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Attention seeking aggression

49 replies

Aswegoalong · 22/08/2020 21:15

I posted on here before about our recently placed 18 month old. I got some great advice about how to handle his meltdowns which now thankfully have decreased in length. I am now struggling with the appropriate reaction to his aggressive behaviour with me in particular. With both my husband and I he can be quite willful but mostly relaxed and cooperative in the end but some of the time if and when he wants to express his frustration, it seems to be more directed at me. He'll hit me in the face and I will stop him by holding his arms and firmly but naturally saying 'no' and if it happens more than a couple of times, standing up and distancing myself from him. I am wondering whether I am being too neutral in my voice, I don't want to show anger. I know he needs to get his feelings out because he's been through such a massive upheaval but this (unpredictable) behaviour is chipping away at my energy and I don't want to set a precedent for being used as an emotional punch bag.

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mahrezzy · 23/08/2020 17:02

My son is 26 months and he doesn’t often get physical but he sometimes does kick, hit or bite. He actually does it far less than my friends who have birth children.

If he does it once I move away from him so he can’t repeat his mistake - I don’t think you should sit close to him while he’s in that frame of mind as he WILL hit you and it’s setting him up to do that. I move away, say I’m going to sit near him calmly until he’s calmed down and tell him we don’t hurt each other (we have a stock phrase often repeated) and sit it out like I would with a non physical tantrum. Then I give him hugs and go about our day. He’s too young to discuss what’s happening but I can be present with him with his feelings to show they’re bearable without getting hurt.

Jellycatspyjamas · 24/08/2020 10:31

How recently placed is recent? He’ll be dealing with some very big feelings and if he’s witnessed violence it may be that subconsciously he’s had messages that violence is the way to deal with overwhelming feelings.

As well as dealing with the immediate hitting, I’d be generally doing lots of emotional literacy work with him (eg naming feelings “you seem really angry, I wonder if you’re feeling frustrated/sad/whatever you’re picking up from him”). We would play games like show he your happy face, sad face, angry face or when I’m happy I feel (warm and fluffy, sunshine in my tummy etc) to help him make the link between feelings and emotions. I also wonder if giving him alternative ways to disperse the energy caused by feelings (eg jumping up and down, dancing it out, making lots of noise, banging on a drum or pits and pans). I’d also help him nurture home self and others - lots of caring play with dolls or teddies using gentle hands.

How is he with touch generally, will he let you tickle him or put cream on after bathing etc, if possible work on gentle touch when he’s not dysregulated so he has a model of positive touch.

I agree with not sitting too close, if he’s in fight or flight he’s going to lash out - it’s about helping him cope with triggers so sitting with him but not too close - lots of calming voice, gentle reminders about you loving him and him being safe with you.

If you look at it as triggered behaviour it might help you not feel it too personally.

Aswegoalong · 27/08/2020 19:02

Thank you very much @Jellycatspyjamas and @mahrezzy. The services have provided us with a therapist so we are going to be able to discuss this online. I will post an update. Just to clarify, we've had him for 4 weeks. I'm trying to give him cuddles when he is receptive but sometimes he will 'flip' from being sweet and affectionate to hitting me. That's why it's hard to predict. I do appreciate your support and will update you when I have had more advice. Smile

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Jellycatspyjamas · 28/08/2020 07:45

At 4 weeks and being non verbal, he’s communicating how he’s feeling - which is perfectly normal levels of fear, frustration and anger, sadness and grief. Imagine how you’d feel if 4 weeks ago every single thing in your life changed completely - including the people you lived with a who provided care for you - changed. Imagine you couldn’t talk anyone about it or understand why. I’d be hitting too.

I’d really be naming feelings for him, helping him find ways to disperse the energy from this emotions - and being close. He’s very very little and certainly small enough to restrain if he is hitting. Catching and moving his hands away, changing a “hit” into a “clap”, lots of singing songs with big actions.

He needs help to cope with his feelings (and you may find you need help to cope with yours too Wink), but think of his behaviour as communication and think what he might be communicating in the midst of all his huge losses. It’ll make it easier if you understand why he might be doing it.

I doubt he’s a violent child, as such, he just as no other way - in his shoes I’d be hitting out too.

