When the problem of dis-regulation happens for adopted or foster children, parents can help child gain regulated emotions by using this child-friendly illustration.

Dear younger me…the upset adopted or fostered me…remember the jellybean

Yup, it’s true. You have every right to be upset. Sometimes, you think the anger will never end.

But it can.

The anger and sad all began when you were yet unborn. Your birth mother was in crisis. Her negative and painful emotions were communicated to you before and after adoption.  You believed living in a crisis was normal.

Learning to uncouple from your birth mother’s crisis mentality and emotionally will prove to be one of the toughest challenges of your life.

…but you can do it.

Remember, though, you weren’t the crisis. 

This is very important.

This may sound kind of silly….it helps me to understand that I am not the crisis.

If I think of myself inside a huge jelly bean, I can be safe from what goes on around me. It’s hard on the outside to keep me safe, but it’s soft inside, where I can relax and even sleep.

Because you’re safe now, you can change the way you look at the hurts.

You may feel mad at God for letting you hurt so bad.  God is always good and promises to bring good out of evil.

And, dear younger, upset one, YOU are the good….and you are safe.

How Adoptive and Foster Parents Can Help

  1. Get butcher-block paper roll (white)
  2. Read post to child or make it into a story
  3. Have child draw jelly bean
  4. Talk about what is outside the jellybean
  5. Talk about what his thoughts can be inside the jelly bean

Parents, this may be a way to teach self-regulation to your child.

I hope so!



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