11 Things Children Who Have Experienced Trauma Need The Most

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.

“If you don’t stop holding that baby, she’s never going to learn to walk,” a nosey middle-aged man exclaimed in the church lobby for all to hear. My ten-month-old daughter, already an introvert by nature, was wrapped around my body like a koala. For her, the church lobby was a place to be endured. She hated the bustle, the noise, and the constant attention. As a pastor’s family and a transracial adoptive family, we were often the center of attention. 

Missing Her First Steps, But Being Here Now

This post was written by our friend and special guest, Michelle, a lovely adoptive momma, who chooses to make the most of every moment.

We often enter into our children’s lives later in the game which makes bonding and attachment difficult. But we must realize that we are here in this moment, now, and we must make that count…

Children come to us through adoption at many ages and stages of life. Our older 2 came to us as infants. We got to bathe their slippery little bodies in that blue padded infant tub, with the just-right water temperature. We were awakened in the middle of the night with their hunger cries and fed them their bottle while being sleep deprived. We giggled as they were learning to sit and toppled over on the mattress because of their over-sized heads. We introduced them to baby cereal and watched as they made a horrible mess smacking their lips, but never really getting any in their mouth. We became frustrated once they graduated to the highchair, smearing finger foods in their hair, but also having figured out the fun game of repeatedly throwing things on the floor.

There’s A Reason Your Child Always Fights You For Control

This post is from an adoptive parent whose hope is that others parents will learn and grow from his experiences.

As parents of children with a trauma history, we often find ourselves engaged in futile battles with them for control. But when we understand the why behind their fight, the way we parent them can change.

We understand.

Let’s begin there. We understand the battles you’ve gone through (and are going through) with your child. We’ve been there. Every single day your child may fight you for control and it feels exhausting. Sometimes, the battle makes sense. Often, the battle makes no sense at all. As parents we feel that life is a merry-go-round and we just want to stop feeling so dizzy.

Why I Can No Longer Bubble Wrap My Child

This post is written by Mike, an adoptive Dad about a lesson learned from our good friend who is an attachment therapist and also an adoptive mom.

As our children grow into adulthood, we become increasingly helpless to stop them from making choices that could lead to serious consequences. What do you do when you realize you can no longer stop them from doing what they want?

I remember the first time one of my children did something that led to a serious outcome.

Will The World Ever Understand My Child’s Disorder?

This post was written by Mike, an adoptive dad who is familiar with the ins and outs of special needs parenting, to encourage caregivers to support our children well.

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. This can be a bitter pill to swallow, I know. It is good to begin with an attitude of hopefulness but at the end of the day, many people will not understand your child’s struggles. 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.

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…

How To Help Children With Sleep Issues

We’ve heard from hundreds of thousands of parents over the years who are completely exhausted because their child keeps them up all night long. We’ve been there. It IS exhausting. But there are some specific reasons this is happening, and some key ways to help your child.

“What’s wrong with this child?” I remember thinking this thought repeatedly in 2004 when we first began fostering. “Why won’t he sleep?” “Why does he need to be in our room, with us?” “Why does he keep coming in and waking us up?” “Why won’t a nightlight, or soft music playing, or a bunch of stuffed animals help him?” I had a lot to learn back in that day.

How To Shift From Traditional Methods, When Parenting Children From Trauma

The Honestly Adoption Podcast-Season 7, Episode 63

Why don’t traditional parenting methods work with children who have experienced trauma?  Have you ever used physical punishment, verbal reprimand, loss of privilege, or isolation with your children? Don’t worry, we have too!  Many of us grew up with these “traditional” methods and it can be a struggle to adjust the deeply ingrained patterns of thinking, and give up this type of parenting.

This week on The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we are excited to share with you one of our exclusive “Backstage Pass” interviews from Oasis Community, our support and resource site for adoptive and foster parents.  In this interview, Mike gets honest with Ryan North as they discuss parenting methods better suited for children from trauma. Believe us, you will not want to miss this interview!