Showing posts from November, 2020

The Queen's Gambit: Adoption and Trauma Informed Discussion Questions for Episodes 1 & 2

Warning! There are spoilers for episodes 1 and 2 of The Queen's Gambit ahead. These episodes also contain sensitive content including: death, adoption, substance use, orphanage life, racism, sexism, mental illness, & suicide. There is a need for deeper discussion that includes the adopted identity of the main character of this hit Nextflix series. After watching the first two episodes (thus far) as an adult adoptee and clinician, I developed a series of questions for individual use or to stimulate conversations in families and clubs gathered to discuss the episodes. These questions guide developmentally, historically, culturally, and adoption-sensitive dialogue about episodes 1 & 2 of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. They are intended for individuals 16 and older. Question One: How might our brief glimpse into Beth’s first mother’s seemingly tormented mindset and her published book (as a PhD) in mathematics inform us about Beth’s own mental health and mathematical gifts? Ques

Adoption Blogette: Parents as Children's Mirrors

I have been looking for a compact mirror to keep in my bag. I was tickled to find this one in my (adoptive) mother’s belongings. I’m not sure where she got it. It has her name engraved on the front. It reminds of me one of the foundational concepts I impart to some families when we first start our work together. We are our children’s mirrors. What we reflect back to a child about who they are will become what they believe to be true about themselves. If we are frequently annoyed by a child and are not self-aware of how this impacts our tone, messages, and body language, they may learn “I am an annoying person.” “I am a person who makes others angry a lot.” “I am hard to love.” “I am unpleasant to listen to.” “I am a disappointment.” “I am a troublemaker.” Internalized self-concepts like these don’t give children insight that their behavior could change. It doesn’t give them a drive to try to do something different. These are resignations to a fate within which they feel perpetually tr