When Holidays Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

When most families around the world celebrate a Holiday like Easter Sunday with jubilation, families like ours brace for a storm. From the candy, overstimulation from church and family gatherings, to the mad rush of an easter egg hunt, it often proves to be disastrous. How do you find hope when this is the case?


It’s the day after Easter. I’m sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook. I should know better after holidays. Look at all the beautiful family pictures! All those smiles! Such pretty dresses. Everyone enjoying church together. Fun Easter egg hunts and spring activities. Lots and LOTS of smiles and thanksgiving for blissful time with extended family and a few mentions of what Easter truly is. 

How To Help Your Children Advocate For Themselves

As parents, we spend a lot of time advocating for our children, and ensuring their needs are understood, and met. That’s a big part of our job. But we also must begin to teach our children to speak for themselves. How do we successfully do that?

Hello, my name is Sam. I have an FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 

Some things are harder for me like focusing, sitting still and remembering things. 

I’m very good at some things like drawing, problem solving and building things. 

How Do You Know When It’s Time For Residential Treatment?

3 Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking This Step.

It’s a question our team receives quite often from parents all over the world: “How do I know when it’s time to consider residential treatment for my child?” Our answer has changed over the years…

I’ll admit it openly. If you would have asked me this question just 6 or 7 years ago I would have told you a very different answer than I would today. No doubt would I have said something to the effect of, “You’re exhausted, you shouldn’t have to keep dealing with the mind games, the manipulation, the stress of parenting this child. If you’ve tried everything to get them to stop, but to no avail, then it’s time to consider treatment outside of the home.” Maybe not verbatim, but this is what I used to believe.

Her Behavior Isn’t Manipulation, It’s Survival!

It’s easy to view your child’s behavior, especially manipulation, as that of a rotten child. But there’s something deeper going on that is hard to see on the surface…

I press my fingers into the temples of my head because I’m so…unbelievably…done! (I just inserted the word “unbelievably” instead of the word floating around in my head in order to keep this post family friendly). I can’t take one more second of the manipulation…the lies…the conniving…the sneakiness!

How To Create Structure During The Chaos Of The Holidays

The Honestly Adoption Podcast- Encore Episode- Season 11, Episode 98

The holiday season, specifically Christmas break, is often a dreaded time for foster and adoptive parents because it means a lack of normal structure for their kiddos. How do you navigate through this time successfully?

In this special Encore episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin discuss tips and tricks for maintaining a level of regulation during the chaos of the Holiday season with Licensed Mental Health Counselor and therapist, Ruth Graham. This was part of our 2017 special Holiday Podcast Series called “Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks.” Listen now…

At The End Of The Day, It’s All About Relationship.

This is a guest post by author and therapist Ron Nydam (PhD). Ron specializes in helping adoptive family’s develop and connect in a healthy, positive way. His latest book, Wise Adoptive Parenting, helps families better connect to their children, and adoptees feel heard and understood. You can pick up your very own copy by clicking here.

Through all of the trauma education, and attachment strategies we can learn (and certainly benefit from), our connection with our children still comes down to one factor: relationship!

Many parents who are new to the adoption journey wonder what it takes to make good things happen in the development of their children. They may wonder day after day how to find a way to be effective with their children who frustrate their first attempts at helping them manage his or her behavior. Parenting quickly becomes a guessing game as to what might work and might not work when a child’s behavior is out of control, or over the rails in terms of everyday family life. 

What Do You Do With A Child Who Doesn’t Care?

The Honestly Adoption Podcast- Season 10, Episode 90

It’s a big question that many foster and adoptive parents have when it comes to their children- “What do I do with a child who just doesn’t seem to care about anything, or anyone?” On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin bring insight to this lingering question.

You’ve probably experienced something similar to this… it’s Christmas morning and the entire family is gathered around the tree to open presents with joy. Except for one child, who has plopped down on the sofa in the other room with her phone, earbuds in, ignoring everyone. She doesn’t care that it’s Christmas (or at least it appears this way). How do you handle this? Listen in as Mike and Kristin give some practical, yet valuable advice…

Listen Now:

How To Comfort A Child Who Doesn’t Want Connection

Our parenting instinct is to comfort, console, and care for our children when they are hurt, or feeling sad. But what do you do when your child pushes you away instead of letting you connect? It’s tricky, but here’s our advice…

I had just finished a stack of paperwork for my sons’ new school. Feeling relieved and a little bit cramped from signing my name a thousand times, I walked the envelopes to the end of our long driveway. (Yes, my kids’ school still uses paper and snail mail…rural living.) My son was pushing himself in the wagon toward the street. I turned just in time to see him veer toward the ledge separating the driveway from the grass. He swerved to the right, tipping himself out of the wagon and onto the hot asphalt. My instinct was to run to him. I spotted Mike at the back porch and could see him jump as fast as I did. We met our son just as he crawled out of the grass. Both of us walked toward him with arms outstretched. Mike said, “Oh no, let me see your arm.” I exclaimed, “You’re bleeding, is anything else hurt?” Our son turned away from us in anger, pushing us aside with his good arm and stomped toward the house. Still worried, we followed trying to offer the help of bandaids and ice packs. That’s when we realized, we were offering a consolation that he was not able to receive.