excerpt CHAPTER 14 – PRO-ACTIVE PARENTING

…From that point on, we became fairly consistent in our parenting, and though we were no experts or learned professionals, we felt our parenting was right and righteous. The problem with most experts, in my humble opinion, is that their parenting experience is generally based on two kids, one of each gender, or on research they haven’t actually done themselves through their own practice.
When we began to adopt children, it was a whole other ball game. Our adopted kids had unwarranted trust issues with us, based on their warranted lack of trust with previous adults who had parented them. This made them automatically disobedient to any parental directives. We had to learn to treat them with kid gloves, but also with firm hands and clear instructions. It was a very fine line, and most of the time it worked better to choose grace and forgiveness over punitive actions. When a child’s default response to every single question or request is the opposite of the truth or the Lord’s Commandments, parents have to be long-suffering in their patience, forgiveness, unconditional love, and consistent instruction, and be on their knees for wisdom and fortitude.
Our adopted kids, the three older ones in particular, were feral children before entering the foster care system. Though they had good foster parents, their early lives until around two or three years of age had no foundation of right and wrong, and little to no supervision and nurturing. They were survivors, stealing food because they weren’t fed regularly, lying to cover up their wrongs, and manipulating adults to get what they wanted. We saw first-hand the crime in not teaching infants and toddlers right from wrong as soon as they can understand even simple things like staying within the bounds of their blanket for safety.
We had to re-parent our adopted kids as if they were infants, instead of school age. Manners at the table, bedtime rituals (bathroom chores, reading aloud, and prayers), social niceties like please and thank you, looking people in the eye when you talk to them (still an issue), not stealing from others (still an issue), not lying to cover up your sins (still an issue), not fighting, or not fleeing when life gets hard (still an issue). The first three years of life are crucial in the development of human beings, and our adopted kids didn’t get what they needed. By the time they leave home at 18+, I hope and pray they get it, or their adulthoods will be burdensome for them, as well as society….

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