Friday, December 4, 2015

ohhhh the holidays... sigh!!

"Your children are so beautiful and so well behaved!'

This is a comment we received this past weekend when we went 
out to dinner for Hagan's birthday.

What they didn't see was that one child was missing.

He was there, but they couldn't see him.

You see, my son was overwhelmed with everything that day.
Actually, for the last few weeks.
Holidays are very hard on many kids from hard places.
Whether it's the inability to celebrate another person
and their successes,
or if it the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,
either way,
it's hard on them.

My son decided that instead of eating at the table with the rest of us,
he sat under the table  -
eating junk from under the table 
and from the floor. 

We often times had our parenting strategies questioned,
"why would you allow your child to do this?"

Well, I'll tell you why. 
It's for the safety of everyone around.
If we had pushed him further he would have had a complete meltdown,
screaming, hitting, kicking, spitting on anyone around.

I know this doesn't make sense to most people.
It didn't make sense to me when I saw things like this 
before I had a son who cannot regulate himself.
This doesn't make him a "bad" kid - but a kid who just can't regulate himself.

In the adoption community we have a phrase called, "cocooning".
Meaning we make our child's world as small as can be 
and keep that child near by.
This is often done early in the adoption process.

(what I would give to go back in time and get to my boy sooner in life!)

But, really with most kids from hard places this needs to happen often.
Because of lack of nutrients, lack of cuddling as an infant, lack of simple needs being met, and stress they experienced in the womb,
their brains are not formed like the average child.
When a child is in fight, flight, or freeze mode there is no moving forward
until they are ready. 
We just have to ride it out and deal with actions after their brains 
are processing the events correctly. 

Believe me, even if it doesn't look like we are being pro-active in our parenting - 
we definitely are!! 
Unfortunately, our parenting looks very different from others parenting.
Our children are hyper-vigilant so we have to be also -
to keep one step a head of them!! 

So, if you see an adoptive family,
not participating in normal activities,
especially this time of the year,
know that they are not all bah humbug -
but just trying to get through the season without too much trauma drama for everyone. 

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