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Episode 201: Practical Support for Parenting Children from Hard Places (w/ Kayla Moffitt)

By September 18, 2023The Forgotten Podcast

Are you looking for practical support? Today’s episode is for you.

Kayla Moffitt went from zero to five children through foster care the same week that her dad passed away from COVID-19. She describes it as a “brokenness” that she started her parenting journey from, something that has been a core part of her own healing journey.

The children they took in were siblings living separated in foster care for the majority of their time in care. Kayla and her husband, Jerad, eventually adopted all of them, many of whom have received psychiatric diagnoses like Bipolar Disorder, RAD, Childhood Schizophrenia, and more.

After struggling to navigate the hard moments of parenting and how to support challenging behaviors and actions, Kayla became a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner, which she says truly “saved our family.” In this episode, we dive into various trauma-informed parenting tactics and hope for those who are parenting children from hard places.

You are not alone!


1. You need more than love.

Love is an important part of the equation. However, you also need resources, knowledge, and a support system to succeed in your parenting of kids from hard places. TBRI has played a vital role in Kayla’s parenting and how they have handled their children’s various diagnoses. This is still a hard road and a tool like TBRI won’t instantly “fix” behaviors, but it does give you the necessary tools to prioritize redirecting behaviors and connection with your child.

“Our kids’ behaviors are still there, our struggles are still there, but how we respond and how we care for them is totally different and it has saved our family.”

2. Start by offering reassurance and validation.

Our children are not always in control of their behaviors and they may feel this is what drives people away. As parents, it’s important to offer them reassurance and love. We don’t have to give in to demands or tantrums, but we can shift our own response so that we are not using harsh words or reacting out of our own disregulated place. Instead, get down on their level and reassure them that you still love and accept them.

“This is a challenge, but this doesn’t change our love.”

3. Prioritize healing your own heart and mind.

The things that we don’t deal with in ourselves will leak out and hurt those around us. This is why it is so important to prioritize healing yourself, so you understand the pain and baggage you bring to the relationship with your children. Taking care of yourself first allows you to better care for them.

“There are safe spaces for you to find community. Your insecurity and feelings don’t have to leak out onto your kids.”



We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

Meet Our Guest

Kayla Moffitt is a teacher, writer, speaker, TBRI Practitioner, advocate, communications coordinator for Foster the Family US, and adoptive mama to five siblings from foster care. She loves teaching and training parents to find successful ways to navigate the challenges of parenting children from hard places. Kayla is married to her middle school sweetheart, Jerad. Together they are passionate about keeping siblings together, encouraging foster and adoptive parents, and challenging prevailing narratives about the foster care community.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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