Patty B... Bastards and Friends...Unite! and Fight!
Int'l Soundex Reunion Registry: PO BOX 2312, Carson City, NV 89702-2312
One of the problems with this, is that often it is difficult to
discern whether the child has an attachment problem, or is acting out,
testing the parents to see if they will "keep" him. Depending on what
the child has been through previously, this can last a long time. lso,
you can't discount fetal alchohol syndrome where many of these
problems also exsist
> Children who are adopted after the age of 6 mos. or so, are at
>risk for attachment problems. Normal attachment develops during
>the child's first two years of life. Problems with the mother-
>child relationship during that time, or breaks in the consistent
>caregiver-child relationship, prevent attachment from developing
>normally. There are a wide range of attachment problems, that
>result in varying degrees of emotional disturbance in the child.
>The severity of attachment disorder seems to result from the number
>of breaks in the bonding cycle, and the extent of the child's
>emotional vulnerability. One thing is certain; if an infants needs
>are not met consistently, in a loving, nurturing way, attachment
>will not occur normally. What often occurs is a type of attachment
>called a dependency bond.
But they are strongly bonded none the less.
A young child who is abused or neglected,
>often becomes attached to the abusive parent out of dependency
>alone. His life literally depends on his relationship with that
>parent. He is helpless to make his needs known to others, and of
>course has no way to meet them himself. Many of the elements of
>healthy attachment are missing from this kind of relationship. Yet
>the child may look very "bonded" to the parent.
They don't look it, they are.
Children who have
>experienced frequent moves may also exhibit signs of dependency
>bonding. Their immediate need for security and safety, forces
>them to act out an insincere attachment. They may subconsciously
>feel the need to "look good", in order to be accepted and taken
This is also called self-preservation. They adapt to whatever
situation they're put into. They must, or they know theyll be moved
> So how can we tell the difference between a child who "looks"
>attached, and a child who really is making a healthy, secure attach-
It's very difficult. Sometimes the only way you find out is to have it
blow up in your face.
This question becomes important for adoptive families, because
>some adopted children will form an almost immediate dependency bond
>to their adoptive parents. To mistake this as secure and healthy
>attachment can lead to many problems down the road.
But it can be just as strong. Remeber, this is the same bond that they
have given to an abusive parent. But, sometimes, an immediate bond can
occur. There is something deep within the child that touches something
in the parent. It happens.
Just because a
>child calls someone "mom" or "dad", snuggles, cuddles, and says "I
>love you", does not mean that he is attached, or even attaching.
>Saying "I love you", and knowing what that really feels like, can be
>two different things. Attachment is a process. It takes time. The
>key to its formation is trust, and trust becomes secure only after
>repeated testing. Normal attachment takes a couple of years of
>cycling through mutually positive interactions. The child learns
>that he is loved, and can love in return. The parent's give love,
>and learn that the child loves them. The child learns to trust
>that his needs will be met in a consistent and nurturing manner,
>and that he "belongs" to his family, and they to him. Positive
>interaction. Trust. Claiming. Reciprocity (the mutual meeting of
>needs..give and take) These must be consistently present for an
>extended period of time, for healthy, secure attachment to take
>place. It is through these elements, that a child learns how to
>love, and how to accept love.
If they are capable of it.
> Older adopted children need time to make adjustments to their new
>surroundings. They need to become familiar with their care givers,
>friends, relatives, neighbors, teachers, and others with whom they
>will have repeated contact. They need to learn the ins and outs of
>their new household's routines, and adapt to living in a new physical
>environment. Some children have cultural or language hurdles to over-
>come. Until most of these tasks have been accomplished, they may not
>be able to relax enough to allow the work of attachment to begin. In
>the meantime, behavioral problems related to insecurity and lack of
>attachment, as well as to other events in the child's past may start
>to surface. Some start to get labels like, "manipulative", "super-
>ficial", "sneaky". They may begin to be seen as "users", or play
>one person against another. Sooner or later the family may decide
>that this kid is all "take" and no "give". He "gives" only when it
>is to his own benefit. He can seem to be very selfish and control-
>ing. On the inside, this child is filled with anxiety.
Not always. Sometimes these kids are empty inside. They don't feel any
anxiety. They don't really fel anything. It may be hard to believe,
but it's true
He has not
>developed the self esteem that comes with feeling a valued, contri-
>buting, member of a family. He cares little about pleasing others,
>since his relationship with them is quite superficial. He is a
>child who doesn't "wear well". He seems to fit in only when it
>suits his purposes to do so.
