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Q:

How can I address trauma-related behaviors in my adopted or foster child?

Hi everyone,

I am a parent who has recently adopted a child who has experienced trauma in their past. I am noticing some behaviors in my child that are concerning me, and I am looking for advice on how to address them. Some examples of these behaviors include tantrums, difficulty sleeping, and a lack of trust in others.

I want to do everything I can to support my child and help them overcome their trauma, but I am not sure where to start. Are there any techniques or strategies that you have found to be effective in addressing trauma-related behaviors in adopted or foster children? Thank you in advance for your help.

All Replies

trace.ohara

Hello,

I would like to lend my perspective on this topic as a parent of an adopted child who has experienced trauma. One thing that has been helpful for us is finding a support group of other families who have adopted children with similar experiences. This has allowed us to share resources, get advice, and feel less alone in the process.

Another approach we have found to be helpful is focusing on helping our child build a sense of safety and security. This includes creating a predictable routine and environment, being consistent with rules and boundaries, and providing a lot of affirmation and praise. We have learned that this helps our child feel secure and in control, which ultimately leads to fewer incidents of trauma-related behaviors.

Lastly, we try to approach our child with a lot of patience and empathy. Recognizing that their behaviors are a result of their past experiences, rather than a reflection of their character, helps us stay calm and compassionate when dealing with difficult situations.

I hope these thoughts are helpful to others in the same boat. Adopting a child who has experienced trauma is not always easy, but with the right support and approach, it can be an incredibly rewarding process.

ukilback

Hello,

I have had the privilege of fostering multiple children who had experienced trauma. Every child is different and it's crucial to prioritize them as unique individuals. It is important to have open and honest communication with your child, that would help them to develop a sense of trust in you.

As a foster parent, you may worry about your child's growth and development. I have found that spending time together, sharing moments of joy and laughter, and making memories can help in building an unbreakable bond. Engaging with the child in various activities such as painting or hiking helps reduce the feeling of isolation they might have.

Lastly, it's important to remember that it is healthy to acknowledge the past and make informed choices for your child’s future. It can also be a way to cater to their resilience building which simply means fostering their ability to overcome adversity. Seeking professional guidance, when faced with a tough call, and following through all the treatment recommendations will help your child heal from their past experiences.

Wishing you and your child all the best on this journey of healing.

lesley.lebsack

Hi there,

I have experience adopting a child who has experienced trauma, and I've found that therapy has been very helpful in addressing their behaviors. Finding a therapist who specializes in trauma-informed care is key. They can work with your child to develop coping strategies and help them feel more in control of their emotions.

In addition to therapy, I've also found that creating a safe and supportive environment at home can make a big difference. This can mean establishing routines and boundaries, providing consistent praise and positive reinforcement, and being patient and understanding when behaviors arise.

It's important to keep in mind that healing from trauma is a process that takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. But with the right support and resources, it is possible to help your child overcome their trauma and thrive.

abigail12

Hello there,

As a foster parent to a child who has experienced trauma, I can attest to the impact of positive affirmations in helping children who struggle with self-esteem. A child who has suffered trauma may have trouble trusting or feeling safe around others, hence, they might feel like they are not worth much. In these situations, being intentional about showering them with affirming words may go a long way in building their self-confidence.

I have also found it helpful to create a safe space for our foster child, where they can express themselves freely without fear of judgement or punishment. We created a corner in the home stocked with art supplies, journals, books, and other comfort objects. We encourage our child to spend time alone in this space, as it can be grounding, therapeutic, and provide a sense of safety.

Another approach we use is setting clear expectations, so our child knows what's expected of them, and they feel some level of predictability around their daily activities. We've intentionally built routines around bedtime, mealtime, and getting ready for school, so there's a sense of structure and a solid foundation for our child to anchor themselves to.

Lastly, we attend counseling sessions with the child, which also provide education and training on how we can support our child's healing process. It is important that we understand how their experiences might affect their behavior, so we can recognize triggers and prevent outbursts.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for those on a similar journey. Remember, every child is unique, hence, always be willing to pivot and evolve your strategies as necessary.

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