When working with adopters and foster carers I hear the following comments- sadly all too frequently:
I'm stressed at the intensity of being in demand from 5.30am until whatever time he sleeps at night; daily tantrums with biting, throwing things at me, kicking; feeling bullied sometimes by a nearly four year old.
Being unheard stresses me. I'm forever trying to get family, friends, school to understand trauma and attachment. But it's hard. Largely they don't get it.
I'd say stress is caused by fear for the future, sleep deprivation and knowing how to tell their story.
My main causes of stress are when I'm trying (and failing) to get professional help/support for my adopted son; when his behaviour starts to spiral out of control and I seem to be powerless to stop it and, as time goes on, become less and less patient/empathic myself with him and can see that my reactions are actually making things worse!
Here are some common themes - the causes of post adoption and foster care stress, provided by some of my course participants
lack of understanding and unnecessary justifying to family, friends and teachers
aggressive and controlling behaviours
Dynamic between birth adopted children
trying (and failing) to get professional help/support
fear for the future
not being good enough [Stressed woman]
having to fight for everything for our children
feeling bullied by a four year old
Not able to work
Being spread too thin
Things spiralling out of control
Walk of shame from school
Fighting with other children
Being excluded from school
Whilst the Adoption Support Fund has been a wonderful lifeline for many families, therapies take time to access and then take affect.
What can you do for your adopters/foster carers in the meantime?
For a little as £82.50 per household, our e-course provides a family with valuable tools to build their resilience, regulate themselves, understand their children better and communicate with them more effectively. There are 9 chapters including:
leisure and self care
worry and thoughts
understanding the behaviour
developing the relationship
Parents and carers have 24/7 access for 1 year and mentoring support via skype with Gill Tree Master Practitioner in NLP and training in Solution Focused Therapy (ASF recognised therapy) is also available.
This is what Lorraine Hirst from Adoption UK has to say "I have had the pleasure of meeting Gill Tree and engaging her to work with Adoption UK on a number of training pieces to date. She is highly professional in her approach, very knowledgeable and personable. The feedback from the workshops on resilience that Gill ran for us was excellent and it is clear that as an adopter she has a great deal of credibility with adopters and potential adopters. With a keen eye for doing things well, Gill will always strive to meet clients needs and deliver excellence whenever possible.”
Please contact Gill Tree on 0203 553 1060 to discuss our e-courses and in-house training.
"As a relatively experienced adopter, many years in to a stressful journey, with a complex child, living with challenging, sometimes extreme behaviour, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. What could it do for me that the other numerous training courses, variety of groups and forums have failed to achieve over the years? I wondered if the course might be geared towards prospective or new adoptive parents, rather than the more battle weary amongst us. I could not have been more wrong! "
- Gill Maddison -
Member of the International Stress Management Association
GM Tree Training Ltd
5 Clumber Drive
Somerset BA11 2LG
T: +44 (0)203 553 1060
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