No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: Parenting Traumatized Kids

Foster kids and kids adopted from foster care or internationally have often experienced trauma and require a different type of parenting. We share tips and tricks for adoptive and foster parents on what works and what doesn’t. Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Charlie Appelstein, M.S.W., President of Appelstein Training Resources, and author of the book No Such Thing as a Bad Kid.

Hit the Highlights
  • Behaviors, even (or especially) challenging behaviors, are an attempt to relay a message. The natural tendency is to focus on what they did, rather than why they did it.
  • Addressing behavioral problems requires that you deal with the behavior as well as the underlying problem.
  • How does trauma affect the brain?
  • How to respond to a child that has experienced trauma.
  • What discipline works with traumatized kids?
  • How to get through to a child who has been abused?
  • From a social worker standpoint how to help parents who are parenting children who have experienced trauma. Foster parents or adoptive parents.
  • What is a strength based approach to parenting kids who have been exposed to trauma?
  • Disciplining kids without considering the cause of their problematic behavior is like dispensing medication to people without searching for the cause of their symptoms.
  • Any time a challenging kid misbehaves, set your sights on the deeper problem.
  • Why do caring adults lose it when kids misbehave? When our kids act out, we tend to take it personally because we believe their behavior is a reflection on us.
  • Acknowledging that “something isn’t right” doesn’t mean that you did something wrong.
  • Mismatched temperament between the child and the parent.
  • Techniques for preventing challenging behaviors in the first place.
  • Tips for building self-esteem in kids who have experienced trauma.

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Image credit: Heather Katsoulis