A New View on Problem Behaviors - 3 Unilateral Shifts Series


Discover how a shift toward an acceptance lens vs an accountability lens can change the way you view problem behaviors.

A New Beginning: Embracing Acceptance for a more Balanced, Peaceful Home

Dealing with Defiance… Disrespect…Dangerous & Destructive behaviors?

Adoptive moms often find ourselves navigating an intricate maze of emotions and behaviors that can leave us feeling overwhelmed and overstressed…and seeking solutions to manage all of this, often through lenses of accountability and control/counter-control.

This is especially true when dealing with the challenging patterns of problem behaviors in our adopted teenagers, which can have a profound impact on the entire family. It's easy to fall into the common trap of addressing these issues through a stringent lens of accountability, believing that if we can just hold our children accountable, their behaviors will change. 

Often, our instinct is to lean into accountability, trying to address troubling behaviors through punishment and contrived consequences. 
I wonder if you might like to explore a different approach (?)

What if, instead of concentrating solely on accountability, we pivot toward acceptance? 

The Dangers of the Accountability Approach

First let’s consider the dangers of the accountability lens. Holding our teenagers accountable for their problem behaviors seems logical on the surface. However, in the case of adopted teenagers already struggling with emotional turmoil, now with teenage hormones and all the rest… the reality is that this approach can be more harmful than helpful. 

  • It can instigate a cycle of tension and rebellion, creating a chasm between you and your child, 
  •  they may feel judged rather than supported. 
  • A parent push for accountability can inadvertently send a message that parental love and acceptance are conditional & based on their behavior, (which can be particularly perilous for adopted children who may already struggle with feelings of abandonment and worthiness.)

Many of us strive to teach our children through our (often contrived) efforts at holding them accountable, to understand the consequences of their actions. But with patterns of behavior stemming from trauma, insecurity, or internal turmoil, a strict focus on accountability can be 
  • ineffective and lead to a dangerous and frustrating cycle for both you and your child;
  • exhausting and lead to feelings of failure for you as a parent;
  •  a set up and reinforcement of patterns of triangulation with other adults — the other parent, their teachers, or other authority figures. 

Teens in turmoil often feel misunderstood and isolated; parents feel disrespected; siblings may feel divided loyalties…all creating and deepening emotional barriers. 

Benefits of switching to an acceptance lens

When we switch to an acceptance lens it not only benefits our children but also significantly reduces our own stress levels.

When we shift our perspective in this way, we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of our children and the battles they might be fighting internally. 

Adopting an acceptance lens nurtures an environment of emotional safety. It allows our children to feel seen, heard, and loved unconditionally, providing them the solid ground they need to navigate their emotions and behaviors. Emotional safety is the cornerstone of trust and connection in relationship.

Moreover, focusing on acceptance rather than strict accountability allows us as mothers to take back control of our spaces and roles within the family. It empowers us to set and maintain personal boundaries without depending on our teen's cooperation or the involvement of other family members. This autonomy is crucial in preserving our well-being and maintaining a balanced household.

If this sounds good then listen to the next episode for part two going deeper into this important shift from an accountability lens to an acceptance lens and what that means (and doesn’t mean) for you as a Christian mom in a post-adoptive family. 

Be sure to follow this podcast so you don’t miss part two of shift #1 as well as upcoming episodes on these 3 Unilateral Shifts for helping Adoptive Moms step out of problematic patterns of behaviors. 

And for those of you in the Facebook group please add your takeaways, questions & comments and we can continue the discussion over there.

And as always, 


Dawn T. Baggett
Post Adoption (Mom) Coach 


Are you an adoptive mom? 
Me too!

Publishing this podcast & companion blog is one way that I stand in the gap for second moms with similar challenges to what I’ve gone through myself as an adoptive mom. 

Listen & subscribe to the podcast for free on your favorite listening platform.  
(Scroll down for Apple Podcasts & Spotify links).

The companion Circle of Second Moms Facebook group is a place to go deeper on topics that we touch on in the public podcast episodes along with guided journaling and more. 
Tap the JOIN LINK HERE for group access. 

Group members who want next level support through private coaching with me are invited to apply for  private coaching by scheduling an application call. To do that click HERE.

Through these avenues it’s my desire that many adoptive moms are able to close the gap and feel fully supported in a way that align with their Christian values and helps them grow in their faith while feeling more confident and empowered in their mom roles and beyond. 

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor nor a therapist. None of the content published on this website is offered or presented as medical or mental health, diagnosis or treatment. As a coach I do not offer mental or medical health diagnosis, treatment or cures.  Furthermore, nothing herein is to be considered professional legal advice.