HarsH ReaLiTy

20160817_211838-1 Photo Credit: Casey Alexander

As an adoptive parent, here’s my main goal:

Try not to screw it up.

When the kids first arrived, I read every parenting or adoption book I could find.

Nothing worked.

Intuitive and logical strategies sparked implosion.

Counting (“be in your seat by the time I say three…”) invited blank stares.

Time-out sent them into screaming fits. For hours.

Hubby and I tried it all: positive rewards, negative consequences, ignoring, praising, celebrating, whispering, raised voices…if a book or counselor suggested an idea, we attempted it.

The problem with using conventional child-rearing tactics in an adoptive or foster situation:

when children lose family, not much else matters.

Children of loss, trauma and neglect, our kids needed more than we—or the books—could provide.  

I wanted to know that we weren’t alone. That I wasn’t crazy. That maybe someday we’d see positive results.

Three years after the kids…

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