Monday, December 15, 2008

Attachment Revisited

It's so hard to be a parent of a child with attachment "issues." No matter the severity, no matter the place on the "spectrum", it is still hard. Olivia is my child with attachment issues. The biggest problem is that others don't see this. Most children with attachment problems, have issues with attaching to their primary caregiver. They are the "target" of the child's need for control, and they can be a master manipulator.

So I get comments often from good friends when I talk to some of them about these issues, share with them what I'm going through, ask advice, or just have someone to listen. (Not having a husband, I do need adult conversation on things close to home from time to time.) :) Most of the comments go something like this: Why are you so much harder on Olivia than the boys? Why can't she participate? Oh, that's normal for a child that age. Yes... It is, but so are every single one of the little "somethings" and when you put each of those together in one child, when she chooses a different normal something every single time there's a sitter, it all adds up, and it's a way to control.

This was posted on an online friend's blog and I post it here with her permission, in the hopes that some with no knowledge of children with attachment issues will try to see things from a different perspective. It's beautifully written...

An Open Letter

An Open Letter....
I thought it may be of benefit to write an open letter from adoptive parents with attachment challenged children ...
to the rest of the world.
Maybe you could learn something to help a parent/child you know.

Please know that when our children are standing sullen by our side, they do not need you to pick them up or otherwise "love on" them...
but they need a verbal praise from you such as "Good job for standing there so nicely by your mom". Ignore the look on their face and praise the obedience that they are complying with.

Please know that when our children are crying or whining because everyone else has something that they don't ...
it's okay. We have our reasons.

Please know that they deserve no sympathy or attention from you when they've chosen to disobey or are throwing themselves on the floor in rage.

Please know that our children need prayer.

Please know that their parents need prayer.

Please don't be offended when we ask you not to hold our kids or give them food....
those are things reserved for their mom/dad until they are healthy.

Please know that if we keep them home from activities that their siblings get to go to, it's because they need to earn those things and we are teaching to our children's character development.

Please know that just because we parent them differently, we are not mean.

Please know that we love our kids.

Please know that we never chose this ...
and we certainly did not create it.


Emily said...

Beautifully put, so many times I have wanted to say these things about my own kids!! Its so hard to understand when you haven't been through it.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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