Jellycatspyjamas · 28/08/2020 07:52

I am now struggling with the appropriate reaction to his aggressive behaviour with me in particular. With both my husband and I he can be quite willful but mostly relaxed

I just wanted highlight this - you’re ascribing a level of thought or motive that your child is too young to have developed. He’s too little to be purposefully willful - at this stage of fever he doesn’t yet have a sense of self and “other” or that what he does affects other people. He also won’t have a sense of wanting to be aggressive or punishing - all of his behaviour at this stage is about trying to get his needs met. He’s in survival mode and trying to not die while coping with very big feelings. If you try to understand it from his place (scared and trying to survive) rather from your place (child is willful and aggressive), you’ll free up so much creativity to help you work with the behaviour while building a bond with him.

Not sure if any of that helps - I know I found changing my language and understanding of what behaviours were really helped me find ways through (or just not feel so useless as a parent).

Aswegoalong · 21/09/2020 19:25

Hi @Jellycatpyjamas and others,
I've been so caught up with everything - I didn't actually see your second message.
I really appreciate what you are saying and having talked to the therapist and other more experienced people, I totally understand that it isn't about my feelings and that he isn't doing this consciously. The therapist also suggested that I turn it into a clapping game - which I have been doing.
Tonight tho, he seemed to want more than the strategies I've been using.
I have been saying maybe he is feeling sad and confused and tried suggesting he might want a cuddle instead - but now he seems to want a different reaction - i.e. I feel as if he is experiencing my reaction as unnatural and I am also confused - as in - if it's anger - then should I name that as 'cross'? I feel a bit weird about channelling it into clapping games.

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sassygromit · 21/09/2020 20:42

I am not completely sure if I understand you correctly but if you feel he is angry, then you can say "are you feeling angry?" - anger is a good healthy emotion. It is what we learn to do with our anger which is important. "Cross" is different from anger. Have you any idea what he is angry about? If you could work that out, then saying that would be better than just referring to the anger.

I have not yet come across the strategy of turning it into a clapping game - as you say, if he is feeling anger, I don't think it would be helpful to turn that into a clapping game.

Strategies which I am aware of are:

  • connecting (as you are doing, by empathising and talking) modelling (you and your dh always managing your emotions in healthy ways) and teaching (eg taking his hands and saying gently "no, hands are not for hitting" there are a lot of books and youtube videos aimed at young children to help with this)
  • upping the TLC and 1:1 generally - upping the playing with him both in terms of run around play with him, kicking a ball together, finding flowers, but also sit down play with toys specifically for 18 month olds.
sassygromit · 22/09/2020 10:29

PS I have just realised where the misunderstanding over clapping "game" comes from.

There are 2 different things here:
1 connecting - I think that in the moment to try to turn his anger into a game might be invalidating, better to connect about the feelings and say clearly but gently that hands are not for hitting (this will need to be reinforced many times..)
2 teaching at other times when you are teaching the social skill that hands are not for hitting - they are for clapping, waving, making food, shaking hands, etc etc etc - at those times (ie when he is not angry) you can do things like clapping and waving together - I think that that what was meant by the game.

Aswegoalong · 22/09/2020 15:28

Hi @sassygromit. That is a good point. That sounds like a good segue into the clapping game. To say 'hands are not for hitting' and then say 'we can clap with hands like this' and signal the start of the game or song. Today I tried avoiding the slap by moving in time then I ignored smaller slaps then I tried the turning the turning it into an action song, singing 'wind the bobbin up' which he waited for the end of before giving me a massive slap across the face. I then covered my face with my hands and properly cried. Not for the first time as a result of the hitting. As with the previous time he naturally started to cry too and stopped when I stopped. My husband came back then and d.s. then resumed hitting more lightly this time to see how my

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Aswegoalong · 22/09/2020 15:51

Cont. From previous post. D.s then resumed hitting me to see how my husband would react. His behaviour is completely polarised with one type for me and the opposite for my husband. I will try what you suggest @sassygromit as that sounds much more coherent and congruent. Especially as I am trying to help him name his feelings. I also like the distinction between 'angry' and 'cross' because you are right, they're not the same. I was thinking 'cross' is a kiddy version of 'angry' and not sure if it was appropriate to say 'angry' with him, but it sure feels like anger.

