Skip to main content

Trauma-Informed Parenting: Building Connections With Your Child

By June 28, 2021July 6th, 2021Podcast

Does your child ever just get on your last nerve? Have you had a meltdown of your own after a really hard day? Does it feel like your parenting techniques that have worked with other kids in your care just aren’t working anymore? As parents, we’ve all experienced this more times than we would care to count. When our kids have significant trauma in their past, and we have our own triggers from our past, it can make for a really challenging journey.

Ryan and Kayla North know firsthand what that is like! They have 10 years under their belt as foster parents and today they develop training and programs on childhood trauma. Join me as Ryan and Kayla share perspective shifts we need when raising kids with traumatic backgrounds, how our own childhood trauma may be impacting our relationship with our kids, practical ways to parent with connection as the primary goal, why we can’t care for our children if we’re not caring for ourselves, and so much more. This was such a rich episode, and I look forward to hearing what stands out most to you!


1. We all have healing to do.

It can oftentimes be easy to spot trauma in other people and in our kids. What’s difficult is recognizing the healing necessary for ourselves. We may not have experienced extreme forms of trauma, but we all carry the effects of our childhood with us. We need to first look at our own childhood and make sense of it before we can effectively support our kids in their trauma.

“If we don’t continue to do the work to make sense of our own histories, those are the things that are going to trigger us in relationship with our kids.

2. Set appropriate expectations.

It’s easy to slip into thinking that our child should be able to do “normal” things for a child that is twelve, five, or insert your child’s age. But in reality, setting appropriate expectations means that we can’t assume our kids were taught how to do something, or even are at a place that they fully understand the expectations we have of them. It’s important that we take the time to graciously show and teach our children something before we hold them accountable to it.

“If we haven’t taught it to them, we can’t expect them to do it.”

3. Connect with your child first.

When your kids first wake up, before you jump into the tasks and craziness of your schedule, take just five minutes to make a connection with your child. Sit down and talk about a story. Play a silly game. Laugh together. Sometimes as parents, we latch onto changing behavior, but we skip the connection necessary for a meaningful relationship. Kayla challenges us to set a timer for five minutes to create fun, laughter-filled connection with our child before we do anything else.

“What if I parented my kids in a way that let God know I’m grateful for the gift He gave me?”



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

Ryan and Kayla North have 6 children, 4 of whom were adopted out of foster care. They have 10 years experience as foster parents and co-founded One Big Happy Home. Ryan and Kayla are experts on childhood trauma and developed training materials and programs for churches, schools, and fellow parents. Ryan and Kayla have had the privilege of working with some of the most respected voices in the fields of Developmental Trauma and Attachment including: Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, Dr. Curt Thompson, Dr. Tina Payne-Bryson, Cindy Lee, and Jayne Schooler. 

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

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

Get encouragement and updates in your inbox.

Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

S1E11: Why No Act of Kindness Is Insignificant to a Child in Foster Care

| Podcast | No Comments
Nicole Argo is a pastor’s wife and mom of two who grew up in foster care. Nicole’s story explains the emotions and struggles children often face when in foster care. She shares how critical every…
three men and laughing two women walking side by side

S3E10: Help for Parents of Teenagers

| Podcast | No Comments
Josh Shipp admits to being a hard to handle teen in foster care. He had “mastered the art” of getting kicked out of foster homes, but his life changed due to a caring adult who…
wave pathway at the top of mountain

S2E9: Navigating the “Messy and Complicated” Path of Foster Parenting

| Podcast | No Comments
Brittany Lind and her husband, Joel, didn’t overthink the idea of becoming foster parents. Adoption was part of the church culture she experienced in college—it was preached and lived out on a regular basis. When…