Do parent a challenging child, especially one who has experienced trauma in the past? You have a difficult job. I know, because I am walking this road alongside you. We adopted 2 children from foster care who have significant behavior issues, and we were foster parents to 35 other children. Gathering from my experiences, I’ve put together a new, completely free resource called 10 Traits you MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places.

10 Traits You MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places|The Holy Mess

10 Traits You MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places is a free 10 day email course that will:

  • Discover the traits you MUST have to survive this unique type of parenting
  • Find the resources you need so you don’t crash and burn
  • Learn practical tips for your toughest parenting situations, so peace and calm are restored to your home
  • Get tips for how to advocate for your child in a messed up system and find the help your child needs to be successful

So, you are a parent of a child from hard places?

*hands you a cup of coffee and gives you a high five*

How many of these describe you?

  • I am a foster or adoptive parent
  • My child has been diagnosed with a mental health or behavior issue
  • I parent a child who has experienced trauma
  • My child has experienced significant loss
  • I parent a child who has special needs
  • I parent a child who was abused
  • I am a grandparent raising a grandchild
  • I parent a child who had or has visits with a birth parent, family members, or a difficult ex-spouse
  • I deal with a government system of some type (foster care, Medicaid, those for special needs)
  • My child has attachment issues

Then…how many of these describe you?

  • I’m overwhelmed and exhausted.
  • I don’t know where to get the right help for my child.
  • I have continual conflicting emotions.
  • I love my child but she drives me crazy. Sometimes I don’t like her at all.
  • The systems that are supposed to help me make things worse.
  • Normal parenting techniques don’t work for this child.
  • My friends and family don’t understand my life.
  • Our marriage is strained.
  • I’m dealing with my own depression and trauma from dealing with my child’s behaviors and “the system”.

And yet…

  • I love my child fiercely.
  • This is my calling and incredibly rewarding, despite the challenges.


10 Traits You MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places

Do you have these traits?

You MUST have…

  1. Your sh#t together. No, it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but kids who are fearful will find your weakness and pick-pick at it until they have distracted you from any problems they have.
  2. A higher place to go. Where do you go when the going gets so rough?
  3. Recognition of your own trauma. You may be dealing with secondary PTSD. Learn the warning signs and what to do if you are.
  4. A sense of humor (even an off-kilter one) It’s really okay to laugh at the crazy life we live.
  5. Friends Many people find they lose friends along the foster and adoption journey. Here’s how to find the support you need.
  6. Mad Skilz You need some serious skills. Not just any skills but what I call mad skilz — parenting skills, advocacy skills, calming skills. Learn what you’ve got, what you still need, and where to find help.
  7. A like for children. We can’t just love our kids. We have to like them, as much as they try to be un-likeable.
  8. Courage to be humble. It’s takes a great amount of courage to be humble. Typical parenting strategies don’t work, so we learn new methods.
  9. Tenacity. Be the most stubborn one in your family.
  10. Love. Above all these, put on love. Love alone does not heal our kids, but without love none of the rest matters.


If many of these are a match for you, you are in the right place. Be sure to sign up in the box so you can get started today with the email series.

My name is Sara and my husband Mike and I were foster parents for 6 years to over 35 foster children. We adopted 2 children with special needs. Both have medical issues. One is intellectually delayed and one has serious behavioral issues. We’ve dealt with everything from surgeries, oxygen, G-tubes, and life-threatening conditions, to calling the police for rages and our son being placed in the hospital for mental health care.

In other words, we’ve been to hell and back and then some.

I get it where you are coming from.

I went to the depths of secondary traumatic stress and not caring for myself, then slowly climbed into a new place of self-care and hope.

I developed this e-course, The 10 Skills You MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places.

Over the next 10 days, each day you will receive an email with a new skill. I know you are busy, so these will be short and to the point.

Friend, you do a seriously tough job of parenting a challenging child and I’m going to shoot it to you straight here.

If you don’t beef up your skill set, you aren’t going to make it.

You will crash and burn, and you will crash and burn hard.

Perhaps you feel like you are already close to that point.

Crash and Burn (aka burn out from Secondary Trauma) means:

  • physical illness without resolve
  • marriage trouble
  • kid’s behaviors are out of control
  • stressed out to the max
  • depression
  • feelings of unending loneliness and hopelessness
  • Counting the minutes until your child turns 18

Don’t live like this.

Life with these children is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be miserable either.

If you don’t have one of these necessary skills, don’t worry. We will talk about how to develop it!

I can’t wait to get started with you.


10 Traits You MUST Have to Parent Kids From Hard Places|The Holy Mess

Foster & Adoptive Parents

Do you parent a child who's experienced stress, trauma, or grief?

*Foster & adoptive parents, grandparents raising grandkids, if your child has experienced trauma or loss -- this resource is JUST FOR YOU!

*FREE Super-helpful printables! 8 resources you can print and use today.

*Receive helpful updates specifically for foster and adoptive parents.

Powered by ConvertKit