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sassygromit · 22/09/2020 17:00

Today I tried avoiding the slap by moving in time then I ignored smaller slaps then I tried the turning the turning it into an action song, singing 'wind the bobbin up' which he waited for the end of before giving me a massive slap across the face I don't know for certain but my very strong feeling here is that you should not be ignoring any slaps, even small ones, but instead being really gently assertive (but very firm) every single time saying "no - hands are NOT for hitting" and as you say in your second post, don't turn it into a game or song at that point. The talking about feelings sounds really good and if you could try to work out the source of the anger and "name" it that would be really good for you/him.

For other calmer times these are examples of youtube videos/reading of a book - there may be better ones for toddlers I am not sure, these are just examples of things my dc liked (though an earlier version of the book reading) and they had a positive impact over time:

Jellycatspyjamas · 22/09/2020 18:02

Turning it into a clapping game may be about trying to redirect the physical energy he needs to expend. In very simple terms, if you think of yourself when you feel anxious or angry you’ll maybe feel restless, unable to physically settle? Because the chemical reactions happening in your body promote movement (eg pacing, shaking, fidgeting, wringing hands etc). The slapping may be about aggression but if you have a sense that he’s angry, he’ll have excess energy to expend (which he expends just now by hitting) - so anything which keeps him moving is no bad thing. The problem with turning it into a game is that it can feel dismissive of his actual feelings (angry) - if you think how it feels when your partner laughs or jokes when you’re feeling angry...

You could try redirecting to other hitting activity like hitting a drum, banging pots and pans, or throwing things which gets rid of the energy, makes lots of noise and does expel angry, anxious energy. It may be the particular hitting motion he needs.

When he’s calmer action songs, clapping or ball rolling might help him find other ways to use his hands but in the moment of him being angry I stay with acceptable hitting. You could also try mimicking games like making faces at each other, copying games to try and build connection in a physical way but without physical contact?

Jellycatspyjamas · 22/09/2020 18:03

I meant to say, I’d be totally happy talking about anger to little ones, it’s an important, healthy emotion and one we shy away from all too often.

You’re doing a great job, just in case you don’t feel like that.

Aswegoalong · 24/09/2020 21:20

Thanks again @jellycatspyjamas and @sassygromit
The videos are a great idea as are redirecting to energetic activity.
Update. I am learning to distinguish between when he is (lightly) hitting to get my attention, which I feel comfortable responding to by saying 'I think you want my attention, what is it?' I'm also saying 'you can just say 'mummy?' instead'.
I have been showing him what hands are for, but definitely, the clapping games don't substitute for hitting if he his doing it more forcefully or seems angry with me.
I can say 'are you angry with me?' but my point is, if I ask that - of course he can't reply (he doesn't know the word 'yes' yet - only 'no', so that wouldn't be a fair question. Today, I said, 'are you angry?' in a rhetorical way, and then, even though it felt weird, used what the therapist had suggested i.e. jumping - and I think it helped - I said 'why don't you do some jumping' and he really got into it.
It's always going to be a mixture of things - I also said a firm 'no' at one point today, but that won't work except for a minority of the time.
I've been looking at this free training on inspire.

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Aswegoalong · 24/09/2020 21:23

as i reread that, I realise it sounds impossible that he can't say 'yes' - he would show me if i had guessed right about him being angry. Also - I see no one has suggested that the question should be 'are you angry with me?' and see that as quite telling. I don't need to put myself in the frame.

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Jellycatspyjamas · 24/09/2020 21:54

You’re right, you don’t need to put yourself in the frame at all. What I’ve found useful is wondering out loud - “I wonder if you’re feeling angry, annoyed, tired etc”, “I wonder if you’re bored with x now, I wonder if you’d like to try Y”. Or sometimes “oh you look like a tired wee soul, I think you might be sleepy”.

That way you aren’t inviting a dialogue or asking him to answer you but you are proving some feedback about his feelings or mood. If you think about the way new parents almost babble to their babies in that sing song “oh you look all wet, let’s get you changed, ah you’re nice a clean and dry now, that feels better doesn’t it” etc etc that’s what you’re trying to recreate albeit with an older baby.

You’re doing so very well with him, i admire how committed you are to getting things right for him, well done you.

sassygromit · 25/09/2020 09:25

I think that the most important thing you are aiming for is to understand where his anger (or other emotion) at that time, specifically, comes from, so that you can empathise, talk about it, make changes as necessary - so seeking the real reason for the anger or whatever emotion. This is really hard if you are at the very start of the relationship with him as you are still getting to know each other. But as you get to know him this will get easier for you over time. You spending time with him 1:1 playing and talking now means you are getting to know him. And this will really lay good foundations for the years ahead as you will build on the relationship and connection over time, and at times of struggle it will be easier to get the connection back.

