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Dear Director: The Invisible Return Label Edition

Dear Director,
I feel like a failure as an adoptive parent. I adopted Jules when he was 3. He is 15 now. For the past 4 years he has been in 3 different Residential Treatment Centers. Whenever he gets back home, all the old patterns of explosions, stealing, and utter chaos eventually continue. This time, his team is suggesting a different kind of placement where I remain his legal parent, yet he doesn’t live with me. I just keep remembering when the judge said to me in all seriousness all those years ago at his adoption: “Do you understand that this boy is now your child with all the commitment and responsibilities as if he was your child by birth?” Jules doesn’t want to live with me anymore and I recognize it just won’t work. So why do I feel so bad?
Signed, Weary and Sorrowful

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Dear Director: The Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Edition

Dear Director:
Our adopted 8-year-old son goes from zero to one-hundred in a matter of seconds when he doesn’t get his way. It is so hard for him to calm down.
He can be upset for hours. Our Post Perm worker explained that his nervous system is always on high alert due to his past. She suggested we try Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to help him. I’m just having trouble understanding why he is still
so reactive after living in our safe and loving home for the past 3 years.
Signed, Troubled

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What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Of course we all know about emotional support animals. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP, takes this to the next level. First of all, you need a horse. Then you need to be outside to engage all your senses and dive deep into the peace of the outdoors. Next, you need a trained Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. And of course a curious and willing client: your child perhaps?

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Lower Those Holiday Expectations

You will save your family power struggles, meltdowns, and stress if you can just lower your family expectations. Then you can intentionally design your holiday celebrations that work best for your family. Nearly everyone can relate to the yearning for the perfect holidays that never turn out that way. The key to lowering your expectations is to include your children in a discussion of what you and they are expecting over the holidays. Call a family meeting and get everyone to write down their top 3 family events and/or traditions they they just can’t live without. Once you have that list, see if there is anything you can let go of. Including your children in a discussion of their own holiday expectations and then choosing only the most important can create harmony over the holidays.

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