Updated: Sep 13, 2019
With the beginning of school starting up again, the pace of life gets more hectic, and new friends, classes and socializing might invite comments about different types of families, about adoption (insults, assumptions, etc) that seem innocuous but are hurtful. These mini- assaults are called micro-aggressions (miscommunication, and false assumptions about race, culture and history) with strangers.
Make sure to check in with your teen, or child during this time. I often did this by going for a quiet break and included a hot cocoa or breakfast with my teen, tween or child.
All teens, and those who have experienced adoption or foster care, need to feel nurtured, valued and validated when there are transitions happening. New situations and change can trigger feelings of abandonment or disconnection, or depression. Just sharing a few personal moments of laughter and connection can make kids feel you are there for them and help to stay steady instead of spiraling into overwhelm.
Barbara Neiman is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Yoga and Mindfulness teacher, Body-Mind Centering Practitioner, and a National Presenter & Educator. She is the author of The Adopted Teen Workbook, My Calm Place Card Deck and Mindfulness and Yoga Skills for Children and Adolescents. She offers courses and coaching online and in-person to schools and agencies around the country.