Parenting Adopted, Foster, and Diagnosed Challenging Children

My wife Susan and I fostered 27 children and adopted 4 from the Virginia Foster Care System ages 6, 16, 17, and 21. We served as emergency placement parents, taking sibling groups at all hours, and helped to evaluate the children for agencies. We loved it for 13 years. We eventually partnered with Bryan Post and Kristi Saul, founders of The Post Institute and served as the partners for 10 years creating love based family-centered training materials for parents and professionals with adopted, foster and diagnosed children in their care. We know what it takes to love and parent these children that come from hard places—unconditional love. The kind of love where there is nothing that a child can do to earn it, and nothing that a child can do to lose it. Choose Love.

The Post Institute is dedicated to families with challenging children. Adopted, Foster, Diagnosed And Attachment Disorders, RAD, PTSD, ODD, Autism, Aspergers & More There Is Hope . . . There Is Help!

They offer a love based, family-centered approach for helping children with challenging behaviors.

All these articles were first published in the Post Parenting Toolbox Series. To sign up for these weekly inspirational emails, visit The Post Institute website here.

Below are just a sampling of the articles. To view the full archive, visit here.

The Post Institute is a leading publisher of love based Family-Centered training material for parents and professionals with adopted, foster and diagnosed children in their care. Their radically new and uniquely different approach to parenting difficult children and managing disruptive behaviors empowers parents to create an optimal healing environment in the lives of children that come from hard places. How do They do it? With love. The kind of love that there is nothing a child can do to earn, and nothing a child can do to lose.

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What's Your Grief?

4/12/2021 LoveMore Blog |So start now, dear parents, living a full-er life where your grief and gratitude are both part of the life you share with your children. Keep one in each hand and don’t deny your family the benefits of your suffering. Grief is nothing new to the children you are trying to love. For some, that has been their whole life. Fill their hand with something for them to be grateful for and your gratitude will also grow ... Learn More →

How to Rebuild and Repair Relationships with Your Children

3/14/2021 LoveMore Blog |The therapist then said that when he has hard-to-reach kids, can’t get them to talk, and they sit there with arms crossed, he will toss them a piece of candy. This usually gets them to drop their arms and catch the candy. Often, he says, they will crack a sorta half-smile. Inside, he smiles and thinks, “gotcha!” I elbow my wife and whispered in her ear, “how cool is that!”. She turns to my ear and says, “no way, we will not reward bad behaviors.” ... Learn More →

Reward Bad Behavior? You Might Be Surprised!

3/30/2021 LoveMore Blog |The therapist then said that when he has hard-to-reach kids, can’t get them to talk, and they sit there with arms crossed, he will toss them a piece of candy. This usually gets them to drop their arms and catch the candy. Often, he says, they will crack a sorta half-smile. Inside, he smiles and thinks, “gotcha!” I elbow my wife and whispered in her ear, “how cool is that!”. She turns to my ear and says, “no way, we will not reward bad behaviors.” ... Learn More →

How to Change Behaviors Less Threateningly and More Effectively

12/21/2020 LoveMore Blog |The child wanted to do well. He just had a problem with authority making him do things. It wasn't his fault, but he did need to decide to change. The teacher's job was to remove the child's obstacles somehow not, as parents and teachers may believe, to make kids do what they need to do. Bryan Post knew this intuitively. He did not have to give a long-winded explanation, and he just tried something different. He saw that punishing was not getting Bobby to behave. Getting Bobby to behave was not even on his mind. He wanted to help Bobby learn.

Making life changes can be enhanced in two ways, but the second is not always so obvious. My friend David Langner of The Habit Institute describes them as ... Read more →

Your Presence is Requested...

10/19/2020 LoveMore Blog | Your presence is a gift to your family and yourself. As a parent, when you are dysregulated, the task of being patient will be infinitely more difficult than when you are regulated. Patience requires a lack of stress. It is only in the absence of stress that you can maintain a sufficient window of tolerance for coping with the stressful presence of another (i.e. your child). The anti-stress love hormone known as oxytocin must also be present. It is the oxytocin which allows us to deliver a loving energy to our child or stressed-out spouse. When you have fully grasped the power of your ability to trigger oxytocin within another, the act of being patient amid stress can become enjoyable. Read more →

Stop Yelling And Love Me More, Please Mom!

09/8/2020 LoveMore Blog | It delights me to see others echoing what The Post Institute has been teaching for over twenty years. Often they say it differently, which adds one more perspective or a different approach to the one thing we all agree on — Love is ALWAYS the lesson. This weeks practice is to observe your tone, volume, and words that you use. Breaking down “change” into bite-sized adjustments referred to as CANI (Continual And Never-ending Improvement) can make the task of changing ourselves manageable. Read more →

Love Has No Agenda But To Love

08/10/2020 LoveMore Blog | Parental self-awareness is the ability to look at one’s self from moment to moment, and especially during parent/child interactions, and ask, “How am I feeling?” This level of awareness brings you into the moment, the present, and this is where love lives. When you can meet your child in the present, free from the past, and free from your fears about the future, you can parent in the now from a place called love. Read more →

The Greatest Gift a Parent Can Give a Child

08/17/2020 LoveMore Blog | The Greatest Gift You Can Give to Your Child: Parenting is not easy, even in typical families. For our families with adopted, foster, or diagnosed children, we make the difficult look easy, on a good day, which may be rare. We know that with our special kiddos, families can be pulled apart, marriages close to a breaking point (or broken), and short of that, we are worn down, wearied, exhausted, and tired of walking on eggshells in our own homes. Read more →

Love Moves Toward, Not Away From

7/27/2020 LoveMore Blog | I was touched by hearing a young mother’s story about her ten-year-old going through puberty, struggling with hormones and emotions raging out of control. I thought to share it with you as a real-life example of love, unconditional love to be more specific. Both son and mother learn things in an accepting, open environment that allows ‘what is’ to play itself out. Think on these things… Read more →

I'm Sorry, You Want Me to Apologize?

7/6/2020 LoveMore Blog | I imagine that many of you, like us, have children who cannot apologize. The words “I’m sorry” do not seem to be part of their vocabulary. This is sad, but so are their histories, and so are our parenting practices at times, which only add to their burdens. This is most evident in children in foster care, adopted, or with trauma histories. Read more →

2/16/2020 LoveMore Blog | I have to admit that parents, like children, just don’t know when to shut up. I know this from experience. Having watched myself lecture (though I don’t think of it that way–it is more like instructional feedback), saying the same things over, sometimes in different ways. Heedlessly I talk on. Even my wife says, “I don’t need a lecture.” I think, "Sweetie Pie, dearest love, I’m just giving you feedback." Learn how to step back and change this not-so effective habit, if you have it or someone you know... Read more →