Are You an Attuned Adoptive Parent?
By Rebecca Hawkes on September 29, 2011
When a baby cries, an attuned parent or caregiver recognizes this as a communication of an unmet need and subsequently tries to a) decipher the communication, and b) meet the need. Repetitions of this cycle facilitates attachment between the child and their caregiver.
When an older child comes into a family as a foster or foster-adopt placement, a similar scenario plays out. The child "cries out" -- sometimes with words, sometimes with actual tears, often with behavior. It's a more challenging situation because trauma scrambles the message. Fear masquerades as anger; anxiety as aggression. But a loving and attuned parent can learn to decode the message, to "hear" what the child is saying.
Most parents will bend over backwards to meet the needs of their children. Love, safety, a sense of belonging. Anything that is beneficial, we want them to have it. But what happens when an adoptive parent tunes in and hears the child asking for a connection, or more of a connection, to their biological family?
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