Beware the trap of meeting all your child’s needs but one–loving engagement. If you don’t have loving engagement to give, then spare yourself from adopting a child from difficult beginnings or raising any child for that matter. Structure is a very important part of therapeutic parenting, though it in no way singularly heals the broken, fearful, traumatized heart of an adopted child.
Utilitarian Parenting Is Not Enough
Structure without nurture is institutional. Institutions do not have what it takes to heal the wounds of complex trauma to the core. Only structure with love and empathy will do that. Utilitarian parenting will further manifest the wounds of the child. It is hard enough to raise a traumatized child with structure and love into a well adjusted person in society. Without love, it is a disservice to the child. Here is a one minute reminder:
Are you a Love Warrior?
You need a love warrior spirit to stay in the game with a scared, trust blocking child. It is okay not to adopt if you have all the means and none of the spirit. No shame in admitting that. None at all. As a matter of fact, it is courageous to do the right thing when the outside world may judge you for it.
Looking In the Mirror
By the way, if you have lost your heart along the journey, I feel certain you can find it again with respite, self-care, and therapeutic help. Sometimes secondary trauma, depression, exhaustion, desperation, lack of support, and hopelessness seep in around the edges and can lead to utilitarian parenting. It is called Blocked Parenting (If there is a name for it, you know you are not alone). I surely understand Blocked Parenting. Been there, and only recovered my heart with lots of help. Get the help you need to find your heart again for your child and for yourself. Life is too long to go it alone.
Sign-up for our next Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting course coming up on April 1, 2017 from 10am to 5pm. Childcare provided for an extra fee. This course can be paid for by CALVCP if you are already approved.
Join our monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group on March 8, 2017! Open to all caregivers at no cost. Support group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Child care provided.
Get your specially discounted copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT. Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.