Came The Post Institute
So Five years after my wife Susan and I became foster parents and adopted three of our four adopted foster children, we attended a Parenting Boot Camp presented by Bryan Post of The Post Institute. That weekend changed the trajectory of my life and created the foundation for a lifelong learning curve of discovering the depths of love. Unconditional love to be more precise.
I had heard about unconditional love for over thirty-five years prior, but Bryan that weekend was the living embodiment. Not to say the man was a saint. And, not that he had no faults. I'm sure he would be the first to draw a list longer than I have time to listen. As could I.
Bryan has a way of drawing people into the heart of love and bypassing many of the issues, fears, and tangle of emotional dysfunctions that many of us carry. In that Parenting Boot Camp, he took away all the leverage parents had to control and manage our very challenging kids.
What he took off the table was the punishments, time-outs, taking things away, logic and reason, consequences, and a host of other old paradigm controls that parents have used. In return, he offered us a way of love. As we prepared to leave that weekend, I remember wondering, "What was I left with to control our kids?"
Choose Love As a Lifestyle
I asked him as we were about to leave the room. It is simple, Bryan said, and he continues to say, choose love.
And so I did, and life on earth would never be the same.
"Hatred never stopped hatred." — The Buddha
So why did I fall in love with love? Because dear readers, I recognized that weekend that love is/was/always will be the only thing worth fighting for. Or worth living for. Bryan was the messenger of a "pearl of great price." He showed us in no uncertain terms what unconditional love looked like. It was such a gift that I could only say, "OMG," when appreciating its enormity, depth, width, and breadth.
From experience some sixteen years later, I know now that love is not easy. We are not taught how to love as children. We are taught to be nice, be kind, not to hit, be respectful, and in many homes, we are told to love God. But we are not told how to love. There needs to be a training book on 'how to love.'
Do we even have the tools to make such giant leaps? It is challenging enough to love members of our own families, let alone our enemies. But the challenging kids that disrespect us, physically hurt us in some cases, and certainly do not honor us as we would like, how on earth are we to love them unconditionally?
Unconditional Love: The kind of love that a child cannot lose and does not need to earn. It just is, Love.
Over the sixteen years of working with The Post Institute, I have attempted to share in these articles what I have learned and the lessons Bryan and Kristi have relentlessly delivered through their books, podcasts, DVDs, CDs, Facebook, and website, much of it free. I offered other valuable parents' and professionals' viewpoints that dovetailed with The Post Institute's love-based family-centered approach. I even started the LoveMore Institute to help take the message of love to the broader world.
I will likely never know if you read these articles or if they are helpful to you. Though I would love it if you read it and let me know what you think or share a story of how something worked or didn't work — for this, I thank you ahead of time, no matter how you respond. No news is not good news to me. Please give me a good story to write about!
What I can tell you is if you commit to an unconditional love approach toward your children (no matter how difficult they may be), your family, and even the outside worlds of work and politics, it will transform you and, in some small way, change the world. Love one another, no exceptions.
Choose Love Over Life. Life Is Finite. Love Is Infinite.
Most of us focus on life, trying to survive, making a better life, and being successful. There is also an open invitation for us to focus on love, on loving. And in doing so, let life take care of itself.
Having chosen this and failed more than I succeeded, it is still a life like no other.
Below is a quote from a theologian and scientist, Ilia Delio, who affirms intrinsic hope and loving responsibility in an evolutionary universe. It is a call to love and a reason why.
We must suffer through to something higher, something more unified, more conscious, more being in love. Hope must be born over and over again, for where there is love, there is hope... life is birthing love into greater unity; it is our contribution to a universe in evolution. We point the way to something more than ourselves, something up ahead that we are now participating in, where heaven and earth will be renewed. — Ilia Delio
I will end this with some love quotes from The LoveMore Institute website to help us all travel this often lonely path of love together.
The beginning of Love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. —Thomas Merton,
People are illogical, love them anyway. The good you do today is forgotten tomorrow, love anyway, your motives are constantly questioned, love anyway. — Mother Teresa
Love is the core energy that rules everything. It's the force field of creation.— John E. Fetzer, founder of the Fetzer Institute
Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. — Rumi
Love is more about us being loving than about other people being lovable.— Rick Hansen
They will know you are disciples of mine by your love for one another. — Jesus
Solutions are not necessarily the answer, love is. — Seph Barnard
We are at the dawn of recognizing Love as the new transformational intelligence — Doc Childre, founder of The HeartMath Institute.
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. —Teilhard de Chardin
The greatest challenge is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us. — Dorothy Day
Love One Another, No Exceptions.
No, this is not a sell job trying to get you to spend your hard-earned money. But, if you purchase just one thing, I recommend From Fear to Love by Bryan Post. I recommend that every foster/adoptive parent read and work with it at least twice yearly. What this article really is, is a sell job on love. It costs nothing except your life, and it is its own reward.
Choose Love — David Durovy
Image courtesy of Amber Smith, founder of Activate Good.