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Foster and Adoptive Parents or any non-biological person who is parenting a child may need more insight and understanding into the child they are raising. Dr. Laurie Cigainero gives the following insight for parents on stress and confidence. Please contact us for more information.    
 
 
Stress
 
Foster and Adoptive Parents have the unique experience of not knowing or realizing the full extent of past trauma that their child has experienced and the affects of that trauma on the child's personality and development. Keep in mind that some of the trauma could have been inflicted during pregnancy. 
 
We have all known people who seem to act like children when they are under stress. Perhaps a loved one who throws tantrums or runs out of the room in extreme conflict. It is not unusual for children and adults that have experienced extreme stress to revert to that same age when under extreme stress in the future. For example a child is molested in the bathroom at age 3 will now revert to age 3 when under extreme stress and this may also be indicated in daily restroom or hygiene habits. It is important to note that when you are dealing with an adult that reverts to childhood when under stress you must react to meet the person where they currently are. Talking to an 18 year old the same way you would speak to a 3 year old does not come naturally but remember, under stress the person is 3 years old, stuck in an 18 year old body. When we say meet the person where they are we are saying to keep in mind that we all revert to the age we were when we were under extreme stress.
 
Before you yell and scream at your teenager take a look at the age they first experienced trauma. Would you react this way to a (insert age such as 3 year old) and decide the appropriate response. 
 
Building confidence
 
Dr. Cigainero states that confidence, self worth and trust play a major role in academic success, rule compliance and daily functioning including hygiene. Your child may have to hear you love them and that they are worthy every day for the rest of their lives and perhaps still not believe it. Cigainero suggests making this part of their internal script by speaking these words to your child continuously while they are drifting off to sleep. Entering sleep and hypnosis are every similar states. By speaking these words or even recording these words for your child to listen to as the child drifts off to sleep will help make confidence, self worth and love part of their internal script. "You are loved, you are worthy of the most wonderful things in life, you are smart and talented, you are always going to be loved no matter what" are all positive statements you can speak to your child long after you think they have drifted off to sleep.