The Parenting Challenge: 3 - 2 - 1
Raising a child right is a big challenge. Raising adopted children or children with trauma histories usually comes with special challenges. We at Skylight Respite Ranch understand this first hand. Although it’s complicated, we could summarize it into three primary problems, two crucial interventions, and one paramount objective: 3 – 2 – 1.
1: Ultimate Objective
Prevent Disruption, Start the Healing
Sometimes the challenge is just too much and the parents give up and disrupt the adoption. When a child who has been told they were part of a “forever family” is put back in foster care, almost all hope of a successful future is lost. It is our ultimate goal to prevent this from happening! With a family going through this kind of crisis the sooner intervention takes place the better. It is our sincerest belief that by applying the love-based parenting methods that are taught at Skylight Respite Ranch, and by helping children understand what’s happened to them, families can reverse the trajectory and prevent the failure of the adoption. We want to help your family heal. It all starts with a few days of respite. Please call us to make arrangements to start the healing for your beautiful family.
3: The Challenge of Adopted Children
In a dysfunctional home, childhood trauma such as abuse and neglect may lead to kids being removed from the home. While this may seem like a “rescue”, it is in fact a major loss from the perspective of the child. Indeed, children should be removed from such situations. But every effort should be made to rehabilitate the family. When those efforts fail, a new placements should be sought. No matter how well intentioned, however, a new placement is a very scary thing for the child and is a major contributor to the emotional wounds of his or her heart.
Foster care can be a place for love and some healing, but foster care it is also a time of great uncertainty for children. Some foster children with fresh wounds push boundaries to the breaking point until they’re moved to the next foster setting. They sense the lack of permanence and resist healing. Their wounds—and behaviors—get worse.
Finally, a permanent family comes along. Committed to the child, they’re in it for the long haul. Dreams of a forever family come to fruition and it all gets finalized. But the ugly wounds of trauma and loss haunt the budding relationship. Parents, relatives, friends, even the Judge all say it’s permanent, but the child doesn’t really believe it. Deep down, it could all end at any minute…the same way it all started, and the child seems desperate to prove it. It’s crisis mode now. The ugly spiral of negative behaviors and reactions, impossible demands, and raw fear threaten to burn down all hopes for the future. The love and commitment of what’s supposed to be a family are being tested to the limit. Will it last? Should it? “Did we make the wrong decision?"
2: Early Intervention
This is when everyone needs a break. The parents need to breathe. The child needs some space. The parents need help. The child needs safety. The marriage needs rejuvenation. The child needs understanding. The family needs love and healing.
We, the founders of Skylight Respite Ranch have been there too. We were at that breaking point with no place to turn. We understand some of what you’re going through. We want to help. We want to be that safe place for the child, while you breathe. We want to be a place of understanding. We want couples to rejuvenate while the child calms down. We want to show parents better ways to relate to and help their adopted child.
Children who have undergone early childhood trauma (basically all adopted children no matter how young they were when adopted) have distinct emotional needs that can be difficult to understand. Adoptive parents need to understand these dynamics and approach the child from a different perspective.
Skylight Respite Ranch teaches these concepts and the proven methods of using them. We want to teach you how to approach your adopted child in a way that greatly improves the parent-child attachment and opens the door to reciprocal love.