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Support network not understanding we are capable(11 Posts)
We're now into a good few months placement and our family are not understanding we will do best for our children or agree with the parenting techniques we use.
It feels that they're unable to see past the children from care label and unable to see that we have to parent in a way to correct behaviours developed during birth family. They also make us upset and its just an added pressure of stress and upset we don't need during our adoption journey.
They're even disagreeing in situations when social services have given us blessing, calling us bad parents and demanding we speak to them about the way we parent.
How have you handled the comments made by people who only see a small snapshot of your day and are quick to judge?
Sorry to hear what you’re going through. You’re right though this is not what you need right now. I personally haven’t experienced this but from what you’ve said it sounds a bit like they need educating on different parenting techniques and the effects that past experiences have on adopted children. Are they the sort of people who might accept a bit of educating from books/articles/videos? It’s difficult because unless you’ve been through it, you never quite understand it. I find that the older generation are stuck in their ways really. If a child misbehaved then they should be punished but as adoptive parents we know that might not work and might cause more damage. I hope you find a solution. There are a lot of knowledgable people here who will be able to offer you a lot more advice
I'm afraid I take quite a tough stance on this. Like painted lady suggests try the books etc, or maybe get your SW to meet with them to explain why adoptive parenting can be different. Do you have anyone in the family who is 'onside' who could speak to them,
If that doesnt work, then I think you have no choice but to limit the opportunities they have to interfere and be blunt about telling them to butt out. Bottom line is they are your children, not theirs, you've done the training, not them.
If you don't you are storing up problems for the future, and as you say you don't need the added stress.
Good luck !
not understanding we will do best for our children or agree with the parenting techniques we use
Are you able to give some examples?
They don’t sound like a support network to be honest. Unless what you’re doing is dangerous or unkind (which I very much doubt), tell them to back you up or back off. I know my support network now looks nothing like the support network I thought I would have.
I gave my family a copy of Related By Adoption before placement, it's pretty basic but goes over a few examples & stresses that the 'normal' parenting style may not be appropriate.
Could you try sitting down with them 1:1 and having a one-off conversation about the specifics of what they think you're doing wrong & why it's actually the right thing in your situation? Maybe talk them through the 'wall' of needs so you've got a framework to refer back to if needed again? If you can help one of them to understand, they'll hopefully sway the others. At some point though you'll have to draw a line, for your dc's sake if not your own, before your family undermine your relationship with your dc, but hopefully they are just genuinely concerned & expressing it poorly.
Another situation we were in that got me thinking about was when we were going through the process we discussed with some people in our support network about their constant criticism in general and explained that this may be damaging for an already vulnerable child. They weren’t willing to listen, understand or change so they are no longer a part of our lives. We now know that our LO has nothing but positivity and by people who are going to give support. For us it wasn’t the end of the world, you have to do what’s best for you and your LO
we have to parent in a way to correct behaviours developed during birth family
Are you able to give examples?
I dont think sarah needs to provide examples, the children's behaviour is not the issue here and she isnt asking for advice about managing them, its the wider family interfering thats the problem
Children who have experienced early, prolonged trauma easily react from a place of survival, and their behaviour needs to be understood from that perspective.
e.g. child is quiet and compliant may mean they are terrified, and a bit of 'answering back' is a good sign!
Equally they may be having a raging meltdown because they are terrified, and they need to be comforted - that isn't 'giving in' to them, it is providing what they need.
Unfortunately there are all too many people who are uninformed but judgemental, who are convinced that they know best for your child, despite having no expertise with traumatised children and no knowledge of your child and their experiences and triggers.
@sarahtwogirls you can try to educate your support network, but ultimately if they are not prepared to accept that you parent in the way that works for you and your children, sadly they are not going to be a support. My closest supports are other adoptive parents and parents of children with SN - because they get what it is like to know what your child needs and still be the target of endless ignorant 'advice'...
@Ted27 @Allington I understand the problem. I thought that here talking through some examples might help.
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