There are so many incredible resources available when it comes to parenting kids who have experienced complex trauma. These are just a few of my personal favorites. I first and foremost practice TBRI parenting (Trust Based Relational Intervention) because I’ve found time and time again that it’s necessary to, “Connect before Correct,” with kids in care. Punitive methods don’t work with kids who have experienced trauma. Thanks to these resources, and our TBRI parenting coach, we have formed an incredibly strong attachment to our adopted sons, and have also had tremendous success in attaching and connecting with our foster children. If you’re considering fostering/adoption, I would definitely take a moment to check some of these out!
The Whole-Brain Child is fantastic because it explains the science behind your child’s brain. It’s not geared specifically to children who have experienced trauma, but instead a great read for every and all types of parents. The thing I love about this book is how it gives real life examples and solutions when it comes to dealing with common behaviors. This book is easy to read, entertaining, and extremely useful.
The Connected Child is the holy grail of foster/adoption parenting books. Seriously. If you only read one book as a foster/adoptive parent- this is it. This book was written by Dr. Karyn Purvis, the founder of TBRI and it was a an immediate game changer in our home. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who works with children.
“Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.” Dr. Laura Markham is the reason I can keep my calm in the most hectic moments. This book is all about “Connecting before Correcting” and it’s especially necessary for parenting children who have experienced trauma. I refer back to this book over and over and over again- to remind myself how to be the mother my children deserve.
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control was written by Heather T. Forbes, LCSW who is an adoptive mother of her two children. This book is geared towards foster and adoptive parents parenting children with severe behavioral problems. I love this book because it goes over common situations, and how to appropriately respond in a therapeutic way. It explains the reasoning behind your child’s behavior, and it allows you to look at it from a place of compassion instead of anger. This isn’t your typical parenting book, and it’s really nice to read something I can resonate with.
This book is wild. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma is all about the science of how trauma impacts a person. It’s compassionate, informative and extremely eye opening, especially if you’re new to parenting children with trauma. Fair warning- it’s also really “heavy” in terms of the content it’s discussing. Although it can be extremely uplifting in the sense that it discusses what therapy methods DO work to treat PTSD and trauma. This book is a must for parents of children from hard places.
“Parenting With Connection” is hands down my favorite Facebook group. It’s based on TBRI principles and it’s extremely supportive. I’ve learned so much from the parents on here, and I truly appreciate all the members of this group who come together to help other parents. It’s an amazing community to be a part of and I strongly recommend it for any foster/adoptive parent.
This group has been incredibly eye opening. It’s made up of adult transracial adoptees as well as foster and adoptive parents. I think the most valuable parenting advice should come from adoptees who have gone through what my children are currently living through. This group has made me sit back, challenge my personal beliefs and make me aware of biases I didn’t even know that I had.
This Facebook group is AMAZING if you’re a new parent to a child outside your race. You can ask questions about hair styling, products, and skin care. It’s extremely supportive and just a great group to be a part of.
I love this group because it’s extremely progressive and child-centered. There are many FFY (former foster youths) in this group, and because of their vulnerability and openness, I have learned so much. This group advocates hard for reunification and birth families which is something I really appreciate.
This Facebook group is full of great ideas on how to initiate and maintain great relationships with your child’s birth families after adoption. I haven’t been extremely active in this group, but I’ve loved some of the discussions that have popped up.
This Facebook group is full of information if you’re wanting to explore more natural alternatives for your child’s ADHD. Thanks to this group I’ve learned a tremendous amount about natural supplements, probiotics, CBD oil, diet, and trauma.
Other TBRI Resources
This two day conference is life giving for any foster or adoptive parents. It’s put on by the The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development so everything is based around TBRI principles. It’s typically held in Spring, and it’s live streamed throughout the nation. Attendance is often free and they sometimes even have child care available.
Finding a TBRI therapist/ parenting coach has played a huge role in our families success. Here’s a link where you can find TBRI practitioners in your area.