How to Help Your Child Deal with Big Feelings

Loss? My child hasn’t experienced loss! This is what many adoptive parents want so badly to believe. However, it is a reality of adoptive family living. Connie Dawson, Ph.D, an adoptee, author and speaker, and attachment specialist says, “Understanding how grief and loss affects adoptive relationships is an inoculation geared to prevent later problems.”

It’s one thing to understand that your child has experienced loss, but it’s another thing to know how to help him grieve it successfully.

An Adoption Project

This tool can be used with children, ages seven and up. It can be used as a family project, as a parent/child project, or a counselor/client project. Here are the steps:

1. Tell him that you are going to work on an adoption project together.

2. Find a box that can hold several items—possibly 12 X 16 and 6 inches tall.

3. Make a “Sad List”——about his birth family, about the failed reunification, etc. [Read more…]