safe and sound protocol, adhd, adoption

13 Practical Ways to Increase Felt Safety

Lack of felt safety is one of the five reasons kids misbehave. So what is felt safety? Our nervous systems have an instinct called “neuroception.” This is how we unconsciously distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life-threatening. When our kids have experienced chronic stress or have differences in their brain function, like […]

What Every Family Needs

Actually, I should say, “Who.” Meet Andrea. She regularly kicks her friends (who are foster parents) out, tells them they can’t home any earlier than 10 PM, and asks for nothing in return. She notices needs like a worn out pack ‘n play and has the Amazon fairy deliver a new one. She gifts bags […]

parenting using compromises effectively

When the Popular Compromise Can Backfire and What To Do Instead

When parents feel like they are constantly butting heads with their child, we often talk about using parenting tools that help our kids feel like we’re on their team. One popular way is to collaborate with our kids using a compromise. We’ve told our kids repeatedly, “When we tell you to do something, you may […]

special needs, adoption, foster care, thanksgiving

When Giving Real Thanks Is Hard

When you’re raising a child with extremely challenging behaviors, it can be hard to face a holiday all about giving thanks. Sure, we can all find small gratitudes each day. We have food to eat. We only called the police once last week.  The sun came out today. But what about deep gratitude for the […]

punishments aren't working

How To Use Natural Consequences Instead of Pointless Punishment

One of the biggest misnomers for parents when they first encounter trust-based or connected parenting is that it seems like there are no consequences. It feels too permissive. This is actually the reason I tossed the Connected Child aside after reading it pre-placement. Honestly? It made me want to gag. Then we attempted to parent […]

Christmas Ornaments for Foster and Adopted Children

Between the breaks in routine, extra sweets, and high anticipation, the holiday season is full of triggers for kids with a history of adverse experiences. I noticed after our first Christmas with our older kids, that tree trimming was a huge trigger because it emphasized all the years they’d missed with us as our younger […]

Horses versus Zebras

Are you sick of giving choices and compromises and feeling like your life revolves around your challenging child? Are you wondering when healing will ever come and feeling weary? Me too. Sometimes I think, “We’ve been over this 1,000,000 times. When will it sink in?” I feel like “connected parenting” promised me healing, but there […]

stop manipulation adoption RAD

Tips for Parenting Manipulative and Controlling Behaviors

There are few things more frustrating than when you’re battling your child for control. Kids with a history of adverse experiences have a strange sixth sense that allows them to know exactly how to push your buttons through manipulative and controlling behaviors. Whether it’s losing a primary caregiver either through death or abandonment, having to […]