You naming the emotion correctly and consistently is something different, it means he is learning the language for feelings gradually over time, but for him to feel connected to you and well understood by you is more important at this stage, and you are right, there is no possibility an 18 month old would be able to say yes or no to your wonderings or questions. Instead of "wondering", at this age I would try to play detective to work out where the anger is coming from. Or any other emotion. It could be many years before he could say to you "yes mummyi am angry"!

So it isn't really to do with putting yourself in the frame or not in the frame - it is to do with getting to know him and working out how he thinks and feels - sometimes it might be you in the frame, but that isn't the point, the point is to work out what it is and deal.

The website which I have found most helpful for explaining all this and more (and she will do it better than me) is ahaparenting- the person writing it is a clinical psychologist and she has a talent for communicating it in layperson terms and she seems passionate about helping parents! This link below is one article about toddlers and "social intelligence" and will cover some of the things we have talked about and more. At the top of the webpage is the link to "toddler" with all toddler articles (and then to "preschooler" for preschooler articles and so on). She will explain at each step what you would expect a child to understand or not understand. I fnd her website so helpful.

Another thing I'd recommend is Penelope Leach's book "Your Child Aged 1-5" book as she will do something similar but she also list out lots of play ideas suitable for each age/stage of development - doing these with your dc will really help him flourish and again help you get to know each other and strengthen the relationship.

I think if he has stopped when you said "no" even once that sounds really good - a lot of the time he might ignore you but saying "no we don't hit" or whatever explanation you want to use, will work and pay dividends over time, if the connection and empathy is also there Smile

I hope that this all makes sense and sorry about length I had to bash it out quickly

Aswegoalong · 25/09/2020 19:13

You guys are frickin amazing @jellycatspyjamas and @sassygromit. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you being here for me and providing me with actual realtime advice. You are the most useful people in my life right now (apart from.dh) and I will be reading your posts carefully tonight xx

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Aswegoalong · 08/11/2020 13:42

@Jellycatspyjamas @mahrezzy @sassygromit or anyone else with adoption experience if you are still out there. We have hit a new bump in the road. As I write this, i realise i know the answers already because in a way I was wishing the playgrounds were locked down again (don't shoot me anyone) just because our issue now is with other children. We went thru a phase in the first two months with over enthusiastic hugging leading often to biting and now it's more common to see him pushing other children and grabbing their noses and mouths because he either wants a toy from them or wants them to get off the slide. I usually stay nearby but it's very unpredictable and he had been getting a bit better. This behaviour seems to do the rounds of me/my husband/other children. It's so much easier to deal with when he's directing it at us cos we can distract or explain that it hurts depending on the situation. Other children are usually too shocked to do anything and freeze, which allows him to carry on. I have been swooping in and carting him off from the scene and trying to refocus him or leaving the playground as it often occurs when I am trying to move him on. We have been going to the same playground for weeks now in the spirit of maintaining routine but maybe this is no longer working for him and we need to find somewhere else or avoid the park completely, especially as it has been very crowded since lockdown. I know these answers really, I suppose I just want to know how to deal with the face grabbing for the occasions we do still see other children as I don't want to pass on any opportunities for him to see them.This behaviour happens even in quieter settings with just one other child and I don't want to lecture him. In the rest of our interactions, I'm using 'natural consequences' as recommended by Sarah Naish and Dan Hughes. 'You don't want to get dressed, we can't go to.the park then' but I don't know how to make the natural consequences connect with the grabbing other than physically removing him. He's been with us for just over 3 months. He's 22 months old and was 4 months when he was placed with his one and only foster family. He witnessed domestic violence in his birth family and was neglected, being looked after largely by his 8 year old sister.

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Jellycatspyjamas · 08/11/2020 17:43

I wonder if using social stories might help? There are some lovely books which are based around social stories and help children to understand what’s expected of them in various situations. Hands are not for Hitting and the Little Dino books are good (there’s one about biting which might be useful). Social stories are often used for children with communication or processing difficulties but they work really well with small children too because they are picture based so are interesting for little ones.

