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pushing me away.(11 Posts)
Hi my DD arrived in Jan. She's 2.5 yrs. She can be loving and and sometimes overly friendly/clingy. But at times she pushes me away and I'm finding it hard tbh. For example sometimes when shes hurt herself she wont let me comfort her, the other night she was crying in bed I went in to see her and she screamed at me to go away.
I wondered if anyone else had advise..should I force her to be comforted ie when hurt insist I check her over or just leave her?
Chances are this is because in the past she has cried and no-one has come (and therefore has learned to rely on herself and self-sooth) or she hasn't got to the stage where she trusts you enough for you to comfort her.
It is still very early days so don't worry about it too much. Sit near her but don't try to hug her. Hold her hand of she will let you. Most important thing you can do is reassure her with your words, tell her that you are there, that she can come to you if she wants to and always always tell her that you love her.
Hope things start to change for you soon but be ready for them to take time.
I have never adopted but it sounds fairly typical of any two year old. My kids take liberties with me that they would never try on their childminder eg telling me to go away while having a tantrum. I am told that this is because they feel more secure with me and know that I will be there even if they behave badly. So, by extension, you have clearly done a great job as your daughter feels comfortable enough to be a pain! Think about it- with someone they don't know, adults are on their best behaviour. With people close to them, they feel more able to behave naturally. You have taken a child who was a stranger, settled them in your home and made them comfortable enough with you to behave like an average two year old. Congratulations!
The push/pull thing is hard and at 21/2 where children are becoming even more independent, this can be difficult when you are trying to allow for dependency to begin to create the building blocks to attachment.
When AD was first placed (at 12 months) I noticed that she rarely cried if she fell over etc and would not accept comfort when she hurt herself. This set alarm bells in my head as it was not right. We then made a huge fuss (even when we knew she had not hurt herself) by 'kissing' the hurt better and 'telling off' the floor etc. After, many months of push/pull where it would result in me being upset (as she did this to me especially), DH and I had a talk and we came to the conclusion that it was a trust issue. We also thought that by showing her how much it effected me she did it even more.
We are now 19 months into placement (AD is 32 months) and oh how things have changed! The push/pull only occurs when she is stressed, so quite rare now. If AD hurts herself etc she will run straight to me, cry into my shoulder and be soothed. Things will get better for you it will just take time.
Have you had any theraplay? Or do you do any theraplay games at home? I would do this as it helped us. Have you heard of the concept of doing the 10/20/10 play? Well, basically you spend 10 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the afternoon etc of intensive play. Allow AD to choose the activity and try to let her lead it (tea party etc), sometimes I suggest a number different activities for her to choose from if she does not know what to do. Also, Do you get anytime to yourself? I felt (and still do) that it let me recharge my batteries by just having some me time.
kmarie100 I helped in a orphanage a long time ago and the boys (aged 6 plus) ran away when hurt and did not turn to each other or anyone else for comfort. I think it is probably very normal if kids have not been comforted a lot to push away.
I am approved and matched but not yet living with my little one so feel free to ignore me! I have a birth dd aged 9 and I know birth kids can be quite testing but. I don't agree, DrSeuss, that she is just behaving like a normal 2 year old. Of course she might be but I think it is very unlikely if she has only known kmarie100 for a few months.
I do agree with DrSeuss that all kids probably play up more for their mum but if a child only been in a place a few months then I do think it is unlikely they are fully attached. I would be very surprised if she were behaving the way a birth child would with a birth mum.
IMHO her behaviour is only to be expected and I am sure your training, kmarie100, has prepared you for that a little. Of course the training cannot prepare you for the heartache of not always getting the expected response from your child.
It will not always be this way at all, because as angelwings says there is push/pull thing. I am sure with time she will learn to allow you to comfort her but I don't think you can force comfort on her. If she is injured etc of course you need to help her but if she needs comfort but can't accept it right now I am not sure forcing it will help. Just my humble opinion.
I think some play where you are both helping a dolly who is sad, or a teddy, or where she is comforting you, would help to encourage her to see that this is what normally happens to little ones (baby animals, dolls, children) when they are sick or hurt or afraid. I am sure there are some good books out there that can help her to hear stories about one person giving comfort to a child or a mummy animal to a baby animal.
Do not think of this as naughty behaviour for her, she is just showing you how she feels and if she is made to feel bad for showing you how she feels. I am sure it is very tough for you but try and remain calm, it is early days. Try not to worry and enjoy the times when she does want to be close.
Thankyou for your replies.
I do think it's a mixture of her learnt behaviour to soothe herself and that we are not fully bonded yet. Like you say it's early days. I think it's harder to deal with because sometimes she will run to me for comfort and then other times wont and I never know how she will react to my attempts to help her. Also particularly awkward when we are out in public. The other day she fell at the park and went into a tantrum when I tried to check she was ok. I calmly told her that I was just checking she was ok and she could play again after but she had already lost it by then!
"part of my job as mummy is to make sure you're ok because I love you"... That mantra has got me through many rejections by dd (much older... 9) ... She exhibits the same behaviour and our therapist pointed out she didn't really know what a mummy is or does.
Also that love and hate are a fine line in a child who doesn't want to let themselves trust you because grown ups are scary people who let them down.
Sorry.. what I put in quotes is what I've repeated to dd many many times... It does help keep things calm in my mind and explains our mummy job to them
DD had plenty of comfort when she was a baby but even so it's only in the last few months where she has let herself be properly comforted by DH and the last 10 months or so where she's let me get close when she's upset - she's been with us for over two years now. For her it was as much a control thing as a trust thing.
It is really hard, isn't it. We coped by not forcing the issue but sitting next to her, perhaps stroking her arm and talking in a low calm voice. Articulating things in a way that puts her in control really helps her too - "I know your leg hurts because you fell over. If you let me rub it that might help". Or "If you're worried that I'm going to leave you, don't worry because I will always be here for you"
My DS (placed with us 5 month), really rejected me at 1st, in any situation he could. He upset me a lot, I felt as though I was some sort of monster! He still tries to when DH returns home, but this is more of a control thing for a reaction. He'll desperately seek DHs cuddles in a "baby voice" but look at me each time he is all over him. But as for getting close to him, he snuggles into me each night now, & as others have posted I used to just give him a little pat on the head, or ask for a cuddle, giving him the control. He initially could only be close to me on my back! Things have improved a lot & I am sure they will for you too. We are also still in the early days, I found ignoring it & trying to not let it upset me worked best.
Thank you all again, some really good advice/support and lots to think about. I never thought about teaching her what mummys do and that makes sence. I feel more prepared now for the next time something similar happens.
I must do more theraplay with her though, we did lots in the first few weeks when DH was off work but I think "normal" life has taken over now.
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