Red flags that you are on the downward spiral


Red flags that you are on the downward spiral

  1. Pay attention to the things you notice happening more and more,
  2. Some things might occur later, months after placement, after a emotionally challenging event.
  3. The behaviors at begin do not go away, but may morph into other behaviors.
  4. Some traits, events, pressures will contribute to the downward spiral by funneling stress into the personal or family environment—pre-downward spiral that may start the process (no one starts off wanting the child to leave).
  5. Goal with this video
    • To have parents stop and notice what is going on in themselves and their home.
    • To have parents seek help to right the course
  6. Things that funnel families into the downward spiral
    • “I have this” attitude (don’t need assistance or help)
    • Focus on diagnosis and meds to relieve, stop behaviors
    • Environmental stressors (job loss, illness, addictions, historic models, etc.)
    • Need to look prefect (family, parenting, personal, home, keeping up with the Jones’)
    • Fear pressure (has to be done now)
    • Untrained or pressured agencies (focusing on placing children, not healing)
    • Lack of parent training and support
    • Baby hunger (infertility, building families through foster care, can be a parental need)
  7. Beginning (child placed)
    • Parents focus on changing behaviors.
    • Child’s behaviors escalate.
    • Parents have increased irritability.
    • Parents give more consequences and have less fun.
    • Parents decreasing their self-care.
    • Parents are frequently exhausted.
    • Parents are increasing frustrated with support staff, professionals, family, and friends.
    • Parents have a decrease in feelings of self-worth about themselves, the professionals, and their children
    • Parents’ emotional range decreased to angry and more angry.
  8. Middle
    • Parents are unable to provide nurture (Block care Hughes, 2016).
    • Parents have an increase in hopelessness and a mounting list of things that don’t work.
    • Parents feel the need for frequent respite.
    • Parents move through the continuum of care (professionals prescribing more intense modalities).
    • Parents may change providers looking for answers, diagnoses, and help (especially psychiatrists).
    • Parents lean towards diagnoses (Fetal alcohol, ID, brain damage) that can be treated with medications, reducing expectation for the child to heal and removing parents from the responsibility to change.
    • Parental relationship becomes more divided, increasingly more blaming of each other.
    • Child has an increased split presentation, polarization, (increasingly acts different with different adults).
  9. End
    • Parents have increased thoughts of dissolution (the family, the marriage, environment).
    • Finally, parents asked that the child be removed (change placement, dissolve adoption).
    • Child’s NIWM is confirmed, future healing is inhibited. (LINK)
  10. Solution
    • Parents must be intentional about their personal role in this situation, attributing time, and effort to change (the exact opposite of—he’s the one with the problem, why do I need to change?).   
    • Parents must acquire and utilize the Trauma Lens Paradigm Shift (LINK).
    • Parents must determine the things that funneled them into the spiral, how they interfere (perfectionism, have to do it now, “I can do this”) and how to manage the emotions evoked. (Seek professional help if needed)
    • Parents must increase self-care=increase intentional emotional regulation skills.
    • Parents must acquire adequate supports (trained, willing and able team members).

© 2022, Jeff and Faye. All rights reserved.

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