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The Latest Word


Building trust in foster and adopted children (part 2) . . .

Hello readers, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season! Children who have been through a lot of trauma and negative transitions have learned not to trust as a way of self-preservation and survival. However, in order to develop into a healthy adult, each child needs to learn to trust others. This does not happen overnight. It takes time and lots of “practice, practice, practice.” We as the parents must help our children know how to practice trusting. As I mentioned in my previous blog, here are some additional helpful hints and strategies that can help in developing trust in your child. Remember, be patient and persistent in using these strategies:

  • Try and stay at eye-level when using discipline. Don’t force eye contact with your child, but gently encourage it

  • As much as possible, keep predictability and routine in your child’s daily schedule

  • Verbally reward your child, even in his/her small achievements

  • Tell your child often that he or she is loved

  • Use immediate rewards for good behavior

  • Practice empathy and active listening when your child is distressed

  • Do regular activities together such as outings, outdoor physical activities, and low-competitive games

  • Always follow through on the limits you set

  • Give your child permission to express his or her emotions (in an appropriate manner)

Parents, I hope this has been helpful to you! I would be interested in your feedback and what strategies and approaches you have used to help your child grow and develop his or her level of trust.


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