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How do I talk to my adopted or foster child about their past experiences?

Hello everyone,

I am a new foster parent, and my partner and I recently welcomed a child who has been through some traumatic experiences in the past. We are struggling with how to approach the topic of their past without making them uncomfortable or triggering any negative emotions.

We want to create a safe and nurturing environment for our child, but we also want to acknowledge their past and help them process their emotions. We understand that every child is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this topic, but we would appreciate any advice or tips on how to talk to our child about their past experiences.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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As an adoptive parent, I understand the importance of having an open and honest relationship with a child who has a traumatic past. Even if your child is still young, talking about their history is essential as it will help both you and your child to understand their unique circumstances, which will enable you to make informed parenting decisions.

One of the most critical things that I have found helpful when talking to my child about their past experience is to make sure that they feel comfortable and heard. This means giving them enough time to speak and express their emotions at their own pace.

Another helpful tip is to ask open-ended questions that allow your child to share their experiences without feeling as if they are being interrogated. This can help your child open up and also help you to understand how best to support them.

It's important to be honest with your child when discussing their past experiences. Your honesty and transparency will help build trust with your child and create a safe space for them to express themselves. Remember, you don't need to have all the answers, but it's important to listen to your child and acknowledge their feelings.

Finally, seeking professional help like a therapist is useful. They can provide you with techniques on how to approach the topic and offer professional support to your child. They can also provide strategies to help your child cope with any difficult emotions and to build resilience for your child.

Talking to your child about their history may seem like a daunting task, but by being honest, patient and understanding, you can create a strong foundation with your child that will help them heal and feel safe in your care.


Hi everyone,

I completely understand the importance of talking to your adopted or foster child about their past experiences. As a foster parent, I have been in a similar situation and have learned a few things along the way.

It is important to be patient and not push your child to talk about their past if they are not ready. It is helpful to establish a loving and safe relationship with your child first, so they feel secure and open to talking with you.

Once your child is ready to talk, it is important to listen without judgment and provide comfort and support. Often, children who have gone through traumatic experiences may feel isolated, so it is essential to provide them with emotional support and reassure them that they are not alone.

We found it helpful to introduce therapeutic activities like art or play therapy, which allowed our child to express themselves freely without any pressure. This can help your child process their emotions and explore their feelings in a safe environment, which can further help them to communicate.

Lastly, it is crucial to respect your child's privacy and confidentiality. Ensure that they know they can trust you to keep their personal information private and will only share it with those that need to know.

In conclusion, it is a sensitive issue, and each child's experience is unique. The most important thing is to make sure that the child feels loved, secure and supported, then create a conducive environment to discuss their past if they are ready, and if they still won't talk after some time, make therapy an option.


I can certainly relate to your situation as my partner and I are also foster parents. We welcomed our child into our home about a year ago, and talking with them about their past has been a learning experience for us as well.

One approach that has worked well for us is to let the child lead the conversation. We don't want to force them to talk about anything they're not comfortable with, but we also want to make it clear that we're here to listen and support them.

We found that creating a safe and comfortable environment is essential. We usually start by asking open-ended questions and letting the child share as much or as little as they want. We also try to be mindful of our reactions and emotions while listening, making sure we're not getting overly emotional or angry.

Another thing that helped us is being honest and transparent with the child. We explained to them that we want to understand their experiences better so we can support them better. We also made sure to reassure them that we're not judging them for anything that happened in the past, and that their story is an essential part of who they are.

Ultimately, it's all about building trust and a strong relationship with the child. It takes time, patience, and empathy, but it's a rewarding experience to see the child grow and heal over time.



As a foster parent to a child who has experienced significant trauma, I can say that talking to your child about their past can be a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, it's essential to acknowledge and validate their feelings and experiences. Still, on the other hand, it's also crucial not to retraumatize or trigger any negative emotions.

One approach that we found helpful is to start with a little bit of information and see how the child responds. We let them know that if they ever want to talk about their past, we are here to listen and support them with love and compassion.

