Nurture parenting

The agency told us they had been severely neglected, possibly abused, definitely exposed to awful stuff.

They were sent to us after a disrupted placement–their foster mother had had enough.

The sole piece of advice they gave us: be consistent, don’t give in to bad behavior.

Not bad advice, but not nearly enough. I am not sure that RAD and fetal alcohol issues are fixable….but if they can be mitigated then caregivers need to nurture.

I am an elementary school teacher– a nurturing type, so I know I tried. The children often did not respond to cuddling, hugs, or carrying the way other children do.

I spent hours carrying them on hikes and I have a rich store of memories of being hit, kicked, punched, and verbally assaulted for no other provocation than carrying them. Most young children have the sense to know that a good, patient Sherpa mama is worth something.

Not these two. A simple hug was never simple.

I think the explanation is that neglected children have a fight or flight instinct that kicks in when it shouldn’t.

Babies need a lot of love, a lot of cuddle time. Without that their brains get messed up–the coldness and hostility of a nurture-deprived babyhood translates to a lot of sturm and drang.

We gotta do better for these wounded souls. But my experience was brutal…

Wish I could have hugged them more.

2 thoughts on “Nurture parenting

  1. Oh, E… Hugs hugs hugs to you. Those poor babies’ brains. Now they’re adults. I have nothing profound to add, but wish I did. You loved them the best they were able to accept and more.

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