As a parent, I know what it is like to be scared senseless by TV movies about attachment challenged children, about News reports of foster children killing parents, and my imagination in the face of truly unbelievable, unrelenting shenanigans by my children. Much of my own dysregulation was caused by my ever present fear of the future hovering around me. Sometimes I could feel the breath of fear, rank and hot on my neck.
Do yourself a favor: only think of your children in the present. They are not your future nightmare. They are children. They are hurting children. Difficult? Oh yes. Hurting and hurtful? Certainly. Criminals and killers? Not usually. Can they become criminals and killers? Yes, just like the rest of the population. News flash: most criminals and killers are raised by their biological parents.
Put your fears away and bring your empathy, tenacity, and love out for the rest of their childhood. Don’t let the sensational, unusual, or imaginal destroy your ability to love freely with hope now. Remember that attachment challenged brains are delayed emotionally. Even if you have a terrible teen, calculate the true emotional age. Still pretty darned young, right?