When Nothing Works

Dear Parent,

When nothing works, take a breath and then another.  If you are losing your hope because all that you do feels pointless to create “good” behavior in your child, then you are the one who stopped working and started reducing your child to the dichotomy of good and bad behavior.  Only your persistent, day in, day out, consistent nurture and structure, overseen by honest awareness of the impact of adversity and trauma on the psyche of a child will work; and then, it will only work over TIME.  By time, I mean years.  Long years. If nothing is working, it is because you are pooping out on the long haul up the high hill.

You might think I am blaming you for getting tired, exasperated, exhausted, and broken.  I am not blaming.  I am being straight with you.  You are the answer to the crazy in your home.  You are the solution.  You are what works.

If you are feeling hopeless, like nothing is working, then you need to do some things differently so you do not see these persistent behaviors the way you do.  You are seeing behavior as manageable and within your control, rather than as an expression of an internal experience your child is having.  If your child is suffering from a volcano of diverse feelings, s/he is going to blow up and out, spewing cinder and lava worthy emotions everywhere.  Those expressions will scorch the earth and make grooves in your landscape you never imagined.

In the Pacific Islands, indigenous people do not seek to control the mountains jetting out of the sea. They do, however, respect the magnitude of the rumbling fury deep within. Islanders embrace the flow, and wait reverently with acceptance of the earth shuttering beneath their feet. Natives recognize the spirit of the mighty peaks pushing up and letting go the molten core that no longer remains contained by the thin layer covering the crust.

Dear sweet parent:  Get space. Get rest. Get quiet. Get real. Get over it. Get on with it. Get loved. Get hugged. Get spirited. Get your mojo back. Get help. Get perspective. Get understanding and acceptance. Get your boots on. Get ready. Get hope. Get working.

You are loved.  Love matters,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships


To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.  Follow on Twitter @lovingradkids.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for July 23rd from 9am to 5pm. Email Ce@attachplace.com to register.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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