A fundamental struggle in fostering or adopting children from hard places is how to help others understand them without sharing details about their histories. Our children’s specific past experiences are theirs alone to share. Protecting their pasts is important, but very hard to do, especially when we want those closest to us to interact with our children in a loving and understanding way. For a glimpse into this day-to-day struggle, take a look at this post.
This page contains resources to help you protect your children’s histories while providing helpful information to those closest to them.
Common Underlying Issues
Don’t skip this video.
It’s about Reactive Attachment Disorder, but it is pertinent to all or our children. It explains 20 underlying struggles that will help you and others understand your child better. Please hear me, not all of our children have RAD. RAD is the extreme end of the spectrum, but it has been my experience that ALL of our children struggle with one or more of these issues on some level*. Knowing this, will help you help them. It will also help others understand them a little bit better.
The presenter is dramatic and intense, so I apologize, but stick with it because the information is invaluable.
One Page Explanation
This wonderfully written one-page article explains why we often have more clearly defined boundaries for our children and their behavior (even the “normal looking behaviors”) than other parents do. It explains why we might not attend all family functions or why we might need to leave early. It does talk about Reactive Attachment Disorder, but again it can be applied to all our children.
Do’s and Don’ts for Grandparents
This article was written by a grandmother. It gives very clear guidelines on how to let the parent be the parents while still supporting them. This is HUGE because our children struggle with attachment and knowing who is in charge. This helps grandparents know what their role should be and helps the child see that even when they are with grandpa or grandma their foster parents or adoptive parents are still the boss. This article is blunt; handing it to your parents or in-laws probably requires a good working relationship with them first.
When those we love most don’t “Get it”
This article. Read this. “When Your Family Doesn’t See Your Child’s Special Needs.”
*None of the information on this page or this site is intended to diagnose, treat, or take the place of professional medical help.