Becoming a “Bossy” Parent to Abused Boy

Watchful’s new therapist, who I will call Maude, strongly believes that young boys who have suffered physical abuse need their foster parents to be super strong “bosses.”   Is being extra strict best?  What are your thoughts?

I’m open to learning new parenting techniques.  One thing I’ve learned about parenting kids with behavior issues, attachment issues, and past trauma is that “regular” parenting is not always the most effective.  But I wonder how well this “super boss” approach will mesh with mine and my husband’s personalities.

Maude began the therapy session telling Watchful in no uncertain terms that I am his boss and that he will listen to me.  When he complained about not liking to go to therapy, Maude’s response was that I am in charge of taking care of Watchful and I have determined that he needs therapy and that is that.

Gotta run.  But more on this therapy approach soon.  Wait until you hear about how she wants us to handle the self harming.  The overall therapy model we will be using is called the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) framework.

Have you done ARC?  Did it work?

4 thoughts on “Becoming a “Bossy” Parent to Abused Boy

  1. I have never heard of ARC before, but I’m intrigued to hear more about it and if it works. When I had my first placement, I truly wish her “therapy” had been more like what it seems you are getting. Her behavior was so difficult, I wanted to know why she was acting the way she was and how to help her cope. Instead, her therapist basically played with her for an hour once a week. It felt so pointless. I think if I had been given more assistance, I could have been able to handle her without it taking such a toll on my family.

    I really hope this approach helps Watchful and I’m very interested to hear how things go. Good luck!


  2. From what you’ve shared so far, it seems like my two kids have similar backgrounds to your little guy. We are more strict than “regular” parents, and while it’s been hard—it’s worked. We have received lots of criticism from folks on the outside for being so strict, but our kids’ behaviors have really turned around, and they are both happy and well-adjusted. We’ve had our son now for two years and we are able now to lighten up a bit. Good luck!


    1. Thanks for sharing, The Fosters. Glad to hear that being strict has been working for your little ones. Didn’t really think about others’ reaction to a more authoritative parenting style. Thanks for the heads up that others may not understand the need and be critical.


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