Adopted kids and control issues

Gregory Keck, PhD Attachment Therapist & Adoption Expert, explains why many adopted children often have control issues and what parents can do to help
Dealing With Control Issues In Adopted Children
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Adopted kids and control issues

Many kids who experience trauma are excessively controlling. They attempt to control every single part of their life, and it's because it probably worked for them in these very abusive dysfunctional families that when they controlled their environment, their little part of the environment, they probably were safer than they weren't. So, when they come into the new family they're focused on controlling everything and it might be when they go to bed, and they won't go to bed until a certain time, or what clothes they're going to wear, or what they won't wear, or what foods they're going to eat, they may be very, very picky and only eat one, or two, or three things. So that parents should expect that the child's going to bring into the family issues of control and if the parents have control issues that's going to bring about an intersection, and they will probably have conflicts there so that we spend hours with parents trying to help them stay out of the control battles, pick your battles, avoid every control battle that you can. Pick and choose the ones that are important to you and try to change the ones that are important, the ones that you can actually have some mastery over because if you are choosing to tell a kid, “Well, you cannot talk to...we don't want you to talk to this girl at school.” They have no control over that because if the child's at school, or if the adolescent's at school, he's going to see this girl in his class and they're going to talk. So, the parents have really lost any kind of credibility when they've told this kid that he can't talk to her because they have no control over that. And we see many families get really stuck in this quagmire of control battles. So control, control, control's a theme and I think that parents just need to do their own inventory of what they want to control, what they can control, and what they probably should not control.

Gregory Keck, PhD Attachment Therapist & Adoption Expert, explains why many adopted children often have control issues and what parents can do to help


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Gregory Keck, PhD

Founder & Director, Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio

Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Attachment & Bonding Center of Ohio. He is an internationally known psychologist and trainer who addresses the issues of trauma, adoption, and post-adoption challenges. He and his staff provide attachment therapy for adoptive families whose children have experienced serious early childhood maltreatment prior to adoption. In 2012, he received the National Association of Social Workers State of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the parent of two sons who were adopted in adolescence.

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