Monday, November 17, 2008

A Place in My Heart - Report

Juli Alvarado is an awesome speaker! The information she presented wasn't new, just presented in a different way that made us look at things differently. I'll try to hit the highlights, if you have questions, ask away.

First, she suggested that all our kids have their cortisol levels (cortisol measures stress) checked monthly. We can then use this as a guide to whether or not we are being successful. If their stress is lower, their behavior will be better.

She talked alot about stress. She explained that our kids have extremely high levels of stress, and how that affects behavior. She also stressed taking care of ourselves. "You can't give away that which is not yours!" Meaning, you can't help regulate your kids if you are not regulated! I felt like she was talking about me at that moment! I think that is why my tolerance has been so low - my stress is too high! Jeff and I talked about ways that I could lower my stress. He wants me to get out more, or at the very least, actually schedule craft time at home, just by myself!

She also used a lens to help us understand our kids. She said that a child that has always had needs met, had love and cuddles, has a clear lens to look through in which to see love, family, relationships. But, our kids, because of their pasts don't have a clear lens, their lens is very dark and very cloudy. Therefore, we don't see things the same way. When dealing with our kids, we should try to see the world through their lens. These are things we have heard before, but the way she presented them, made sense!

She really stressed that we need to help our kids regulate. We should respond, not react to their behavior. This is going to be hard, but Jeff and I are both going to try it. She also said that we should tell our kids that we are sorry FOR THEM, that they need to be with us, BUT that we are happy for US that they are!

She is going to be sending out emails shortly with daily tips. We will get one every day for the next 100 days! I am excited to try some of her suggestions. It made sense to me. Oh, and the hugest thing by far, she really stressed that the brain is ALWAYS capable of changing and growing and healing! It may be easier at an early age, but it is possible, at any time, at any age! She gave people hope!

Many people, myself included, spent the entire day in tears! It was very emotional, and very difficult to take a close look at our kids, and ourselves, and admit that we need to change some things!

We are both very glad we went! If you ever get the opportunity to hear this woman speak, or attend one of her seminars, please do so!


Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing all of this Gerri!
If you think of anything else please put it out here.

Torina said...

Wow, sounds like a great workshop. Thanks for sharing!

Dinah said...

Isn't it uplifting to go to a workshop like this!?! Sounds like you got some peace of mind and some wonderful bits of wisdom.

Unspeakable Joy said...

ooh, i'll have to reread and check into this. sounds much like the BCI stuff. thanks!