On this week’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we’re continuing our special series called “I Have A Question,” with a great question about how to better help our kiddos focus.
It’s a struggle that many foster and adoptive parents have with their children. How to help them focus? This is mostly spotlighted with things like homework, chores, and daily routine. And it can be extremely frustrating on a daily basis. In this episode, hosts Mike and Kristin Berry walk listeners through 5 key strategies that can change everything for you and your children.
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We are well into summer vacation now and for many parents, the struggle is real. Because of this, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some helpful tips when it comes to success with your kids.
I don’t have to tell you! You get it! Because this is your life! Anytime there’s a change in schedule, structure, or routine with kiddos from trauma, there are issues. Major issues, in fact. Can you say “Dysregulation City?” And summer break is the biggest culprit. While traditional families are planning all-day trips to the pool, staying up late in the backyard, and lounging around the house all day the following day, you’re banging your head against the wall trying to figure out how to make each day work, while fighting your own exhaustion.
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?
On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin are joined by Licensed Mental Health Counselor and therapist, Ruth Graham as they discuss how to create structure during the chaos of the holidays. This is the conclusion of our 4-part holiday series entitled, “Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks.”
Ah summer! We’re talking flip flops, sunglasses, bike rides, hanging by the pool, staying up late, catching fire flies, and then sleeping until we wake up the next morning. Nothing better, right? But when you’re parenting kiddos with special needs, who thrive in a structured, routine-driven environment, summer can spell disaster.
I get it. I’m the parent of eight children, three of whom have major special needs that range from sensory processing needs to hyper-activity and extreme anxiety. Three of my children have been diagnosed with alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, which falls under the umbrella of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
For millions of families, summer break is all about staying up late, sleeping in, and hanging out by the pool, when they want, for as long as they want to. But for those of us parenting children with special needs, summer break can spell disaster due to lack of structure. How do you successfully navigate this season with children who thrive in structure and routine?
We would have drained our bank account to register our kids for every summer camp on the planet last year. We nearly did. Parents of normal functioning children may raise an eyebrow, or two, at that statement; even call us bad parents. But, unless you are in the trenches of parenting children from trauma, with attachment issues, or disorders like FASD, you don’t understand the enormous need for structure and routine.
The glares, stares, and judgmental glances. We’ve seen it all in our 15 years on the adoptive and foster care journey. Particularly as we’ve worked hard to parent children with major special needs. While we owe no one an explanation, we have some solid reasons for parenting our children the way we do.
It’s a mild September afternoon in Central Indiana where we live. My family and I have spent the past hour watching my oldest son play football for his 7th grade team. Another game, another victory. This team is so good it’s scary. As the clock tics down to the final seconds, we make our way down to the sideline to say hello to our sweaty, dirty mess of a child. He loves the game. Especially the hard-hitting aspect of it. The sun has gone down and it’s nearing 8 PM. He sees us waiting by the track and excitedly jogs over to us.
For most people, summer break with their children is a time to head to the pool, take big family vacations, play with other children in the neighborhood, or sleep in. It takes on an entirely different form when you’re parenting children from traumatic pasts, or with major special needs.
I flip through my Instagram early in the morning before everyone’s awake. I can’t help but feel jealous of the pictures I see. One after another it seems. Perfect families, gearing up for perfect summers, with their perfect children. Yes, I know they’re not “perfect.” Everyone has their flaws. Everyone has their shortcomings. But from my vantage point, and the uphill climb I have every day, everybody else’s situation around me looks….perfect.
We all dream of the ideal life, and the perfect picture, when it comes to our family. But what happens when that’s not the life we’re living? How do you respond?
I feel the anxiety coming before it takes hold. There is always a moment when I choose to banish the feeling or surrender to it. Anxiety grips my stomach first. The familiar knot begins to form as soon as something is amiss. It could be a simple as a dust bunny under the dining room table or as complex as a child services investigation. The knot spreads and my heart begins pounding. Anxiety travels from my chest to my limbs and my hands begin to shake. I have a few moments to regulate my breathing, turn my mind and get a grip. Sometimes I do and sometimes I’m too late.