Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mental Toughness

I am reading "Running Until You're 100". It is about running safely, injury free and the nutrition for running after age 40. I'm 51 if you have not figured it out. Age is no big deal to me. You look different at different ages but I have made peace with this fact. I am just trying to stay healthy and strong. This book was written by Jeff Galloway. It has a chapter called Mental Toughness. As I read this chapter I thought so much of what he said could apply to many parts of my life, including parenting so I am going to share some of his thoughts. First he talks about left brain vs right brain. Our left brain is our logic side. Our right brain is our creative side. While running our left side says "I'm tired. I need to quit. This is too hard for you." So what we have to do is engage our right side by finding creative ways to combat this. First he says in this situation, as long as you are not in danger learn to ignore it. Then he gives 3 strategies.

The first is rehearsal.

Practice saying or doing what it is you are going to need to do. I'm switching it too parenting and giving an example. Let's suppose when your child tries to draw you into an argument you try to hold out but generally cave and go into the argument and are really frustrated with yourself. Practice. Think of some things you can say that will turn the problem back over to your child. "Bummer. I hope this works for you." Foster Cline has some excellent one liners on his website. The particular article I'm speaking of is entitled "One Liners" but there are many excellent articles on this page. Practice turning and walking away. Practice smiling when you don't mean it. You can do it.

The second is magic words.

No there are no magic words to make RAD go away. That would be awesome though wouldn't it? Think of words to help you focus on what you are trying to do. Mine are "Think logically." "Don't take it personally." "scared little boy in a monster suit", "What is his fear?" I have practiced those words enough they come to mind pretty easily now and get me through a lot of distressing situations. There are some I used to use in the beginning "eye contact", "touching", "listen". Those are vital to start.

The last is dirty tricks.

When racing he pretends the people in front of him have a large rubber band around their waists and they are pulling him along. Look at other parents of children with RAD. Think about Nancy Thomas and Deborah Hage. They have parented children with RAD so successfully they have literally "written the book on it". They have no special powers. Learn their secrets by reading their books. Start with When Love Is not Enough" and "Attaching in Adoption". The links are at the right under Favorite Books if you click on the title. Learn all you can and use this knowledge to find the ins and outs to help you be successful. Learn and use their "tricks".

I leave you with a quote by Jeff Galloway: "To be successful on any day, you only need to finish the race. Most of the time, you can get through the "bad parts" by not giving up and simply putting one foot in front of the other." Keep going. Our race can be mountainous but I have no doubt you can complete it.

"Let Us Run With Perseverance The Race That Is Set Before Us..." Hebrews 12:1


Rachelle said...

Awesome post Brenda!!! Great strategies for overcoming whatever your going through! The last piece of advice, courtesy of our Heavenly Father pretty much sums it up, doesn't it.

Karen Deborah said...

oh amen amen. And I'm 52 and don't give a flyin flip about age either. cool about the racing. Winning the mental battle is most of the contest.

Brenda said...


Maybe some day when we're 60 we can meet between your part of the world and mine and do a 5K!!