This is a guest post from Melissa Corkum. Melissa is a parent and wellness coach helping parents move from chaos to calm and confidence. She is an adult adoptee and married to Patrick. They live in Maryland and are parents to 6 kids by birth and adoption and soon-to-be grandparents. She writes at thecorkboardonline.com
and is the co-founder of The Adoption Connection
, a resource site and podcast for adoptive and foster families.
It’s a reality that many of us on the adoption journey will face. We will be actively involved in hands on parenting with our adult children in ways most parents will not. How do you face this with hope and a plan?
There’s nothing magical about the age 18. Sure, there are some legal ramifications, but it doesn’t get us off the hook as parents.
Research shows that brains aren’t even fully developed until 25 or 30. For our kids who experienced trauma early in life, this may take even a few more years. I can feel you starting to hyperventilate. You’re probably imagining your child at 30, on your basement sofa, surrounded by Doritos bags, eyes glazed over from 20 straight hours of video games.
Take a few deep breaths.
As with all other parenting, the sweet spot for parenting adult children needs high structure along with high nurture. There needs to be healthy boundaries in place, but also compassion that kids from trauma may need extra support and time to launch into a more independent life.
It’s Week 3 of our new podcast series we’re calling “Is It Disobedience Or Something Else?” In this episode we discuss some of the problems a poor diet can create for our children.
It’s something we often overlook when it comes to our children’s behaviors- diet. How much does diet play into behaviors that often make no sense, or come out of nowhere, so it seems? Listen to the episode now…
Like many of you, we watched Kodi Lee’s performance on America’s Got Talent last week through tears and celebration. But his performance meant something beyond deep and meaningful for every child with a special need, and their parents.
You can do anything!
You are not discredited or disqualified because you have a disability, or a special need!
You are equal to all human beings!
We’ve been down this road in the past. Several times if I’m being honest. But now, we’ve decided to change our entire approach to parenting our child.
I’ll never forget December 15, 2014. I sat alongside my wife in a cozy office, in another state, clutching both of my knees with my hands so tightly, I’m sure they left a mark. Just outside the window to my left the gray conglomerate of trees, left naked from winter winds, glistened with a fresh coating of frost in the early sunlight. I would normally take in this type of beauty, and marvel at the winter stillness, but not today. I could hear the intake person ask me questions. He must have repeated himself several times. But it was sort of like watching a movie where everything slows down, even the dialogue and facial expressions, and the protagonist only hears echoes of someone’s voice, not clear words.
We are excited to kick off a brand new season of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Beginning with this new season, we are also featuring the show on YouTube. Check it out..
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For the next several weeks we are asking the question, “Is it disobedience or something else?” The reality is, children who have experienced significant trauma display behaviors that can often be misinterpreted as disobedience. But the truth is, there is so much more going on.
Listen to the audio player now:
As our children grow into adulthood, we become increasingly helpless to stop them from making choices that could lead to serious consequences. We’re in this season with one of our children. What do you do when you realize you can no longer stop them from doing what they want?
I remember the first time my child did something that led to a serious outcome. It was the summer he was 13 years old. He was enrolled in a day camp in the neighboring town to our home. In the middle of the day, during the second week he attended, we were called to pick him up suddenly in the middle of the day. He became physically aggressive with another camper.
It can be a difficult thing to not do, at times, because your child’s storyline may not be very positive. But it’s critical that we never bad mouth our child’s first family. Here’s why…
My mom taught me not to talk about people behind their back. I appreciate that lesson. It was something that she and my dad not only taught us but something they also modeled.
From frustrating IEP meetings, to disagreeable doctors, inappropriate church goers, and nosey neighbors. The world is full of people who think we’re making our child’s disorder up, or just misunderstand our reality altogether. The question is, will they ever understand?
No. They won’t. Actually, let me change that…probably…most likely not. Bitter pill to swallow, I know. I’ve racked my brain over this topic for a very long time, and as much as I want to be optimistic and hopeful, at the end of the day, I have to say, I don’t think so. I don’t think the world ever will understand. Disorders like FASDs (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) oppositional defiance disorder, attachment disorder, or separation anxieties (to name a few) are misunderstood, if not ignored completely.