Sunday, May 4, 2008

Parents Attaching

A friend sent me this quote:

"...attachment not only prepares a child to be taken care of, but also evokes the care giving instincts in an adult. Training or education cannot do what attachment can do: trigger the instincts to take care of. Attachment also renders children more endearing than they otherwise would be. It increases our tolerance of the hardships involved in parenting and the unintentional abuse we may suffer in the process....When our children express by actions or words a desire to attach to us, it makes them sweeter and easier to take. There are hundreds of little gestures and expressions, all unconscious, that serve to soften us up and draw us near. We are not being manipulated by the child, we are being worked on by the forces of attachment, and for very good reason. Parenting involves hardship and we need something to make the burden a little bit easier to bear." From 'Hold on to Your Kids' by Nuefeld and Mate.

I have never read this book, but what wisdom. When we think of the children who are attached to us they stir warm feelings of attachment in us. We remember the way they smiled, something cute they said, a card they made or a hug when we were sick or discouraged. We do not have these memories with our unattached children. I think this is the reason it is so important to do fun activities together. I know . . . I know. They often sabotage large family activities and ruin them for everyone. But one on one my boys do better. They love to go to a small coffee shop for a smoothie and play Chinese checkers, to go to the park and look at the ducks or during the right season the eagles. There will be times they will seek to ruin even these times. Seek out small short fun activities to build little memories. Mom's need them as much as the kids do. Spend time snuggling. There are times they will be stiff and unresponsive. Every once in awhile it will touch their hearts and they will hug back and then you will feel the tug at your heart. Then bring back those times during the hard times. There are plenty of those. Last night our little town had a scholastic banquet at which my son (non RAD) received an academic letter. My husband and I agreed he would stay home with the youngest and I took the two 15 year olds. Our youngest has a hard time when I leave and generally acts out for a day or two afterwards. I had come up with the idea of doing some little thing for each other every time we are apart. Before I left I said "Remember we are supposed to do something to show we thought of each other." As I sat down I saw they had these metal bookmarks from the National Honor Society. Youngest son is an avid reader so I thought I would take it home for him. When I got home there was a little sign on the door going into the house "Welcome Home Mom". There is my attachment for the week right there. "When the world says, "Give up,"Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."~Author Unknown

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