Dear Not What I Asked For, Get help now!  Parenting children impacted by trauma can be exhausting, leaving us with limited reserves for our spouses. It can also expose unresolved issues in our own lives that can cause relationship stressors. In looking for help, make sure a counselor/pastor/mentor understands the dynamics of adoption and trauma […]

Attachment for School Age Children

Dear A Bit Clueless, Focus on three family rules that are principle based. My first is always, “Everybody gets to be safe.”  “Show respect”, “Listen the first time”, “Dad and Mom are the Boss”, and “Do your part” are common ones chosen by families with whom I work.  Establish routines, allowing for significant time at home […]

Stealing Food

Dear Food Cop, Let’s first define stealing. My husband has often taken and eaten food I have identified for a meal. I have never accused him of stealing. It is important to distinguish between stealing and taking without permission. Many of our children have hunger recorded in their implicit memory. Food is often an obsession […]


Dear Need Help, Okay, this is going to be very controversial, but my answer is “don’t.”  Home needs to be a safe and connecting place; power-struggling over homework is counter-intuitive to that goal. School is a stressful environment for our kids due to the stimulating environment, and it often requires all their resources to stay […]