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.
Photo Credit:by dnamichaud