The Honestly Adoption Blog
Every week we publish new posts to give you insights and strategies for the parenting journey!
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You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” used to describe everything from exercise, to home improvement, to building your savings account. It’s even been used to describe parenting. For the most part, it’s a logical statement that helps us as humans to think long-term about life. But what do you do when you’re parenting a child who can’t think long term?
When we used to do in-person events (hello COVID!) the topic of biological family relationships often came up. And in many of those conversations with conference attendees, we’ve been asked, “What should I do if I feel afraid of a biological family member?”
Our children’s trauma history can drastically disrupt the development of a health attachment with you. In fact, it’s something we may spend their entire childhood, or adolescence, working to rebuild. But what about their relationships outside of our care? Or their future relationships? How do we empower them to recognize and build healthy attachments with others, who are trusted and safe?
We’re now weeks into the school year and, even though some children are doing virtual school, and some are in person, the fact is they are involved with a teacher. That teacher may notice that comprehension, or attention, is in short supply with your child. That begs the question: How much should you fill your teacher in on your child’s trauma history?
“You are in a marathon, not a sprint. Build your relationship slowly and carefully. As children grow our role will shift but we can still be an important part of their lives and a soft place to land.”
Children who have gone through significant childhood trauma see and experience the world differently. They also experience relationships differently. This begs the question: what do they need the most from a caregiver?
As a parent, you discover pretty quickly that the ways in which your parents parented you, won’t work with children who have a trauma history. Our entire approach must change. But how?
Oftentimes, outsiders looking in on the adoption journey can begin to hail you as a ‘hero’ or an ‘angel’ for choosing to adopt. It’s awkward. But sometimes, it’s unending. How then, should you respond?
In this world, our children will struggle, oftentimes more than typically developing children. How do we help them, or empower them, to face these difficult situations? Here are some tips…
Foster and adoptive families are far from the traditional family unit in many ways. The biggest difference is that our children come from two families. How do we help them embrace their own identity as they grow into adulthood?
At some point or another, children with a trauma history will begin to recount, remember, or talk about the hards parts of their story. How do we help them process through this? Here are some steps…
We have said this repeatedly over the past 5 years. When you gain an understanding of how trauma has changed your child, your entire parenting journey will change. Here’s why..
Celebration seems like a normal part of our humanity, but for children who have experienced great loss, the ability to celebrate isn’t a given. How can we empower our children to process the good parts of their story?
Following a safety plan in your home is fairly cut and dry. You establish the plan, you follow the plan, and often the plan is discussed openly amongst you and your children. But that changes when you’re in public. How do you continue to follow your plan and not embarrass your children?
Helping family and close friendships understand you and how you parent can be tricky. They mean well, but may not fully understand how to support you. But there are ways you can encourage them and help them gain a healthy understanding.
It can be a challenge to understand what children with a trauma history need the most. Especially since trauma often leaves a child unable to express this in a healthy way. Out of this, there are some crucial needs that we as caregivers must be aware of.