The beauty is that you can make your own if you’re able to draw (or print pictures online or take photos and print them). Important elements of doing your own are to make the story about him, use familiar images (eg of him playing nicely, of the park you go to) and be very specific about the behaviour expected of him. For example, a social story about him going to the park, playing nicely and children being happy to see him - or one about him finding it hard to play with others and hurting them which includes him changing and using gentle hands. There are some good online resources that show you how.

You can also help him learn to play nicely by role playing with his toys (look it’s teddy’s turn with x toy, let’s ask him to give you a turn) and practice turn taking and asking for things at home.

I’d also give him ways to let you know he’s getting tired, frustrated or whatever is leading to the grabbing behaviour - I can imagine his sibling grabbing him like that, for example and he may think that’s how you connect with people. It may also be developmental - I know friends who have toddlers who poke and grab their siblings faces, pull glasses off etc.

If you notice it happening when you’re trying to move him on it may be a transition thing - you may already do this but try giving him notice of when you’re moving on to something else. My two are much older but still need a “5 minutes more” when we’re moving on or going to be leaving. Make moving on seem exciting - I tend to bribe my two with the promise of hot chocolate, tv or something because they think leaving the park means an end to fun, they find it easier to leave if they know specifically what’s coming next if that makes sense.

At his age if focus on the behaviour you do want, praise him every single time he gets it right and remove or distract if he can’t manage. Consequences at that age are hard to connect with behaviour so I’d focus on the positives.

percypetulant · 08/11/2020 19:35

I would suggest thinking younger- younger babies don't have any manners with other children, and we don't expect them to play with, just alongside. Maybe he isn't ready for interactions with other children?

I know how mortifying it can feel when your child hurts another, and he may pick up on your shame, and feel more shame himself.

Can you go to the quieter parks, or earlier/later than others? I would avoid, as he's telling you he can't cope there. At only three months in, crowded parks would be really difficult, lots of noise, adults, etc.

Post-adoption support should be able to help. We got really good advice managing aggression, albeit with an older child. The help we got was miraculous. I'm not saying we never get aggression, but I'm no longer terrified he's going to kill me without meaning to (not being flippant).

It sounds like he really struggles with transition, maybe sign post those more, and reduce the transitions in the day, if you can.

You're doing well, you really are. It's early days.

Fairybatman · 08/11/2020 22:48

If he is 18 months I’d try imagining him as 9-12 months. Our children usually have some level of delay because of their experiences. It’s not unusual for a baby to grab and pull at faces, and he is doing the same.

You need to be 100% consistent whether that’s with redirecting, ignoring, whichever strategy and definitely don’t let the little slaps slide. “I know that you want my attention but you need to say mummy or touch gently, hitting is not OK”

We had the same situation with DS lashing out at me and fever with DH, and it’s taken time, but it has improved.

sassygromit · 09/11/2020 14:32

I am just going to respond to what you have asked about playing with other children first and then post separately about the sources of help which you have mentioned.

I think that with the other children you are doing exactly right if you swoop in as soon as he gets physical with them, and whether you can intervene but allow them to carry on playing or take your dc away will depend on the circumstances and also how your dc is reacting to your intervention. If you are able to be near enough to watch interactions all the time, you will notice whether or not the other child has snatched a toy or done something to enrage your dc or whether your child has seemingly attacked the other child without reason and obviously how you deal with each scenario will depend on this sort of thing. You might sometimes be able to intervene before things get out of hand, or intervene with ideas to prevent things getting out of idea, eg saying "no one is playing with that - why don't you play with that" - it depends on how well he is accepting guidance from you.

Basically the same theories apply (imo) as those I gave above - you remove the hands and explain hands are not for hitting, you stay connected and talk about the social situation with him, and you also think about the underlying feelings he has, anger, and how you can help him with that. which I linked upthread and mention above will have a lot of guidance about this for your dc's age group as this is the age when children are starting to learn to interact socially with each other more and to have some control over their emotions. This will be useful for you here with ideas and guidance and day to day things, how to handle it when they don't want to get dressed for example, and it will also help you build up some knowledge about the wide range of "normal" vs "not normal" so that you are clear about when to seek professional help over the years. It will also help you to not do things which may in fact make things worse - and I personally would put the "consequence" you referred to in that category, I agree with pp that he is too young to understand, and I think it might make him angry and there are better ways to handle the situation. A good way to find something on aha quickly is to google “[your question] ahaparenting” and that usually takes you straight to what is there

