Parenting a child that has walked through trauma can be difficult and tiring. In today’s society, parental burnout and compassion fatigue is at an all-time high, especially for those parenting children and teenagers that have faced trauma.
Whether you are a foster parent, adoptive parent, an involved mentor, or you’re walking through trauma with your biological child, you have an important and difficult job. In this season, it is important to prioritize your own self-care and not neglect your own mental, physical, and spiritual health. Here are a couple of different ways to prioritize your own care when parenting a child with trauma:
Find a Support System
You can’t do this alone. Find a couple of people that you can trust to pray for you and give you wise counsel. It is not wise to internalize all of your parenting struggles, instead, surround yourself with people who see behind the scenes and can encourage you when things are hard – and they are really hard sometimes. Your children and young adults are healing, adjusting, and struggling, therefore, so are you.
Take time for yourself to rest and recharge. Prioritize rest for you and your family and let go of extra commitments and pressure. Try to take short breaks throughout your day, go for a walk alone, and schedule time to get out of the house by yourself.
Remember, rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for overall health and well-being. By prioritizing rest, you can improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and increase your productivity. It is important to sit down and schedule a time to rest and recharge.
If you have people that can watch your children, let them help and let yourself have fun. You might find that your children needed the love of your friends or family and a break just as much as you needed it!
Prioritize Physical Health
Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others! Prioritize exercise, healthy, eating, and sleep so that you can both physically and mentally be available to your family. It is easy to put your own physical needs on the back burner when parenting children that have their own list of needs, but by taking care of your body, you are setting an example for your family and creating a culture of healthy habits within the home!
Accept Grace and Say “I’m Sorry”
You are not perfect. You can read all of the parenting books on trauma-informed care and listen to all of the podcasts on foster care and adoption, but you will never reach perfection in your parenting. Allow yourself to receive grace.
Receive grace and use the words “I’m sorry” with your children or young adults. Instead of seeking perfection, use your mistakes and weakness’ to teach and connect with your children. Allow the Lord to work in your weaknesses and lean into His grace.
Focus on Jesus
In order for us to fully love our children to the end and faithfully fulfill our purpose in their lives, we have to be secure in our calling. We must remember that what God has called us to, He will equip us for and that we aren’t alone – He is with us.
Jesus is the only one that can completely meet our needs. Take your needs to Him. Don’t neglect your relationship with Jesus, because, at the end of the day, He is the one that truly understands your situation best and knows exactly what you and your family need. He loves you. He loves your child or young adult. He knows the trauma that our children have walked through and He understands best what you are presently facing, and He can bring the healing that is needed!
If you feel like you are ready to open your heart to a young adult transitioning out of foster care with no support system or you know of a young adult in Georgia, Virginia, or Texas without stable relationships, contact us today! At Connections Homes, we’re passionate about connecting mentoring families with young adults that need them!