Ask the P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L. Parent Coach
Parenting foster and adopted children can at times be very challenging, particularly for parents who come from a mindset of traditional parenting. This space is meant to be a safe place to ask for guidance; you can share your frustrations, your anger, your hurt, even your thoughts of just giving up. It is your choice whether to sign your name or not. I will check this column on a regular basis and reply promptly.
I’ve used the acronym P.E.A.C.E.F.U.L.
P is for patience with your child and yourself
E is for empathy (the intent to understand the feelings of your child
A is for acceptance (unconditional and without judgement)
C is for compassion (our emotional response to our child)
E is for encouragement (being a cheerleader for our child)
F is for forgiveness of ourselves, we we undertake this challenging journey)
U is for understanding of both ourselves and our child; not attributing motive to the child’s behaviors or our own…both are related to underlying stress), and
L one’s parenting isn’t “ful” until we add love.
I have been a social worker for 31 years. My work has been with families and children first in the area of Child Protective Services and then as a therapist working with the same population. I have worked with divorcing and divorced parents teaching co-parenting techniques, supervised therapists and have been a social worker for emotionally challenged children and adolescents in an inner city school system. About 7 years ago I was introduced to the work of Bryan Post and, as a friend and colleague said at the time…I went Post-al. All of my previous assumptions and indeed my work using behavioral interventions, got pushed aside. And along came the realization that none of the interventions, meant to change behaviors, had anything in common with helping children heal from the trauma they had experienced. My best work these days is as a coach/consultant for parents, other caregivers, and teachers. The services I provide are parent education, coaching, consulting and supervising. I am the mother of five adult children and grandmother to five. I am both a bio mom and an adoptive mom.