August 1, 2021


by: admin


Tags: happen, Lifestyle, Parenting, Rice, Stories, Success


Categories: Special Needs Parenting

Rice: Parenting success tales can and do occur | Way of life

Success stories are one of the few stories you usually hear about in the parenting world, much less in families with special needs. It’s not that they don’t happen, but most people are more likely to share their ailments and struggles than their successes. It’s human nature, I suppose. We are hardwired to seek help or an open ear when we are going through tough times.

As a parenting coach, I hear my fair share of challenging parenting stories. Whether from my clients or in the many parenting groups I visit online, the stories I read and hear are heartbreaking. Sometimes they are daunting to those of us who find ourselves in a seemingly hopeless situation. But let me assure you that parenting success stories are happening more often than you might think.

Often families with children with special needs, behavioral and behavioral disorders, and physical limitations experience daily struggles that go beyond the typical parenting life. It honestly seems like they’re on a never-ending loop of frustration, hopelessness, and exhaustion. I know, because like many of you, I was there too.

But today, instead of a story about the challenges of being a caregiver with special needs, or a frustrated parent in a seemingly hopeless situation, I have a personal parenting success story for you! If you are a family with special needs, this is sure to mean even more to you.

Our special needs twin grandchildren recently stayed for the first time in over a month. This scenario might not seem like a big deal, but we’ve been addressing it for the past four years. We recently started living them back with their mother and daughter and adapting to life as grandparents instead of carers.

We decided to take her for breakfast, a public outing that has been very stressful in the past! If you have children with special needs or children with behavioral problems I am sure you can relate to them. Usually in the past there have been a lot of breakdowns and behavior problems to deal with. But this time? They were so good and polite, even if a little loud at times. We were incredibly shocked and delighted.

Our only grandson, who is autistic, had a few “moments” that usually quickly escalated into a full blown meltdown. However, we smoothed it out with conscious, networked parenting techniques that I teach other parents without a meltdown.

My husband and I kept looking at each other in amazement. We spent years at home with the boys and couldn’t willingly go public together because of the stress and fear, meltdowns and behavior problems. In all honesty, we never thought that we would ever go on public outings with our grandchildren. Of course we hoped and prayed for it, but the couple of times we tried it never worked. Until now. We came around a corner and we are incredibly grateful to God for bringing us to this point.

Why am I sharing this with you? Aside from the fact that everyone loves a good, heartwarming success story, I’d like to show you that conscious and connected parenting works! Traditional punitive parenting uses negative reinforcement that can bring you short-term results, but this style of parenting has undesirable long-term consequences.

I know because, like many of you, I raised my children with punitive parents. That was all we knew! I remember thinking that it never felt right to me and I wanted to be more loving and less screaming, but I didn’t know how to raise any other. Most of us don’t, despite the abundance of successful parenting books and resources!

We keep doing what we have always done and expect different and better results. But that’s not how life works. Parenting with traditional methods creates separation. It created a rift in our family that lasted for many years. Fortunately, we’ve all come back together over the past few years.

When you educate from a place of love, understanding, and compassion instead of yelling, fear and control, you will form a team. You are together as a family, children and adults alike, against the problems instead of thinking that your children are the problem.

Can you imagine what it feels like to work together as a team? Can you imagine being in the trenches together, supporting, loving and listening to one another instead of yelling and fighting all the time? I am telling you it can happen. I have proven it in my own family.

God knew what He was doing when He paved the way for us to be our grandchildren’s carers for four years. They are now living with their mother and our relationship is stronger than ever because even though she is 26 it is never too late to consciously raise with connection.

Without my grandchildren and the challenging time of raising them and relearning how to be a better parent, I would never have known and understood the importance of raising from a place of love and compassion instead of fear and control. I’ve learned to listen and acknowledge their feelings, set firm but loving boundaries for them, recognize my triggers, and heal myself from within.

I became a conscious attachment coach through my grandchildren. I had never heard of this effective parenting style before bringing up my children with traditional punitive parenting. Yes, I have moments when I beat myself up for mistakes I made with my kids and grandchildren, but instead of focusing on what I did wrong, I focus on what I’m doing right, and I also try to learn new and effective techniques that I can share with you.

Lingering in our past and indulging in shame and guilt is neither productive nor conducive to a peaceful, happy home. What you put your attention on is what will happen next in your life. Parenthood is tough and doesn’t stop when you turn 18. Our children need and deserve to have wise guidance throughout their lives. We all do that.

If you think your parenting life will never get better, I am here to tell you. It doesn’t always have to be a challenge. As you can see from my personal success story, parenting can get better and be what you always wanted it to be. But it starts with you.

– Dawn-Renée Rice is a Conscious Connection Parenting Coach, Writer, and Columnist based in the East Texas area. She and her husband have been married for 23 years and share three children, six grandchildren and two furbabies. To follow Dawn-Renée, get email updates, or book a call for parent coaching, visit her online at


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