But you also have the other type of kid, the one who seems to fit in
everywhere. The chameleon.
> If his attachment problems are recognized, he can be rescued from
>problems that will most certainly plague his future. His parents can
>take steps to help him through the attachment process. With help
>such as appropriate therapy, particular parenting strategies, or re-
>parenting techniques, an older adopted child can make secure attach-
>ments within his new family, that will serve as a foundation for
>emotional health, contentment, and success in years to come.
I disagree. Many ar child has been so damaged that they are simply
unable to truly bond. No amount of therapy or parenting techniques
will make a difference in the bonding - only in the behavior. That is
the harsh reality. It may seem as though they have, and it may look
like he has, but he hasn't. With luck, they will grow into adulthood
with both the parents and kid beleiving they have bonded. However,
with some bad luck, something will happen to show that this bond has
been a fraud, and the kid will "kick the parent to the curb" as it
were, with not a second thought. The teen years are usually when this
happens if it's going to. And, it's aboslutely heartbreaking.
>(c)copyright 1994, Cathy Helding
> all rights reserved
> Reprinted with permission
Out of curiosity, is this written out of theory or experience?
Yes, I agree with you. But, since Mrs. Helding is writing about insecure
attachment and dependency bonding, the issues of FAS/FAE, as with many
other disorders, were not included. Have you read _Holding Time..._ by
Martha Welch? You'll find three URLs with reference to Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome in my signature line(s).
> > Children who are adopted after the age of 6 mos. or so, are at
> >risk for attachment problems. Normal attachment develops during
> >the child's first two years of life. Problems with the mother-
> >child relationship during that time, or breaks in the consistent
> >caregiver-child relationship, prevent attachment from developing
> >normally. There are a wide range of attachment problems, that
> >result in varying degrees of emotional disturbance in the child.
> >The severity of attachment disorder seems to result from the number
> >of breaks in the bonding cycle, and the extent of the child's
> >emotional vulnerability. One thing is certain; if an infants needs
> >are not met consistently, in a loving, nurturing way, attachment
> >will not occur normally. What often occurs is a type of attachment
> >called a dependency bond.
> But they are strongly bonded none the less.
I believe that a dependency bond is most definitley a negative form
of attachment. As with children who use nothing but negative behaviors
in order to gain attention from adults/caregivers. Please re-read Mrs.
Helding's first sentence just below this...that type of dependency bond is
NOT healthy, yet it's required for the *survival* of the child (in the
I am certain that Mrs. Helding will agree with mnay of your points. I
am happy to forward a copy of this post to her -- hopefully she will
have time to respond. Are you a parent to a child with RAD? (Reactive
Attachment Disorder?) FAS/FAE?
> >(c)copyright 1994, Cathy Helding
> > all rights reserved
> > Reprinted with permission
> Out of curiosity, is this written out of theory or experience?
Since Mrs. Helding is the adoptive parent of several teens with RAD,
I can assure you that she draws on both theory AND experience in
writing about these very serious concerns.
>Since Mrs. Helding is the adoptive parent of several teens with RAD,
>I can assure you that she draws on both theory AND experience in
>writing about these very serious concerns.
Well, I'm speaking from experiencce too. I hold my hat out her,
adopting older kids is tough. No question about it. We adopted 8 and
one thing I learned was that there was always something to learn. That
no one really had the answer. At least that's what I found out. I took
stringest issue about once a kid is past 6 months old they have
trouble bonding. I know too many parents who have found that not to be
true. Regardless, it's a tough road to hoe, and my regads to Mrs.
One of my grand daughters came into the family at 8 months, totally
passive, unable to smile, turn over, bond, anything. As she has grown
she has fit the image of the Romainian orphans and we now know she
likely is a drug/alcohol baby and she also has missing parts in her brain.
So, we immediately started by making her look us in the eye when we
talked to her and laughed, etc. It was hard at first, but after almost a
year, she was able to look us in the eye "normally" and now can say a few
words, is learning sign (she doesn't hear things right) and is outgoing,
bouncy and definitely holds her own with her siblings-she is 3 1/2
and is getting some (but not enough) schooling. We will be fighting to
get her whatever she needs to succeed-without the money and medicaid there
is no way the family could get the help for her. Our family did, of course,
adopt her and all but one of her siblings-who also have problems.
(The one was given to another home at birth by the state.)