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I have no other children and we have welcomed a wonderful 7 yr old into our home...... Now, in saying that, I am also saying HELP.... ;-}

She has been here with us for about 5 months. She has had a very lonely past, where she was neglected by her birth mother (we know the birth mother personally), and when she lived with BM, she was tossed around from sitter to sitter for days on end. Finally when she got the love and attention she deserved, she was in her second foster home. She lived with this family for a year, and then here she goes moving again. This time she joined our family! She is very strong-willed and independant, then other times it seems like she is digressing back to an early age in life (she is in therapy for this now). She also has an de-attachment disorder (not sure of the name off hand). What I am trying to do is come up with effective ways of discipline. I have tried: time-outs, taking things away, taking away TV or Wii for whatever amount of time, and also grounding to sit on her bed for an hour or so. I would love your ideas!!! Please help..


Asked by AdoptingMyChild at 11:02 PM on Jun. 29, 2010 in Adoption

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Answers (10)
  • I have not adopted so I do not understand from that prospective but I was a foster child and I can relate to some of the attachment issues she may have. But each child is very different, and it sounds like with her, your going to have to break down the walls of trust first. I'm going out on a limb here but if she is anything like me or any of the other girls I knew from foster care, she has put of this hedge around her, and she probably can submit her emotions as a survial tactic... She will probably be more obediant if she respects you... and that will probably come with trust. In her heart.. she probably doesn't feel like this is "real". She probably deep down feels like this is just another stop before she is bumped to the next home. My suggestion would be to speak to her therapist. he or she will have more insight to her emotional state, and what may work with discipline.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 2:33 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • i'm no expert, but if she has attachment issues, is it really a good idea to have her separated from you as a punishment? my favorite punishments are the "hard labor" kinds. lol. extra chores... along side with you. so, you're both doing them. at the same time as being "punished," it's also a way of giving her an opening to talk about what she's feeling and why she was so upset/defiant/angry etc.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 11:07 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I'm not sure but an hour on the bed seems a little harsh for a 7 year old with issues.

    Answer by fairyinabubble at 11:04 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • If she is in therapy, It might be best asking that person what would be a punishment for her.


    Answer by sta517 at 11:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Are you active in her therapy? If so, I would talk to her therapist about what methods of discipline will work best for her and not damage her anymore emotionally. I can imagine how hard it must be and sometimes kids that have had a troubled and loveless past, feel like discipline means more than just punishment for bad behavior. They internalize that differently.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 11:05 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Try as much positive reinforcement as you can, also taking away the things that she enjoys the most. Once find something that works stick with it. Kids need consistency, so let her know your rules and make sure she understands the rules and the consequences for breaking them.


    Answer by skittles1108 at 11:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Hi, I adopted ten year old twin girls from foster care and I highly recommend you read this book

    It helped me so much with my girls and helping them feel secure and making them realize that being in a family is worthwhile. Good luck and God Bless!


    Answer by Luuckymommy at 11:24 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I want to thank all of you for your answers! I tried the hour on her bed, because in the foster home she was in last, they made a point of telling me that that was very effective in their home. Not so much in mine. That is why I was asking for your suggestions, not your criticisms.

    @ Luuckymommy----- Thank you so much for your suggestion on that book.. I believe I am going to order it come payday. ;-}

    @gracefulsky---- thank you for your ideas! I will definitely try those also!!!!

    For those of you who said to ask her therapist, I have.... She told me to use normal discipline... I am not a fan of this therapist (she does not want our involvement--- except for a couple seconds of exchange at the beginning or end.) Right now this is the therapist the state provides though. When the adoption if final, and she is on our insurance, we will be able to afford a much better therapist.

    I am truly blessed to have found this website!

    Comment by AdoptingMyChild (original poster) at 12:42 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I would suggest looking into attachment parenting. There are groups for it on this site that have wonderful resources. There are also a lot of attachment disorder sites, which go into attachment parenting. I'm not talking about attachment therapy, which is sometimes suggested for attachment disorders, but the actual parenting style.

    My stepson has emotional disturbance and separation anxiety among other problems. He was taken away from his BM at 18 months for felony neglect/abuse. Then he lived with his gramma (my MIL) for 2 years, then came to my husband and I, once we moved in together. Before that my hubby lived on ship--he's in the Navy. We've had a LOT of behavioral and emotional issues, and traditional discipline doesn't seem to work very well. I had The Kazdin Method of Parenting a Defiant Child recommended to me and it has been helping already. I'd definitely recommend reading it.

    Answer by Cassidhes_Mom at 1:52 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • @Cassidhes_Mom---- Thank you so much for your input! That is something else I will definitely look into!!! I just want to be the best mom I can to her! She's been through so much, and I want to make sure I handle everything to the best of my ability----- otherwise I am no better than the person they took her away from!

    Comment by AdoptingMyChild (original poster) at 1:57 AM on Jun. 30, 2010