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As a foster and adoptive parent myself, it was remarkable to hear Dave and Jessie talk through some of their experiences. Sometimes just hearing that we aren’t the only ones who experience these big feelings from the kids in our care makes me feel like I can keep moving forward. As I watched the video and heard Dave talking about how things changed for him after he received education and information about trauma, I was reminded of how life-changing it was for us as parents and the kids in our home when we first started learning about the brain. It de-personalized the behaviors. Once we learned about the brain, we understood the behaviors weren’t about us, and often they weren’t about the situation. The behaviors were about the brain trying to keep their youth in care safe. Once we understood that, we could view things differently, and we could work toward healing.
I appreciate when Jessie says there were times they didn’t feel they could do this anymore. It was just too much. But when they received the training they needed, they not only could stick with the child in their care, but they were also able to teach her about her brain to the point that she could say, “I need to get into my upstairs brain.” What an important life lesson!
It sometimes feels impossible to try to care for kids who have experienced traumatic events in their childhood without the help of others. Similar to Dave and Jessie, my help often came in the form of education, training, information, and resources that gave me the extra bit of knowledge, the extra bit of hope, the “hand on my back” that steadily pushed me forward until I could also say, “okay, no matter what, we will be here for this kiddo, in this moment.”
As Jessie says, “We are going to make it through this together.”
From the Champion Classrooms
- A Parent’s Guide to Managing Behavior
- Creating Space for Healing: Helping Adolescents and Teens Thrive
- Taking Time to Help and Heal: Child Development Through a New Lens
From the Lending Library
- The Brain: Effects of Childhood Trauma, by Dr. Bruce Perry
- The Body Keeps the Score – Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
Virtual Resource Kit