Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids by Dr. Gregory Keck and Dr. Regina Kupecky – Without sugar-coating the grim statistics, Adopting the Hurt Child provides real hope that hurting children can be healed through adoptive and foster parents, social workers, and others who care. This book is packed full of great information on understanding children who have been abused and neglected. The companion book, Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow, is also a must-read. We have interviewed both Dr. Keck and Dr. Kupecky on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes – Another great book which goes beyond the theory of why some children struggle to attach and offers a guiding hand and a heavy dose of hope for loving and parenting these children. The first four chapters help parents clearly understand the neurological research behind “The Stress Model”. The next seven chapters are individually devoted to seven behaviors typically seen with attachment-challenged children, including lying, stealing, hoarding and gorging, aggression, defiance and lack of eye contact. We have interviewed Heather Forbes several times on the Creating a Family Show/Podcast.
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah Gray – A classic adoption book and a comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment. Attaching in Adoption gives parents practical strategies to enhance children’s happiness and emotional health. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children’s emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust. Simply the best! Gray has also written a companion book–Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma–for professionals. You can listen to several interviews with Deborah Gray on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins–Best – Adopting a toddler or preschooler presents unique challenges (and opportunities) to adoptive parents. Children adopted between two and four years old often show signs of cognitive and emotional immaturity, which can cause behavioral and relational issues. This book offers support and practical tools to help parents prepare for and support the toddler’s transition between the familiar environment of their biological parent’s home or foster home to a new and unfamiliar one, and considers the issues that arise at different developmental stages. It highlights the challenges that parents are likely to encounter, but also gives positive guidance on how to overcome them. You can listen to my interview with Mary Hopkins-Best on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – This book offers ALL parents a glimpse into what makes their children behave the way they do. Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, this invaluable guide offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling the toughest times. Dr. Kurcinka has devised a plan for success with a simple, four-step program that will help you discover the power of positive—rather than negative—labels, understand your child’s and your own temperamental traits, cope with tantrums and blowups when they do occur, develop strategies for handling mealtimes, bedtimes, holidays, school, and many other situations. You can listen to an interview with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Dr. Karyn Purvis – This book is often the first book that parents read when adopting a child past infancy or a child “from a hard place.” This is an excellent parenting book for all parents regardless how their child joined the family, but it pays special attention to addressing the sometimes complex and confusing behaviors of foster/adopted children. What I appreciate as much as Dr. Purvis’s wisdom is her warmth and compassion for both the child and the parents and her basic philosophy of “focus first on connections and then on corrections.” After reading this book, you will feel hopeful and energized. You can listen to an interview with Dr. Purvis on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby by Martha Sears, R.N. and William Sears, M.D. – Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the doctor-and-nurse, husband-and-wife team who first coined the term “attachment parenting”, answer parents’ most pressing questions about attachment parenting in this practical, inspiring guide to the six “Baby B’s” that form the basis of this popular parenting style: bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, bedding close to baby, belief in the language value of baby’s cry and beware of baby trainers. The Attachment Parenting Book focuses on attachment starting from infancy, which makes it less practical for foster care adoption or international adoption, but it is still a solid introduction to attachment parenting.
Parenting From The Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Dr. Daniel Siegel – Wow, what an empowering book! There is so much parents can do to help their children just by being aware of what gifts and baggage they bring to the table. We love both the spirit of this book and the very practical, hands-on exercises at the end of each chapter. For those of us research/science geeks, there is also a section at the end of each chapter reviewing the relevant research. Can’t recommend enough!
The Complete Book of International Adoption by me (Dawn Davenport) – Not to toot my own horn, but I think the last chapter of my book is one of the best primers on creating healthy attachment in the first year post-adoption.
The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse by Richard Capriola – A non-technical guide for parents to better understand the issues of adolescent substance abuse. Information is provided on identifying and finding treatment, common substances used by today’s young people, and the issues surrounding addiction such as self-harm, disordered eating, and more. The author also includes how to find a counselor and how to know it’s the right fit, with the right help for their child.
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