#27 for Internationally Adopting Parents
August 13, 2006
In this issue
older children internationally:
making a decision and coping
with post-adoption difficulties
files and videos
for an early stage screening
Due to their size, such files often can't
transmitted via email or
delivered quickly via regular
(ex.: while you are abroad).
Call the center for
on uploading your files for professional analysis
You receive this newsletter
as a former client of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment
& Remediation, or a former student of the Bgcenter Online School,
or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.
International Adoption Articles
Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.
your documents under IDEA:
Part II - What documents should you create?
create any documents? One simple reason is that you may have to tell
your childs story to another person - perhaps to an evaluator,
an advocate or lawyer, or a hearing officer in order to get help,
and documenting events as they occur will help you tell the story accurately
and in good order. Another reason is that documents can help clarify
understandings you reach with people particularly with service
providers or school administrators. Yet another reason is that a note
written at the time something significant has happened may help to support
you when you need to prove to another person that the event happened
the way you claim it happened.
Power Struggles and Control Battles
the online class JSBG2
Adopting older children internationally:
a decision and coping with post-adoption difficulties
One of the most
wearying of dynamics for the adoptive parent of an older child is that
of the constant battle for power and control. Parents are supposed to
be in charge, not the children, but these children are vying for control
at every turn. "Put on your shoes," becomes a major battle.
Bedtime becomes a game of cat and mouse. Something simple like "please
hang up your towel" becomes a Battle Royale. Why? Because they
are scared, they don't trust you and in order to stave off the terror
and discomfort of the unfamiliar, they fight with you to be in charge.
It is exhausting and exasperating. You suffer from battle fatigue. What
can you do?
- Pick your battles.
You and your child have a big job to do. Choose the issues that really
matter. That does not mean give up or give in; it simply means that
whatever you feel is important, be prepared "to go to the wall"
with it; follow it through to resolution.
- Establish bottom line expectations;
the non-negotiables such as no harm to self or others or destruction
- Allow them to make reasonable
choices. If they are watching TV and you ask them to empty the
garbage; give them the choice of doing it right away or waiting until
the commercial. At the commercial, make sure they follow through.
- Watch for the hook. Some
children enjoy the battles and feel most secure when they are engaged
in a power struggle with you. It makes them feel in control. Watch
for the times where they may bait you and try to hook you into a struggle.
Observe out loud that you recognize what they are doing and let them
know you will not battle with them.
- Try to separate your frustration
from your instructions. The more frustrated and exasperated you
become the more your child will feel in control. Try to soften your
tone and lower the tempo and cadence of your requests. Try to keep
them matter of fact.
- Don't sweat the small stuff.
You are human you are going to have imperfect parent days. Days when
you don't have the energy or inclination to do battle. Unless there
is a safety issue, allow yourself to let go and shut down and not
follow through or do battle.
- Find ways to refuel. Taking
care of yourself is critical; pursuing interests, pleasures and time
with friends and family, other than your adopted child, is essential.
- Find activities that you can
do together that are not centered on expectations but pleasure.
Most of your day is spent telling your children what to do and not
to do. It is important to find something that you can do together
that you both enjoy that does not require setting constant limits.
Example: Sergei is an active seven year old in constant motion. He
requires vigilant supervision, has poor impulse control, no sense
of safety and judgment and engages in continuous battles for control.
Their favorite place to take him is a small, fully enclosed playground
by the highway where he can make all the noise he wants, run around
and play without the threat of losing him or escaping the boundaries.
Time at the park allows Sergei to blow off some steam, his parents
to enjoy his zest and energy in a safe confined environment.
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