This is another habit I want to get back into! Every week we post a new ‘Tip of the Week’. These tips come from the books ‘The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families’ and ‘The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People’.
Family life is what we make of it – regardless of its form. Whether you are in a traditional family, a stepfamily, or some other family situation, you have the capacity to contribute to it and feel loved in it. There are no rules for what makes a family except the rules you make, and there is no time limit on when and how you find a loving family.
Family dynamics are so important. Many of the children and teens we work with are in foster care or have been adopted out of foster care. It can be very hard for them to feel a sense of family.
In our work with horses we talk about the herd, both in the wild and our own personal herd. We talk about how in the wild horses, especially the young stallions (boy horses) go off and create their own herds and girl horses may end up moving from the herd that they were born into as well. With our own herd we talk about how each horse has to discover their place in the herd and that this role can change. For many years Ruby was our ‘lead mare (girl horse)’ but when Jewel joined the herd, Jewel asserted herself and Ruby had to step down, though she still tends to boss the boys, except for Baxter, around.
We support our foster parents by reminding our foster kids and teens that foster families care enough to make a safe home for them and that foster parents want the kids/teens to be happy and successful in life. We also do what we can to help our clients feel good about their birth parents, as they many be ‘reunified’ at some point.
We allow our clients to share memories, both good and not so good, of times they spent with their birth families. We also talk about the future, often asking ‘what kind of a family do you want when you grow up?’
If you are a foster/adoptive or any other kind of parent and feel that a child in your home might benefit from Equine Therapy/PSR (Psycho Social Rehabilitation) call or email us to set up a visit to our ranch. We will show you around, introduce you to the horses. listen to the issues you are dealing with and share how we might be able to help.
Research on step families finds that participants must accept an often difficult transition period, but that ultimately family-life satisfaction can be as high in stepfamilies as it is in the most successful traditional families. Visher, Visher, and Pasley 2003