What if we met meltdowns with connection in the early years or in the infancy of adoption? Toddlers who live in terror of the nursery are held, comforted by mom without the reprimand, “Why can’t you let mom sit in church in peace?”
What if we listened to the child afraid of the dark and gave him a nightlight and prayed a scripture with him?
What if we listened to the child who didn’t want to play a team sport even if it meant we jumped off the socially accepted conveyor belt? What if he stayed home, close to Mom and Dad, played with Legos, read books and played outside instead?
The problem with not connecting with the hurt child during or after meltdowns is connections are slowly lost. Like a piece of poster putty left alone, the child and parent become cold and hard. Child and parent alike begin to view each other as intrusions and interruptions. Meltdowns on both sides become more common and the home becomes a battlefield.
Guess who has to take the first step towards healing and repentance? Parents. Hurt children are not equipped with sympathy, empathy or repentance. Parenthood is the most uncomfortable job in the universe. Just ask our Father. We are His children adopted by grace. (Romans 8:15) How do we respond to His parenting?
All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. -Isaiah 53:6
Where are connections first made? The home. To deny that our children have a past is to BLOCK healing for their future. Rushing onto the conveyor belt of life shortly after adoption is a mistake. Ignorance is not bliss. It is the lack of wisdom of and vision. Stay home for awhile. Connect. Write down triggers. What if we met our children in their meltdowns and made connections? We may have to wait until the tears stop, the tunnel darkens, or the flailing stops, but if we do, we can selflessly connect.
Some of my children’s early triggers were:
- separation from new mom
- hearing their native tongue
- white lab coats
- cafeteria style eating
How about your children’s? Are you able to connect during or after meltdowns?