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Is This Adoption Trauma or My Teen Just Being a Teen?

The teen years are always tricky; often fraught with push and pulls between parents and child as natural separation occurs. Gain insight from JFS’ Teen Whisperer on how to help your adopted teen. Learn how to navigate normal teen angst versus more consequential trauma related behaviors. If professional mental health support is needed, find out specifically what to look for in choosing the right practitioner for your teen.

Trauma Responses Contribute to Mental Health Issues

Children who come from hard places riddled with trauma are so easily misunderstood. Explore what is behind your adopted child’s tough behaviors. Buy into the concept that these are just leftover adaptive responses from before they came to you. True, our kids will get labeled with some form of mental health diagnoses or another. Trauma creates real changes in the brain which creates real symptoms. It remains our job to stand by our children through their struggles, teach and model healthier coping strategies, help them accept their mental health struggles, and learn to be proud of all their healing.

Dear Director: The 10-Second Child in the 1-Second World Edition

Dear Director,

My 7-year-old adopted daughter and I fight every time it is time to go anywhere. She takes so long to get and be ready to go that it feels like she is stalling on purpose.  My Post Perm worker told me she is a 10-second child in a 1-second world and needs more time to process information. I’m having trouble buying into this idea. After all, my daughter is 7 and very smart and capable. Please share your wisdom.

Signed, Doubtful

A New Perspective

What a gift it is to figure out that all your child needs is more time. More time to think, to listen, to process, to answer, to respond. Tension at home and problems at school can dramatically decrease with this simple adaptation. It is you; the parent, the teacher, the adult who needs to change. Adapt a new paradigm. Change how you understand your child.. Change your expectations. Change how you communicate. Change your total perspective. If your child is that 10-second child in this 1-second world, your entire lens must shift! Now keep reading for specific adaptations that match this new perspective.

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