Monday, June 7, 2010

More Important Words

The last few adoption books that I have been reading contain some pretty heavy, but important stuff. I am currently working through Parenting the Hurt Child by Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D. and Regina M Kupecky, L.S.W.

A section in chapter 2: Claiming Your Role in Your Child's Life was especially interesting.

Passage is as follows:

Dealing with Your Child's Fears

Because the fears of hurt children are different, each child's need for nurturing takes on a unique dimension. Parents must be completely present to meet this need -- being "busy" does not absolve them of parenting responsibilities. 

Life can sometimes be a merry-go-round. As it gets more complex. It's easy to lose sight of priorities. Things begin to change. Social contexts, family roles, and the amount of time parents spend with their children are all subject to change. But one critical factor does not change -- the process of child development and the things that children need.

This presents a particular dilemma. With all of the things that have changed, children are expected to accommodate. They cannot. Furthermore, why should they? The price for change will be enormously high if children are the ones who have to pay. They have fundamental needs -- many have special needs -- and it is not fair to expect their needs to work around parents' deadlines, work schedules, divorces, and more.

When adult lives become too consuming, too busy, too involved for children, it is imperative to consider whose needs come first. For those of you adopting children who have experienced trauma as the result of neglect, abuse, or abandonment, please note that your kids need to be with you. They need to experience you as the parent, the guide, the teacher. Others cannot do this for you. If you are going to another country to adopt a child who has been institutionalized, do not bring him home and put him in daycare. He needs to be with a family, and we can only assume that if you are adopting him, you want to be with him too. Too many people are fulfilling only their half of the dream -- to have a child. You must remember that it is equally critical to fulfill the child's half of the dream -- to have parents. Only in this way can the arrangement be complete.

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