Day 4 of Biblical Relationships Series- Adoptive Families
“These tiger lilies are my favorite flower,” Mom says one evening at dinner, “they remind me of my mother.”
Later, a bedtime battle begins.
“I am not going to bed. I hate you. Why did you adopt me? You don’t love me!” says the son and he storms outside into the darkness.
He slinks back in and climbs in bed, after chopping down all the tiger lilies.
Since I am talking about relationships, I’ll focus on that in my response, although a logical consequence is in order.
A response based in the flesh would include jerking the kid out of bed and yelling, “How could you do this? You knew these were my favorite flowers. You are right. You act terribly all the time. You always destroy everything.”
A righteous anger is a proper response, but anger will not solve the problem. I used several blogging days to set the ground work for this example, remember the fight is not with flesh and blood. A good question is, “why is this flesh and blood child intent on destruction?” He is operating under some mistaken beliefs-
I am only powerful if I get my own way.
I’m only powerful if I get revenge on you when I don’t get my own way.
– Children the Challenge
Traumatized children feel secure if they have power, they believe they can control their environment. Giving up control means losing power. Things are worthless, only worthy of destruction because that is how they feel about themselves.
This is the nitty-gritty truth of raising hurt children. The reaction of the parent can restore or add further rejection the child. Restoration is never instant, it happens one response at a time.
“With compassion, you can look inside your child’s heart and recognize the impairments and deep fear that drive maladaptive behavior-fears of abandonment, hunger, being in an unfamiliar environment, losing control, and being hurt,…. he is just trying to survive the best he can with his mental limitations and social understanding.”- The Connected Child
More tomorrow on the parental response!
What would you do?
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