#67 – Look for the motivation

May 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Adoption differences, adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment
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Piggybacking on the previous entry (#66) – if your child is dealing with anxiety and not ADD, there are many ways to reduce his stress level. Punishment is not one of them.  That just adds to his stress level and escalates his cycle of acting out.

Mother Comforting SonAdopted children are more sensitive to stress because of their birth trauma.  This is subconscious until they can reason, and then as they mature they understand the fact that their birth family is not the family that is raising them.

Schools deal with behavior.  Our homes should deal with security and healing.

Stability, steady, patterned, repetitive behavior within the home can have a calming effect on children.  They learn they can count on certain things.  Family traditions are important to them to create a sense of belonging.

A troubled child affects the whole family.  Often families find that there is so much chaos that fun and joy are lost.  This is difficult, but other family members, even though they are the brunt of bad behavior, need to learn not to take verbal assaults personally.  It’s the child’s problem and the family’s sensitivity to his struggle for self assurance will help greatly in putting his struggle into perspective.  To outsiders, it may seem like you are coddling your child, but if he is stressed, fearful of being alone, struggling with his lack of identity and other issues,  coddling may be just what he needs.  You as the parent can sense this.

Look beyond his behavior and try to sense his motivation.  It may come from feelings of fear, stress, or being overwhelmed with life.  Acting out is getting the attention he feels he needs to be whole.  He may act out  to tell you and the world,  “Hey, I’m here, I feel like a nobody, but I want to be somebody, and if you pay attention to me, then I am somebody.”  This is not the healthy way to go about being noticed, but it is understandable when you think like your child thinks.  We need to teach our children positive ways to feel they count and are important to our family.

You may not be a miracle worker capable of taking his adoption related stress away, but our goal is to help him deal with his stress in a calm, focused and relaxed way.   A parent’s reassurance and calm demeanor, and most importantly, an open and understanding heart will touch your child and alleviate some of his stress.



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