The Adoptive Parents' Handbook: A Guide to Healing Trauma and Thriving with Your Foster or Adopted Child

The Adoptive Parents' Handbook: A Guide to Healing Trauma and Thriving with Your Foster or Adopted Child


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The essential guide to parenting adopted and foster kids—learn to create felt safety, heal attachment trauma, and navigate challenging behaviors and triggers

Children who have been adopted and/or shuttled through the foster-care system experience trauma at a much higher rate than other kids, which can make it difficult for them to trust, relax, regulate their emotions, and connect with their new families. As a parent, learning how to heal attachment trauma, attune to your child's needs, identify triggers, and create felt safety is essential to providing the loving, supportive, and stable home they need to thrive.

Written for parents of adopted and foster kids of all ages, this book offers resources for handling common concerns like sleep issues, food sensitivities, anger, fear, and reactivity. It also provides guidance on navigating transracial adoptions, working through parents' own hang-ups, and recognizing signs of developmental and psychological conditions. The book highlights practical strategies and provides real-life examples to address questions like:
How do I help my adopted child adjust?
Is this kind of behavior "normal"?
How do I help my child live, heal, and thrive with PTSD?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623175153
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 780,133
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

BARBARA CUMMINS TANTRUM, MA, LMHC, is trained and experienced in trauma-informed therapy. This includes working with children, adoptive and foster families, adult survivors of trauma and abuse, and marital couples. She is a cofounder of Northwest Trauma Counseling, a Washington State-based private practice specializing in trauma related to adoption and foster care, and author of their PATCH Protocol, a trauma-informed model therapy approach focused specifically on addressing trauma-related issues. A graduate of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology with a master's degree in Counseling Psychology, she conducts training sessions regularly for groups, including social workers, teachers, adoptive and foster parents, and other support groups. In her personal life, Tantrum is herself a foster and adoptive mother and sister. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Part 1 Creating Felt Safety

1 Origins 3

2 Trauma: How a Gastroenterologist Changed How the World Thinks about Trauma 9

3 Infant Trauma 21

4 PTSD and Fight, Flight, and Freeze 29

5 Olympic-Level Self-Care 41

6 Attachment 51

7 Healing Attachment Damage 59

8 Good Discipline Strategies 71

9 Routines and Rituals 85

Part 2 Emotional Regulation

10 Adoption (or Placement) Stages: How Children Grieve 93

11 Attunement and Manipulation: All Behavior Communicates 101

12 Reflective Listening and Emotional Modeling 109

13 Sensory Success 115

Part 3 Identity

14 Transracial and Transethnic Adoption 127

15 Older Child Adoption 151

16 Working with Birth Family 157

17 Talking with Your Child about Adoption 161

18 Lifebooks: Not just for the Crafty 165

Part 4 Living and Thriving with PTSD

19 The Child You Have 175

20 Sleep and Food Strategies 193

21 How to Choose the Right Therapist 199

22 Working with Schools 213

23 PTSD and Medical Care 221

24 Siblings 229

25 Lying and Stealing 233

26 When It's More Than PTSD: ADHD, FASD, Autism 239

27 While You Are Waiting and the First Few Months 251

28 Foster Care: Licensed to Parent 259

29 When Things Are Really Hard 267

30 Leaving Home 273

31 Troubleshooting: The Q and A Section 279

Book List 291

Movie List 293

Glossary 297

Notes 305

Bibliography 317

Index 327

About the Author 333

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