Adoptive parenting—like parenting in general—is a noble, divine work that can gradually reshape a pain-propelled life into something cheerful, productive, and hopeful for both children and parents. We see the survival-based behaviors of wounded, traumatized children replaced by moral, loving responses a little more each day. Yet, aggressive attitudes and reactions, stubbornness, and sadness can become overwhelming at times, and a competent therapist can provide a great deal of the optimism and support that is much needed. Many counselors help parents and children communicate their needs and hurts in more appropriate ways in professional offices. And today, more and more parents are taking advantage of in-home therapy, a structured kind of counseling involving the travel of a therapist to your home to observe family dynamics and provide intervention. How can it help you? Here are some advantages:
1. Direct Observation of Behaviors
When you are describing situations and common reactions in your home to a therapist, a great deal can come from repeating a typical dialogue that occurs when children are disrespectful or angry. However, there is nothing more realistic than watching children respond to a disappointment or a change in routine in their own environment. Physical suggestions such as where to put the behavior chart, which items should be secured, and spots for productive workspaces or time-outs, can be observed and suggested by the therapist. They can also witness firsthand the way that parents are responding to refusals or outbursts and can help them communicate more effectively.
2. Children Feel More Comfortable
Older children especially may have difficulty opening up to a stranger about their feelings, struggles, and hopes. In a home environment, they can share their stories on the living room couch or around the kitchen table where they feel more in control, and their needs are more palpable. This also eliminates a battle if children are generally reluctant to leave the house when it is time to go to counseling.
3. Real Issues Become More Obvious
While observing interactions in the home, a therapist may make note of tension between a couple or distracting items around the house that are contributing to children’s confusion more than internal issues are. He or she can diagnose the type of therapy that can be used to treat the problem, such as couples counseling, help with impulse control, or a assistance with sleep or dietary needs. Parents may not have considered sensory aids such as weighted blankets or essential oils when treating children with traumatic backgrounds, but they may find that it helps tremendously.
Raising children is stressful in today’s world, even if they are not adopted. Homework, activity schedules, sports, and basic self-care need to be reinforced constantly, and parents may find themselves at a loss for time to drive to a therapist’s office during the week, especially if they have jobs outside the home. In-home therapy provides a way for children to get the help and attention they need without adding extra density to a busy parent’s day.
In-home therapy is not for everyone. It may cost extra to have a therapist travel to you, and distractions such pets or babies can detract from the seriousness of the counseling. Nevertheless, many parents find that it creates a constructive, positive setting for productive discussion and are forever grateful that it is available.