Inducement and Acting Out Behaviors

Understanding inducement and the impact of abandonment on multiply-rejected children can help families deal with negative behaviors and strengthen relationships. This session will offer a unique perspective on the meanings of the behaviors that trouble workers and frustrate foster and adoptive parents. The Trainer will discuss the impact of abandonment on the multiply rejected children as well as presenting scenarios of classic inducement in adoptive and pre-adoptive families. Understanding this unspoken, and often times, misconstrued form of communication is paramount for workers in helping families create successful strategies and approaches in building relationships with their adopted children.

Introductions and Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the Workshop
  • How have you come to foster care and/or adoption

Building Relationships

  • Creating “intimacy” requires trust
  • It leads to a deeper sense of knowing oneself and the “other.” Shared goals, experiences, etc.
  • What is the “job” of a parent?

What might a child ascertain, or believe about himself form being in Foster Care?

  • Sense of “belonging” is compromised
  • Hopelessness, helplessness
  • No choice or control
  • Reinforces message that there is “something wrong” with the child.

Adopted Children are always first abandoned children.

  • Abandonment is only sometimes objectively true, but it is always subjectively true.
  • Adoption ends abandonment, but not its consequences
  • Dealing with the consequences of abandonment is a life-long process. There are no “quick fixes.”

What are some accepted reasons that may explain a child’s acting out behavior?

  • To get attention
  • Some experience of experience of trauma, abuse, or neglect in the past.
  • Manipulative motivationNever being taught appropriate ways of expressing emotion
  • No experience of receiving love or acceptance

What is Inducement?

  • In simple terms: A situation is created to make a person (the “Target”) feel what another (the “Inducer”) feels. The feelings are communicated (induced) all without words. The recipient experiences the feelings on their own.

Pushing our “Buttons”

  • Finding those idiosyncratic, personal areas – stimulating them, “ignoring” your warning signs of “danger” – then repeating the whole process.
  • Our threshold of stress-related pressure
  • Limit setting: perceived vs. real

Communication defines successful adoption

  • Inducement the language of the abandoned is the primary method used by adoptees to communicate with their parents.
  • “Testing” is not an adoption dynamic; is is a placement dynamic.
  • TIP – “Intensity” is the key. Keep a careful eye on the level of emotions and the words used by adults.

Adoption Transference

  • The explanation for the “blaming” of the adoptive parents by their adoptive children.
  • How should adoptive parents respond?

Workshop Wrap Up

  • “Intensity” is the key. Keep on eye on your own emotional level.
  • Inducement is communication.
  • Name and validate your child’s feelings.

Source: Coalition 2006 Workshop Presentation by Tito Del Pilar

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