All of us at Spence-Chapin continue to process what has happened to our city over the past week, and while we ourselves struggle to sort out our feelings and cope with the aftermath, we realize how much harder it is for children to understand these events, and sometimes even more challenging for children who are adopted, as it can easily trigger feelings of fear for themselves and their birth families or anxiety about the permanency of their own family. It’s important to talk to our kids about their feelings, without increasing that fear and anxiety. It’s a tricky parenting skill for sure, and we think this article from Adoptive Families can help our families have these conversations.
Experiences from our children’s pasts prove that big, scary changes do happen. Their world has already been shaken, so they may be more fragile than we might suspect. When wars or natural disasters occur, they may think, or even ask: “What will happen to me and to my family?” “Who will take care of me in an emergency?” or “What if I lose you, just as I lost my first parents?” Read more….
If you or your children are showing signs of trauma, or having difficulty getting back into the regular pace of life, please contact our Adoption Resource Center for counseling, support, and referrals.
*Written by PATTY COGEN, ED.D., is a family therapist in Seattle and the author of the forthcoming book Parenting Internationally Adopted Children (Harvard Common Press, 2006). Original post on Adoptivefamilies.com.