I have been doing some reading today and it got me to thinking about when our girls first came home verses where they are now.
Each of them were VERY young emotionally when they were first home, including our oldest adoptee and youngest PRECIOUS daughter, Miss Alli.... (She was 11 when she came home.)
The things that were common ground among all of them, had to do with finding things around the house and hoarding them. That means, pencils, scissors, crayons, hair brushes, food items, junk mail, and countless other types of items.
They ALL did this!
They would also wear my shoes, or wear them outside and leave them OUTSIDE! Oh the shoes that I could not find!
The one thing I never thought about, was that it was STEALING. You know why? Because it WASN'T!
Even though they were old enough to know better gestationally, they were NOT old enough to know better emotionally.
So, instead of accusing them of "stealing".... we simply said, "Oh I see you have my scissors in your room. Those belong in mommy's drawer, can you please put them there? And the answer would always be yes. They may wind up in the room again, and the process was repeated.
We never said, "YOU STOLE MY SCISSORS!" Because, 1. this would have done nothing to help them, and 2. Emotionally, they couldn't understand the concept.
When our boys were little, there were all sorts of things I would find in their rooms. Spoons, scissors, paper, FOOD..... I never thought once that it was "stealing". They were little. They found something interesting or tasty and they wanted it; plain and simple. Over time, they learned that it was not ok to have certain things and some things were off limits!
In the same way, our children who come to us through adoption learn. Many times they may be 3 emotionally but 12 physically. We MUST deal with the 3 year old when it comes to this type of behavior. Gently letting them know to put things back, not put food in their room, not put their clean socks under the bed, not collect every hair brush in the house or wear mama's shoes ......These are all developmental things that must be learned at the AGE your child is EMOTIONALLY!
To ACCUSE a child who is that young emotionally is damaging to them. It brings them shame and will NOT help them to heal.
I am VERY HAPPY to say after 10 Months of Miss Alli being home, I am no longer looking for pens or scissors. :) Now, I did have to ask where my shoes were today, but she found them for me right away. Her wearing my shoes is a compliment actually. :)
I think sometimes we are so quick to accuse... and think badly of our children, when in reality, they are just very young and need instruction.... Once they learn, without SHAME, they catch on very fast, and we can find our scissors! LOL
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)