Today marks the 17th anniversary of the horrific tragedy that happened on Sept. 11th. The photos fill my Facebook feed, the newscasts reflect.
For many, it brings them right back. The date. The pictures. The stories. Flashbacks.
But so often the triggers aren't as obvious. Aren't predicted. It could be a smell. A memory. Something we can't even put our finger on.
That happens with our adopted and foster kiddos too.
Lots of time what looks like behavior, or sounds like crabbiness, actually is a response. They've been triggered. And lots of times we aren't even aware of the trigger.
When we dig in and identify what triggers our kiddos, we can better help them steer clear of those triggers...or respond better to them.
Yesterday, I spoke with an adoptive parent whose child is now a young adult. August was a time of some pretty big anniversaries for her child. It was the month she was adopted...and moved to a new country, with a new family, a new language.
After a pattern of August being a time a challenging behaviors, Mom realized that it was a trigger for her daughter. And parenting with that information changed things a lot. It didn't take away all the behaviors, and it didn't erase all the triggers, but things were a lot calmer.
That's a win!
This year, her daughter is living on her own. Again, August brought up a lot of emotions for her. But...this year the daughter was aware of the triggers. She was knew that a lot of it was connected to those anniversaries. And she was able to remind herself of that and had a place to hang those feelings.
That's a win!
So I challenge you to know your child's anniversaries. Watch for the triggers. Keep a journal handy and jot them down when they come up. And teach your child about them along the way.