“My Child’s Attachment Disorder Is Taking The Life Out Of Me!”

Season 4, Episode 32- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

The likelihood of parenting a child who suffers from attachment issues, in foster care and adoption, is high. What does this look like, and how do you build healthy attachment with your child?


It’s easy to take it personally. In fact, if you’re currently on this road with your child you know exactly what this looks like, and how it feels. You’ve probably had moments where you’ve felt like a complete failure as a parent. We know precisely how that feels. The truth is, however, you’re not a failure and this isn’t your fault. Your child suffers from trauma deeply imbedded within them long before you came into the picture.

It doesn’t make it easy though. In today’s episode we talk openly and honestly about what attachment looks like in foster care and adoption and how to navigate the difficult seasons you face with your child…

Listen To The Episode.



We are well-versed in this topic as it relates to foster care and adoption. We’ve parented several children who deal with these type of disorders. We know how difficult and frustrating it can be. Here are two of our favorite resources when it comes to parenting children with major attachment disorders…

Question: Are you parenting a child with major attachment issues? What has helped you? Share your story with us in the comment section below… You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Martha Stanley

    Thank you for the encouragement. We adopted our daughter through foster care in Sept. She came to us at age 8 and has lived with us for a year and a half. Can you clarify what you meant by “whatever age they came to you, you will need half of that to form attachment” Do you mean since she came at age 8 that it will take 4 years to make good attachment? We all have made great progress lately, & I’m much more encouraged than I was earlier this year when I felt helpless & hopeless about what to do.

    • Allisonm

      The “half as many years to form an attachment as your child lived before they got to you” rule is not really a rule. Rather, it is a guideline intended to help us as adoptive parents to realize the extent to which attachment and bonding are processes that occur over time. When there has been little in a child’s life to cause the child to question the trust she puts in those caring for her, attachment often comes easily. But when a child has experienced repeated losses of primary caregivers or has been subjected to abuse of neglect, deep trust of new parents can be hard to develop–more of a marathoner than a sprint.

      Our children were all school-aged when they came to us after ten other placements. Attachment has been an ongoing challenge for the eight-plus years we’ve been a family. All of our children are more securely attached to us than they used to be. Yet, as our children mature through their developmental stages, attachment-related challenges arise as part of the process. So we aren’t ever really done with nurturing a secure and healthy attachment.