Raising a family is a difficult task and if you add on the extra challenges that come with foster care and adoption, it makes sense that families often have struggles.
Sometimes because of shame and embarrassment, adoptive and foster families do not get help until their family is really suffering. Other times they reach out to providers who are not familiar with attachment, trauma and related issues and they are blamed for their family’s problems.
As a Life Coach who works almost exclusively with foster and adoptive families, I understand your unique challenges and am here to help empower your family. Even if you are in counseling or have a support group, a professional life coach is a perfect addition to your team and will help you move forward to achieve the results you want at a more rapid pace.
As you think about your family and your future, I’ve identified five reasons why you should consider hiring a life coach.
1. You are confused and stuck. Parents often find themselves asking if their child’s behaviors are normal, adoption, sensory or learning related and they can’t seem to find the answers they need. Trauma affects many areas of a child’s life and it is confusing for parents to determine if their child’s challenges are related to trauma.
There are also core issues in adoption that affect both the child and adoptive parent. The training and learning that parents invested in prior to adoption or fostering is often difficult to apply in real life.
Moms and dads may struggle with knowing when to talk to their child about adoption, how to discipline most effectively and what to do about the issues that arise at different ages and stages.
With my background and training in adoption, attachment, trauma, sensory integration, nutrition, learning disorders, and school advocacy, we can work together to help you make sense of your situation, and give you the practical tools you need or point you to the resources that will benefit your family.
I am well versed in the different methods and approaches to help your child and can translate clinical information into terms that you can understand. If you are unclear about the alphabet soup of EMDR, DBT, CBT, TF-CBT, IFS, IEP, and terms such as 504 plan, triangulation, Pyroluria, and Interoception, I’m here to break it down and speak your language.
The information that is available to families is confusing and you may get stuck trying to decide what to do. If you are stuck, that is my specialty. As a coach I am trained to ask questions and help you get unstuck.
2. Your parenting methods are not working. Parenting a foster or adoptive child can be complicated. Parents typically discipline their child in the same way their parents disciplined them. The problem is that the authoritarian or permissive styles of parenting that may have worked for them will probably not work for their child.
It is confusing to raise a child who frequently responds to everyday life events with a strong stress response and fight, flight or freeze related behavior. Parents sometimes cannot seem to find effective methods to extinguish negative behavior and they also get agitated and stressed when their child lashes out or runs away from them. It often just feels like their parenting methods aren’t working.
Adoptive and foster children learn and grow best with a connected style of parenting. This style is marked by understanding of the underlying cause of the behavior, gracious love, kindness and firmness with boundaries. It is authoritative in nature with the parents leading while also sharing power with the child.
Connected parenting takes time to learn and again, it is much different reading a book or attending a conference about connected parenting than actively trying to apply the methods at home when the child is acting out.
As a parent coach, I provide training and coaching on not only the principles and methods of connected parenting but also how to implement it in your family with your unique family makeup and design.
I’ve been using connected parenting in my home for almost 15 years. Yes, it takes time to learn but it works to decrease negative behavior, improve parent child relationships and help your child learn to trust and get along better with others.
3. Your preteen or teen struggles with friendships, managing emotions or life’s disappointments. It’s hard being a kid today but when you are trying to make sense and heal from a background of trauma and loss you may feel different and have unique challenges. I get it and I care about your child.
In addition to parenting an adopted child, I grew up with cousins who were adopted. I have seen adoption related struggles up close.
I am a skills trainer for Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In DBT, we are looking for positives, validating how difficult life can be and always looking to find balance in life.
I have specific skills that can teach your son or daughter to help them understand and regulate their emotions, deal with life’s disappointments and get along better with their friends. In addition to providing tools, I will look to see your child’s unique gifts and strengths and encourage them to grow into the amazing person that God has designed them to be.
4. Your marriage could use improvement. Parenting is hard on a marriage but parenting a child who comes from a difficult background adds extra stress on a marriage. One of the risk factors for marital difficulties is parenting a child who has special needs.
I have tools and assessments to help parents understand their core personality traits and ways of looking at life. These individual traits and values can complement or cause conflicts in marriage.
By understanding communication, styles of relating and problem solving styles, we are bringing understanding and awareness to differences which will lead to clearer communication and a stronger relationship.
In addition to tools and assessments, we find and practice ways that husbands and wives can work together to draw closer, support each other and bring back fun and delight to their marriage.
5. You need encouragement and support. As a coach, I am on your side working with you to help you see the good things that are happening in your life and encouraging you to set goals and move forward. Sometimes we get stuck in the mud and muck of life and need support. I view my career as a ministry and calling from God. I pray for all of my clients and am consider it a privilege to be involved in their lives.
If you would like to take the next step to improving the health and well-being of your family, give me a call and we can if coaching is a good fit for you, your child or your family. God bless you on your parenting journey.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Renee is a life coach who specializes in working with foster and adoptive families. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky but she works with clients all over the US through internet coaching. She helps families identify areas of concern, provides training to help them understand the root cause of their struggles and through coaching, helps families apply the proven tools and techniques needed to address their underlying difficulties. You can find more information about her services at https://www.facebook.com/empoweredcalling/videos/1535462483248676/or you may contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/empoweredcalling/