Thursday, August 19, 2010

Regression

We've gotten a bit of grief from various people regarding some of the boys' little eccentricities.

(Don't apologize... this goes with parenting, right? :) I don't mind the grief, but I do want people to be careful not to make the boys feel badly about themselves. )

Pacifiers, for one.
Being held or carried, for two.

We know it isn't normal for four and three year olds to suck on pacifiers or to want to be carried everywhere and held. But these boys are not normal.

They were probably never allowed to be children.... I know Joey wasn't. His first year was spent in a constant state of stress, and his next three years weren't much better. The only difference, probably, was that he got to eat more often. Christopher didn't ever have continuity either. No one ever told him, "You're MY baby, and I'm going to keep you forever!"

Regression is very common for adoptees. I wish I knew an article on the subject to share with everyone. I'm sure Christie does, but I'm not as 'in the know'. :)

These boys will not do everything exactly when everyone else does... well, they might, but they might not. Their speech is improving, but their little hearts still need comforting. If a paci makes them feel safe and like they are being taken care of, then I want them to have one. They will stop using it when they are ready to move on, and I'm not going to hurry them. They need to be free to be babies for a while. Everyone should get to experience being a baby. The sad thing is that it happens so late for some kids.

1 comment:

  1. Em's you are 100% RIGHT about this.
    They MUST be able to regress a little in order to go through the steps of normal development. If it is refused it will always be a hole in their development and cause problems later.

    ALL of the girlies used a pacifier and baby blanket. We cooed with them like they were little babies, and rocked them gently. ALL 3 pretended to nurse, believe it or not, and I did not forbid them. Instead, we used a bottle and I explained that not all newborn babies get to nurse. Tim didn't get to. :) We rocked, used pacifiers and bottles for Anna for over 2 years. That is what she needed.

    Erika would catch me in the hall, and grab me and pretend to nurse.

    Most folks don't know this, but this is the DEPTH of what neglect and abuse do to children. They can't move past the damage, UNLESS, somebody lovingly gives them what they didn't have. It is extremely important that they are not shamed for wanting to go through a natural stage they never went through.

    I often advise people who adopt to consider their child a newborn emotionally, becuase in many ways, that is exactly what they are, even if they are 10 years old.

    Em's, I would suggest to you, that you make sure they boys are not subjected to any form of shaming. Warn folks ahead of time if need be, but no shaming allowed!
    Folks may think you are being ridiculous, but you are not! Let me reassure you that YOU ARE NOT!

    The boys will give these things up when they are ready. They may take them back again too for a short time and then finally give them up forever.
    Anna used them the longest.(bottle and paci) Sarah used her blanket for YEARS and when she sees it declares with great affection, "MY BLANKIE!" and then gives it a well deserving hug! :)
    Erika did all these things too, but required it the least, possibly because she was nearly 8 when she arrived, and also because of her surgeries, we had loads of cuddling alone. She still tried to nurse more than anybody!
    I was always amazed that for little kids who new nothing of nursing, they all instinctively knew somehow that babies did that.

    Those boys are doing wonderfully, BECAUSE you are giving them the room to be babies and to grow through the stages they missed.
    Just look at how far they have come!
    Don't let anybody criticize you. You are doing wonderfully!

    Is there a book about this? Somewhere. LOL

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