Part of the November series “30 Things I Know About Adoption.”
This isn’t the post I planned to write.
But it’s the post I need to write.
I am drinking a glass of wine while I write it. That might give you an idea why.
In truth they day wasn’t too bad, but about 5 o’clock it all went down the crapper.
And just like that, you remember that this parenting thing is HARD! And raising kids with trauma and other special needs (whether adopted or bio) makes it even HARDER.
If you think that somehow your adoption will escape any issues of trauma because _______ (fill in the blank), FORGET ABOUT IT!
There were many contributing factors to tonight’s particular issue – late night because of a sleepover, forgotten meds, etc. Sometimes you will be able to explain it. It doesn’t necessarily make it easy to deal with, but it’s nice to have something to blame it on.
Either way, when those hard times come, you have a choice.
- Lose it (which we all do on occasion).
- Take a deep breath….realize your child is probably in one of the 3 modes (fight, flight or freeze) and cannot get unstuck…react appropriately
Every kid is different and every parent is different. But I know for us this means I have to:
- Take my voice WAY down in volume and tone. Like my “library voice.”
- Go to my child (don’t yell across the room), make eye contact.
- Slow EVERYTHING down.
- Get the child to take a deep breath (have them mimic your deep breathing).
- Let them know they will be heard as soon as we can get to a calm place.
- Sometimes, even when we’re calm, we need to take a break, get a bite to eat and some water and then come back and discuss the issue.
It’s hard. It’s hard to remember to do these things. It’s much easier to get upset and frustrated and annoyed.
But the goal is connection. When we’re through the episode the child/parent relationship should be intact.
There are tons of great resources aren’t there and I recommend that you take advantage of them.
Though not specific to adoption, The Whole Brained Child is another great book that helps explain brain function in children. (I love the downstairs/upstairs brain illustration.)
What are some of your favorite parenting resources?