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Compassion fatigue for parents

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Compassion fatigue for parents

  1. 1. For Parents By Brenda McCreight Ph.D. Hazardous Parentinghttp://www.hazardousparenting.com
  2. 2. What is Parental CF?• Has replaced the term “parenting burn out” but can be confused with, and can co-exist with, depression and with primary trauma• Is a physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue that takes over a parent and causes a decline in his or her ability to experience joy at home or to feel and care for her child and herself• The parent is giving far more than s/he is receiving from family life ---- way more
  3. 3. Reasons for Parental CF• Your child doesn’t meet any of your normal emotional needs and takes all of your attention and time an energy.• You picked up negative attitudes from others parents who are in the same situation and from your child’s never ending hostility.• You don’t see an end to this.• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  4. 4. Who Gets CF?• Parents who don’t get a break or respite• Parents who don’t have other children who are rewarding, at least some of the time• Parents whose marriage is unstable or unhappy• Parents who have too much to do in too many places• Parents who feel isolated and not understood or supportedBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  5. 5. Compassion Fatigue• Compassion fatigue is the result of caring for your child without caring for yourself• When parents focus on everyone else without practicing self care, then destructive emotions, destructive feelings, and destructive behaviours can result• Compassion fatigue does not occur overnight, it develops over timeBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  6. 6. Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue• Blaming others, complains about too much, too often• Not expressing emotions in a healthy manner• Isolating from other friends or family• Using substances to sleep or shut off feelings• Compulsive behaviours such as overeating, over spending, over exercising, gambling, sex• Nightmares, flashbacks to old traumas• Chronic physical ailments• Apathy, no fun in life• Tired all the time• Pre-occupied• In denial• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  7. 7. Bruised doesn’t mean broken!
  8. 8. First Steps to Overcoming Parental CF• Acknowledge that you have it• Tell others whom you trust that you are experiencing CF• Take time to think about how you developed CF and how you can grow beyond it• Start thinking about who/what/where you can turn for help• Develop a self care plan• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  9. 9. Self Care• Be kind to yourself, it’s okay to put yourself first• Increase your knowledge in parenting a child with your child’s specific needs• Get yourself into situations where at lest some of your needs are met• Exchange feelings with others who can validate you without enabling you• Exercise• Clarify and set firm personal boundaries• Express your needs strongly with an expectation that they will be met• Make a realistic self care plan and stick with it• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  10. 10. Self Care Plan• Health building activities such as exercise, meditation, biofeedback• Eating healthier• Drink lots of water• Learn to say “no”, using boundaries• Create a healthy support team – who can go for a walk with you at lunch?• Choose your battles and choose who you battle with• Focus your time and energy on the parts of your life that are rewarding and fulfilling• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  11. 11. CF Prevention• Use fundamental self care skills• Find and experience positive, fulfilling activities outside of the home and family• Work on your adult personal relationships – keep them positive and growth filled• Look for joy points in every day life• Be open to change• Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  12. 12. 1. _____ I am happy2. _____ I get satisfaction from being able to help other people3. _____ I feel connected to others4. _____ I jump or am startled by unexpected sounds Self Test5. _____I have more energy after working with those I helpBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  13. 13. More…6. _____I find it difficult to separate my overall life from my life as a parent7._____ I am losing sleep over my child8._____ I think I have been “infected” by my child’s trauma9. _____I feel trapped by my role as this child’s parent10.____I like my life as this child’s parentBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  14. 14. More…11. ____I feel depressed as a result of being this child’s parent12.____ I have beliefs that sustain me13.____ I feel pleased with how I am able to keep up with knowledge about my child’s special needs14. ____ I am the person I always wanted to be15.____My family life makes me satisfiedBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  15. 15. More…16. ____I am exhausted from being a parent17.____ I have happy thoughts and feelings about those I help and how I could help them18. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of expectations everyone places on me19. I believe I can make a difference through my parenting20. I avoid certain situations or activities because they remind me of my life at homeBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  16. 16. More…21. ____ I plan to be actively parenting for a long time22. ____ As a result of my parenting I have sudden, unwanted thoughts23.____I feel “bogged down” by the system24.____ I have thoughts that I am a success as a parent25.____I can’t remember good parts of my day at the end of the dayBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  17. 17. More…26. _____ I am an overly sensitive person27. I m happy that I chose to parent this childAdd up yours and see if you have more positive or negativeBrenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  18. 18. Take care of yourself!Remember, no one can take better care of you than…..you.You deserve the best of yourself and you deserve to have joy in your life.You are entitled to a better day…now and forever.Brenda McCreight Ph.D. workshop series
  19. 19. Thank you for sharing this time with me• You can check out other services and products at these sites:• http://www.lifespancounselling.com• http://www.theadoptioncounselor.com• http://www.hazardousparenting.com• The Hazardous Parenting facebook site• Udemy.com (search under Brenda McCreight)• Slideshare.com (search under Brenda McCreight)• Amazon.com (search under Brenda McCreight)• brendamccreight@gmail.com• Brenda provides counselling and parent coaching worldwide via skype, telephone, and email – please contact her by email if you would like to book an appointment.

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