July 11th, 2008
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Sucking the air outI would like to address a comment made on a blog that I wrote on July 2, 2008 entitled “Place Older Adopted Children With Stay at Home Parent.” In that blog, I stated that older adopted children typically come to their new family with abandonment issues. I realize there are many other issues involved, but I am addressing just abandonment for now. In the summary of the article I stated, “Try to find a way to spend those first few months with your child. Give your child time to feel safe and bond with you. It could potentially save you many problems later.” A reader commented that attachment disordered children will suck a stay at home parent (SAHP) dry emotionally. This is a valid statement. A stay at home parent needs an attachment related support group or friends, who also have older adopted children, with whom the SAHP can talk. The SAHP also needs other adult contact, support, and interaction or a RAD child would definitely suck the parent emotionally dry.


Here is the comment.

Comment from: jsteven45 “I couldn’t disagree with you more, ESPECIALLY with attachment-disordered children who will literally suck you dry emotionally if they can. Having reared five older-adopted girls, four of whom were diagnosed with RAD to adulthood, and three of those being pretty successful adults, working outside the home saved my mental health and made me a much better parent for these damaged children. Work was a place where I was treated as a reasonably competent person–something my daughters could not give me for a long time. Work gave me respite from home, but it also gave me the strength to go home and do what needed to be done to rear my children. Interestingly (and only anecdotally), the disruptions I’m aware of occurred only in homes with a SAHM.”

If a stay at home parent has everything emotionally invested in the success of a RAD child, it could very well lead to a disruption. The SAHP could take the child’s actions, and lack of success personally. Therefore, it is very important to connect with others who are parenting RAD children. It is one of the ways we keep our sanity, and understand that we are not complete failures, when we cannot help our children to heal.

Notice though, that in the article I said, “The first few months after placement,” not forever. I also gave several alternative actions for the new adoptive parent. Some were, working at home, taking your child to work, or working a different shift if you have a partner so that one of you is home with the child. Most companies honor FMLA for new adoptive parents, allowing them the same amount of time off from work as a parent who gave birth. Several SAHP have started there own support groups where none existed. Many are now virtual support groups, on the internet such as yahoo groups. Where members may never meet in person, but offer each other support.

Place Older Adopted Children With Stay at Home Parent

Photo Credit:by dnamichaud

2 Responses to “Attachment Disordered Children Will Suck a Stay at Home Parent Dry”

  1. just another mom says:

    While it is true it is difficult to stay home with an unattached child,working has it’s own difficulties. The more adults who care for your child early in the adoption,the more adults your child can manipulate and triangulate. Part of the reason it is so exhausting is that the children are fighting attaching. I not only chose to stay home, I chose to homeschool the our 3. We are about to be placed with our 4 adopted child and by staying home I am giving him a consistency he has never known. We sacrifice my income to give our kids stability and to show them daily,hourly what being a part of a family is. it would be much easier on me to go to work-especially those first months and years.It would be easier on my husband if he wasn’t the sole provider. With my kids I know for a fact they would have been content to think of us as just another family they stay with instead of having to deal with the fact that we ARE their family. By being together day to day,they gradually began to trust that there would always be an adult for them to count on.
    BTW I was a working parent when my birth children were growing up. I know exactly how much emotional energy I had while working and how much more I have staying home. It is because the kids suck you dry that I stay home.

  2. alexis 1952@hotmail. says:

    I have two children both with attatchment disorder, one of whom has RAD. I could not have survived the last nine years without going to work and interacting with adults and ‘normal’ children. It gave me a baseline to work from and aspire to, not that we’ve got there yet and never will with my daughter but the special day school my son attends is helping him come to terms with his problems along with councilling from an established charity. My daughter went in to care a few months before her 16th birthday. Her problems are enormous and the foster carer has exactly the same issues as we did. We could go no further forward with her, we had reached the point where she could no longer live with us. My husband has had his second breakdown and had not fully recovered from his first, both af which are centred on my daughters problems, behaviour and attitude towards older men. She was already 7 when she came into our family.
    I’m not sure whether this is the right place to write about this but I need to hear from others who can perhaps help me come to terms with how I feel about this and continue to support my daughter as best I can throught the coming years as well as my sone and husband.

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