There are a lot of other ways you can get social interaction for your dc, though limited by covid. I think looking for a new park is a good idea. If your dc has bonded at all with any kids it is worth talking to their parents to see if they want to meet up in a less crowded part of the park for a runaround, games with balls. Subject to covid there are a lot of parent child activities aimed at his age which may work better for him, such as circuit gym, group swimming with mothers, dance - the fact that these are more structured might help. Again it depends on how he is in these situations at the moment. There are some really good play groups who advertise - again I am not sure what the covid rules are as my dc are now older. I think having a cram packed day with lots of different activities works best for this age - like searching for dinosaurs in a forest followed by play dough play at home etc.

It just depends on how or well he copes with the various different things but NB how he copes first time will be different from how he copes subsequent times so don't necessarily give up on things just because the first time is so traumatic for you that you want to run and hide!

Penelope Leach who is a psychologist wrote "Your child 1- 5" (not exact title, something like that) many years ago and has updated it from time to time, and it has a lot of really good ideas about social interaction and ideas for activities and care needs for this age group and also explains the reasoning by reference to the child's stage of development.

It sounds like you are doing brilliantly and I am very sorry about length of this.

sassygromit · 09/11/2020 14:38

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sassygromit · 10/11/2020 19:33

This is about sources re adoption parenting– I am very sorry about length of all this in advance, misunderstandings have come up on a different thread.

In adoption, there appears to be two types of "therapeutic parenting", one being “evidence based” ie based on peer reviewed scientific research and the other, not evidence based.

Evidence based parenting advice is based on some fifty years of peer reviewed research in relation child development and parenting methods. "Clinical psychologist" is a protected title (in the same way as doctor or solicitor is a protected title) requiring doctorate level training. falls within “evidence based” - it is extensive, comprehensive advice with practical examples and explanations and written by a clinical psychologist who also has extensive professional experience. My understanding is that if you seek post adoption therapeutic work such as Theraplay it will be evidence based (or undergoing) or developed by someone with high level qualifications and expertise in “evidence based” (such as DDP developed by Dan Hughes) or assessments by the same. Penelope Leach who I mentioned in a previous post is a psychologist. There is a concern amongst adopters that they should not use “normal” parenting advice as it includes punishments etc and “special” parenting is needed but in fact I this appears to be a huge misunderstanding – the evidence based “normal” parenting is fundamentally “therapeutic” - eg punishments and time outs and not “natural” consequences are not recommended, and so it looks and feels like the “therapeutic” parenting adopters talk of... it is also heavily centred around the need to stay connected with your child.

To the best of my knowledge any and all “therapeutic” adoption parenting devised by qualified advisers such as Dan Hughes will be in line with “evidence based” “normal” parenting - I would be surprised if he himself has recommended consequences along the lines of what you have quoted?

Alongside is this “special” but non evidence based "therapeutic parenting" which are ideas developed by people with some personal experience but who are not psychologists (or psychiatrists) and the ideas are not evidence based (though some ideas may be originally and loosely based on “evidence based” ideas) – there is a proliferation of this in adoption for one reason or another. Some may be damaging. I would advise to check out credentials of advisers to see if they are clinical psychologists or psychiatrists or similar, and if not to check with them whether or to what extent their suggestions are evidence based.

My strong recommendation is to stick with evidence based such as "ahaparenting" which I mentioned above until you have a really good handle on "evidence based" so that you can form qualitative judgements about other advice. I said in my last post that it would also help to judge “normal” vs “not normal” and I also think that it is not possible to get a handle on developmental trauma (including, potentially, attachment problems) without a decent backdrop of understanding of normal development, from “evidence based” sources.

“Ahaparenting” and the Penelope Leach book are full of practical parenting tips about how to handle young children in an age appropriate way, all evidence based and with explanations by reference to development. I do believe following this “evidence based” advice will significantly improve outcomes for adoptees, and very significantly affect their well being and their behaviour and autonomy and responsibility and ability to do well at school etc etc

NB what I have said is based on my experience as an adoptee and as a parent, and having read up on evidence based advice - I am not a professional in this area. One of my (biological) dc suffered a trauma when they were 2 years and needed years of therapeutic work to get them back on track and so I read up extensively to try to make sure I understood what was going on. My dc has substantially recovered now.

Sorry again about length.

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