It's also crucial to be honest and transparent with your child, but in a way that they can understand. We use age-appropriate language when discussing sensitive and complex issues, which helps our child feel comfortable and empowered to share their thoughts and emotions.

We have also found that having a non-judgmental attitude and being open-minded has helped our child to share their past with us. As parents, we are here to offer support and assistance, and a non-judgmental attitude can help the child feel more comfortable around us.

Lastly, it's essential to remember that some children may not want to discuss their past, and that's okay. Giving them time and space to come to terms with their feelings and experiences can take time, and it's essential to respect their wishes during this process.

In conclusion, talking with your child about their past can be challenging, but by being honest, transparent, and non-judgmental, it is possible to create a safe and supportive environment for healing and growth.


As a parent who has adopted a child and gone through the process of entering her into therapy sessions to deal with her difficult past, I would like to chime in on this discussion.

One thing that we found particularly helpful is to ensure that we are respectful and sensitive when talking to our child about her past experiences. Often, the child may feel hesitant, scared or ashamed to discuss past events even if they occurred without their fault. It is important to remember that this is a sensitive topic and meetings must be held with that in mind.

We found that seeking professional help and support from a therapist who specialises in dealing with issues arising from these experiences to be particularly useful. The therapist will have the tools and knowledge to navigate through the conversation with care and consideration both for the child's feelings and your comfort.

As parents, it is our duty to create an environment that allows a child's emotional healing and promotes trust but at the same time set boundaries, particularly when it comes to privacy. Our said child was hesitant to share her experiences initially, and we ensured that we respected her wishes and did not push her into it. It is important to note that each child is different and will deal with their issues differently.

In conclusion, talking to your adopted or foster child about their past experiences can be challenging, but creating a safe and secure environment and letting them take the lead can go a long way in building trust and creating a safe space for them to speak openly about their past. Seeking professional help when necessary can also assist in navigating these challenging conversations.


Hello everyone,

I am a foster parent to a young child who has been through quite a lot of trauma in his short life. Talking with him about his past experiences has been incredibly challenging, and I have learned a lot about parenting through this process.

What we have found to be useful is to acknowledge the child's feelings and validate them. We let them know that it's ok to feel a certain way and that their emotions are normal given what they have been through. It's also important to reassure them that they are now in a safe and loving environment and that we are here for them.

We try to approach the conversation gently and without any pressure. It's important to create an environment in which the child can trust and feel comfortable talking to us. We often approach the conversation indirectly, such as telling a story or watching a movie that involves similar themes. From there, we let the child speak at their own pace.

One thing we have learned is to avoid being judgemental. It's essential to listen with an open heart and resist the urge to interject with our own opinions or reactions. We take the conversation one step at a time and validate their emotions as we progress.

Lastly, seeking help from a professional therapist can be useful. They can provide a safe space and allow the child to work through their emotions in a confidential manner. They can also provide us with some insights on how to approach the topic in the future.

In conclusion, talking with a child about their past experiences can be extremely difficult, but it is essential at the same time. Creating a safe and comfortable environment for the child and approaching the conversation with sensitivity and patience is the key to success.


Hello there!

As a parent who has adopted two children, I am very familiar with this issue. My children were both teenagers when we adopted them, and they had gone through some pretty significant trauma that they were not eager to talk about.

What I found worked well for my family was to establish a safe and open atmosphere from the beginning. We let the kids know that they could talk to us about anything they wanted to, but that we weren't going to pry. We let them know that we were there for them whenever they were ready, and that we would support them no matter what.

It took a bit of time, but eventually, our children started sharing some of their experiences with us. It was difficult for them, and it was often difficult for us to hear, but we just made sure to keep that safe and open atmosphere and to let them know that we loved them no matter what.

One thing that we found helpful was to have a therapist who specialized in adoption and trauma. Our children were able to work through some of their issues in a safe and confidential environment, which allowed them to build up some trust that helped them communicate with us more openly.

Overall, I would say that talking to your child about their past experiences is never easy, but it's very important. The key is to be patient, to create a safe space for them, and to let them know that you're there for them whenever they're ready to talk.

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