Adopted Children and Behavioral Problems

Cover image of parents with child running on beach adoptive parents handbook help with adoption family issuesAdopted child have you struggling to find balance? Frustrated by behavioral problems?

If you are the parent of an adopted child, you are in the right place. The Brook Institute has countless resources to help you create the loving and healthy environment you have always envisioned for your adoptive family!                  (return to home)

Adopted Child being pulled on floor behavioral problems in adopted children

  • Do you feel controlled by your adopted child? Do they push you away yet demand your attention?
  • Are you exhausted trying to get it right?
  • No matter what you do, does your adopted child complain, act out, or have melt-downs?
  • Is your relationship with your spouse suffering?

Looking for face to face sessions? Read on!

Interested in reading materials? Visit our shop for the Adoptive Parents Handbook and FREE download with tips for Adoptive Parents.

Families of adopted children often engage in the “Adoption Frustration Despair Cycle.” The key is breaking this cycle.

The adoption frustration despair cycle

Are you constantly repeating these steps?:

  1. Alarm – Your child becomes alarmed
  2. Fear – They react with fear or become over-controlling
  3. The Blow-up – They blow up and you blow up (or you both have melt-downs)
  4. Separation – You separate because you need space. (Your adopted child perceives this as abandonment)
  5. Reconciliation – When the heat of the moment has passed, you both seek contact.

You endlessly repeat this cycle which reinforces their inner belief that they are bad.

I am confident you are a great parent. But, adoptive kids have an inner alarm bell that is different than other children. Their first experience was being given away. Nothing soothes that fear without professional intervention. When their inner alarm bell rings, they will act out unless you learn new skills.

Does your adopted child…

  • Try to control you or others
  • Push you away
  • Have unusual demands
  • Need your attention all the time

The hidden story in adoption is fear

Adopted children push you away because that is what happened to them.They are testing you to see if you love them; but it is a test that never ends. They are terrified you will both love them and give them away. Being abandoned at birth imprints an infant’s brain. Even though they were young, or you adopted them at birth, they hold this fear.

They are trying to tell their story, do you know how to listen?

You can break the destructive adoption cycle

In our practice we’ve rescued families and had success in breaking this cycle. Our treatment methods include:

  1. Teaching parents how to better manage the special needs of adopted children
  2. Identify the destructive “bad baby” beliefs of your child
  3. Bring your child’s deep-seated fears to the surface “ I am unloveable, and you will leave me”
  4. Help their brain regulate sensation and respond normally
  5. Acknowledge their emotion and link that emotion to their early need for protection.

We do this protocol in a structured environment that develops the special skills you need as the parent of an adopted child.

Here’s what a family in treatment says about our services to help resolve behavioral problems in adopted children:

“Last night was MUCH better than what we’d been experiencing the last few days. Right after therapy, AR always wants to really connect with me, and includes me in everything, is always checking in with me, and treats me so well. I know it’s because a little space has been opened up through what she pretends not to hear.

Also, I was surprised that she told you about her pets – she has asked me not to say anything about them to you, so you worked your slow magic and she revealed something. Very nice. A good lesson for me in seeing that waiting can work.” L.L.

Begin Your Path To Recovery

  • Commitment of 10 months, 3/sessions/month plus progress evaluations (45 hours)
  • At least one parent must attend every session
  • One hour skype or phone progress evaluation (every 2 months)
  • One hour group call (x3) for Q and A for adoptive parents
  • Parents must send simple email progress notes between sessions
  • Attend at least 3 warm water pool sessions
  • Parents must be open to feedback and support
  • Parents must read educational materials provided around shock and trauma

The first step in getting relief is contacting us today!

Phone: 720-839-4332
Email Subject: Adoption Help

 testimonial from a previously frustrated mom…

KZ (mother of 2 adopted girls from China)

“We have been working with Annie for about 4 months now. I have 2 adopted girls from China, who both carry some deep seated issues from their earliest of days. Some of the issues are abandonment, rejection, traumatic birth and neglect. The manifestation of these issues is not necessarily looked at by Western medicine. They are often just noted as behavioral issues or general learning disabilities.

We moved to Boulder almost 7 years ago and my husband and I both grew up with the practice of Western Medicine and a bit of support from Psychologists. Here in Boulder there are many choices for alternative, touchy feely, out there options. I have to say I was a skeptic. We have tried The Sensory Learning Program, but it did not work for us. We have tried psychologists but it was not right for our kid. Hearing about Annie’s work, again I had my doubts.  But parents will try what they can for their kids.

I am not really sure how Annie does it, but she looks at the whole person, the body, their behaviors, and spirit. Taking all into consideration, she is able to get to the cause of their pain.

Through reflex work, story and play, Annie connects with the girls and works with us to heal their hurt. She is very intuitive and her soft gentle energy has helped us all connect. It makes sense to me now and it is working. We still have a long way to go, but there are signs of healing.”

 Our Ebook is filled with more in-depth support, ideas, and background for helping parents to work skillfully with an adopted child’s needs.