Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adoptive Parenting Tip #7: When the strategies don't work

Alright, you've been through all of the adoption classes that were required. You've read the books. You've followed blogs about parenting adopted children. You are prepared. You're the best adoption  parent ever!

And you have a completely terrible day with your adopted child and you don't know what to do. None of the strategies that you've learned are working. Your child can't regulate him or herself.

You are at your wits end. What should you do?

Grab a cup of coffee, put on a movie for the youngster and go through these 8 questions:

1. When did the behavior begin?
2. What was happening in the days just before the behavior started?
3. Is the child learning a new skill?
(reading, riding a bike, learning addition, etc...)
4. Has anything changed at home?
5. Is a parent working more or traveling?
6. Is there any change coming up in the family?
(moving, remodeling, new babysitter, new school year...)
7. What does the parent think is going on with the child?
(looking past the behavior and into the motive)
8. What positive connecting behaviors is the child engaging in with the parent?
(eye contact, touching, wanting to be close by, etc...)

These are 8 "magic" questions to help you figure out what is going on inside your child's brain. When Smalls can't regulate herself and she won't allow me to help her regulate, I have to take a step back and put my emotions aside and figure out what's going on with her.

Disclaimer: I got these 8 questions from a book that I've read and for the life of me can't think of which book. I apologize to author of the book that I can't remember to give you credit for these awesome 8 questions!

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