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Episode 66: Traditional Parenting Vs. Trauma-Informed Parenting: Pursuing Connection with Your Child

By February 25, 2019January 3rd, 2023Podcast

Many of our kids have experienced years and years of trauma, so our first job is to get them back to a place of regulation.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Understanding how to best love, teach, and correct our children is something we are continually learning. Add to that, learning to parent kids who have experienced trauma, and things that may have worked for our biological children now seem to have the opposite effect on our kids. In today’s episode, Kristin Berry brings us practical insight and encouragement to help us parent our kids in a way that keep us connected.


1. First, Help Your Child Regulate His Emotions

Many things can trigger the brains of our children with trauma backgrounds and cause them—without thinking—to run to survival mode (fight, flight, or freeze.) Our #1 job as parents is to help our children regulate their emotions to a place of calm so that learning and healing can begin. Parenting this way can look like spoiling or enabling if you’re looking at it through the traditional parenting lens, but as a trauma-informed parent, you are building trust, intentionally. This is your first priority.

2. Take Away the Power of Negative Behaviors

Let’s say your child stole a candy bar and you found out. Don’t give them the opportunity to lie. Instead of asking, “Did you steal the candy bar?”, say something like, “I know you took the candy bar; now we are going to make it right.” This helps alleviate the crazy cycle that often happens when you catch a child in a lie, and they refuse to admit the truth. Deborah Gray says it this way, “What you are doing isn’t working. The negative isn’t working.” This doesn’t negate consequences, but instead, it takes away the power of the lie and puts the focus back on connection and provides a road to healing.

3. Pursue Connection with Your Child

As we consider our relationship with our children, we can learn from our Father, God’s relationship with us. How often do we push Him away, rebel, question His authority, or fight Him? And yet, He pursues us. He loves us. He waits for us, for as long as it takes. He is the ultimate Pursuer. And He loves our children even more than we do. Let’s learn from Him, lean on His strength and consistently pursue the children He has given to us.


Confessions of an Adoptive Parent
The Honestly Adoption Podcast
Born Broken: An Adoptive Journey by Kristen Berry
Promoting Healthy Attachments: Hands-on Techniques to Use with Your Clients by Deborah Gray
Winning The Heart Of Your Child by Mike Berry
Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones


The TFI Story
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Hopefully, this episode has helped you right where you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal. If you enjoyed it, will you tell others?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! Your ratings and reviews help us get this podcast in front of new listeners. Your feedback also lets us know how we can better serve you. Thank you so much!


Meet Our Guest

Kristin Berry and her husband Mike are authors of the popular blog, Confessions of an Adoptive Parent and hosts of the podcast Honestly Adoption. They have been married for 19 years and parents for 16. All 8 of their children joined their family through adoption. They have fostered for 9 years and have had 23 children come through their doors, and are now enjoying their newest adventure called grand-parenting. Confessions of an Adoptive Parent reaches over 100,000 readers monthly in 25 different countries around the globe. Kristen and Mike are also the creators of the support and resource siteOasis Community.

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