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DAD’S Important Roles in Adoptive Families

Dad’s play many important roles in helping their adoptive families heal.  The most important role dad’s play in the adoptive family is to support his wife in the strenuous job of being the primary attachment figure.  One of the best ways for a Dad to support Mom is to back her up no matter what.  All children at various times will attempt to split parents in order to try to get their way.  Children with lots of trauma in their background are notorious for pitting one parent against the other.  They do this as a way to try to control things, to wear the parents down and to feel powerful by splitting the parenting team.  Dad’s should agree with their wives response to a testy child even if the Dad feels strongly that it is not the best response.  The Dad can bring up his opinion about the response later in private.  Dad’s can support their wife by taking the child off the mom’s hands when he sees she needs a break.  He should listen to her heart without judgment when she needs to share how difficult the journey has been.   Listening well can help her feel valued and important in contrast to how she may feel deflated and defeated by the end of the day.  As dad communicates and conveys how important mom’s status in the family is the kids are likely to take notice and possibly copy that status building on Dad’s part.  On the contrary whenever a mom is put down by a dad the children feel unsafe at the parenting team not being united.  When Dad treats Mom like a queen, he is modeling the kind of respect that can facilitate attachment in adoptive families.  Too many moms that we have worked with often do not feel the support and love from their husbands.  When the moms are not getting their love tank filled by dad they are at greater risk for hoping that their adoptive child will love them before they are ready to.  This puts the mom and the adoptive family at risk for the viscous cycle of frustration for parents breeding more fear in the children.  On the contrary a mom feeling loved and supported by her husband is much less likely to need a child to heal and love her before they are ready to.  Healing the broken hearts of a traumatized child takes a lot of time.  Dad’s that invest in their marriage are ultimately investing in the adoptive families healing.  Dad’s role of support is as important as they come in adoptive families.

Parent's antidote

BH Counseling Center

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