Ask any new parent or caregiver about the most significant issue they faced in the early weeks or months of welcoming their adopted, foster, or kinship child home. Nine of ten will tell you about their child’s sleep issues.
Understandably, a child impacted by trauma may struggle with sleep. After all, a good night’s sleep usually depends on feeling safe and secure. The recent changes and losses this child experienced can make them feel anything but secure. However, a new adopted, foster, or kinship child might also bring a history of bad experiences at night. Nighttime might trigger fears and memories they could hold at bay during the day. Exhaustion affects a child’s behavior and drains a parent or caregiver’s energy and positive feelings of attachment and care, creating a vicious cycle of challenging sleep issues. Therapy is often crucial in helping these children deal with sleep issues.
While we do not have a magic bullet to get your kids to bed and keep them there, Creating a Family does have resources to help you with sleep issues that adopted, foster, and kinship children may face.