Today, I feel tired. I feel tired to the bone of professional know it alls. I know I am one of them, so I ought to be empathic: emphatically, I am not.
My feelings and thoughts right now are biased. I am a parent of complex developmentally traumatized children first and an attachment therapist second. The parent in me wants to howl at the powers that be, the powers in the system that hold the keys to treatment for attachment challenged, traumatized children. They hold not just the keys, but the purse-strings to buy the tickets to get another form of care than is “customary.” Not all children fit the “customary” formula. Some children need professionals who can think outside the evidence-based box.
Experts tout evidence-based practices as though God put stamps of approval on them. Frankly, I find I must stand up against those who purport to know more about a child than the parent who lives in the family system with the child. Are you kidding me? Are you blind?
Now that I have said that, I know I have told parents (from my expert perch) that they should not spank their children, should not apply harsh consequences, and should resist traditional beliefs about ascribing negative motivation for behavior. That is me telling a parent what is wrong and what is right. I feel weirdly hypocritical, and oddly righteous at the same time.
This is my firm belief: the U.S. child protective systems have risen to a place of power in society that defies common sense, reason, and simple humanity. Parents and children have a sacred bond (however fragile). Abusive parents betray their bond. Loving parents fight for what they believe is right, even when everyone at the professional table judges them as selfish, misguided, heartless, even abusive.
When parents matter as much as children, then the system will lean toward mental health. Until then, in my less than humble opinion, the system is hanging out on TILT.
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