Thursday, December 6, 2012

Behaving Badly at Christmas: Is it about Adoption?


Thank you so much for your encouraging response to my last post, It's Jesus' Birthday, and He Doesn't Mind. One thing I'm getting from your comments is that large gatherings with extended family are a big challenge at this time of year.

I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the big Christmas celebration with extended family is usually festive chaos to the extreme -- lots of people, lots of food, lots of noise, lots of gifts -- and for some of our kids, it can push them over the edge.

The second reason it's hard is that if our kids should melt down at a big family gathering, it's easy for people who aren't familiar with parenting kids with a background of trauma to offer lots of "unhelpful" advice. We, the parents, find ourselves trying to explain their behavior and our responses to people who think a good swat on the bottom would solve everything.

When our kids are "behaving badly" it's easy for folks to wonder, "Is that really adoption related. . . or not?" Sometimes we wonder the same thing.

Here's a short video from Empowered to Connect that addresses the question.

Encouraging you to remember where your child has come from this Christmas. Keep parenting with wisdom and compassion!

Check out Our Adoption Toolbox for more older child adoption tools.


  1. Thank you for that insightful video!

  2. So nice to know we are not alone on this journey. We have a wonderful little boy that was adopted 2-1/2 years ago (this will be his third Christmas). Our son is also Deaf and had no language when he came to us at 6. Large parties are so difficult! While we know adoption plays a part we are also dealing with Deafness and possibly Autism (waiting on the results of that testing). He is a happy little guy that really can't communicate....and although the family knows this they still think we should treat him just like "any other" child. Christmas turns into a very stressful time for Mom and Dad as we try to protect him and allow him to enjoy the holiday at his pace. This season we celebrate the birth of our Savoir - who lived with Grace....I just wish our families would also extend grace.

    1. Lisa - Thanks so much for stopping by. I just went over and visited your blog. I recognized it from visiting before, but it was probably a long time ago. Hang in there and do what's best for your family. Merry Christmas!


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