Chapter Three is entitled Solving the Puzzle of Difficult Behavior. I think most parents can relate to not understanding where difficult behavior comes from. Dr. Purvis takes the time in this chapter to decode some behaviors that adopted and/or foster children may have.
A child raised in a harsh or dysfunctional environment becomes a survivalist. He or she can’t be expected to know the rules of family life or to have every intellectual advantage.
Foster and adoptive children can come with a lot of problems. TCC should be required reading for any family considering foster care or adoption. In hopes for a healthy child, I think many adoptive parents forget the factors beyond physical health that may come.
When your child appears physically perfect, it’s easy to erroneously assume that his or her behavior is willful and intentional.
Most the chapter lists behaviors and qualities children may have when they have been neglected, abused or traumatized in some way. It is hard to read these things but so beneficial to know. They can explain so much about a child’s behavior and point you toward a solution.
As we anticipate a new placement within the next couple of weeks, I am glad to have read over this chapter. The first few weeks with a new child are so chaotic. You are living with someone you have just met and who you know so little about.
Behavior provides clues to the history of the child – his pain, his fear, his needs. Although we address misbehavior directly and quickly, we also must address it sensitively and responsively as a clue to the deepest needs of the child.
The chapter ends with what I love most about this book which is hope.
We use the term “real child” to refer to the core of highest potential inside a young person. It’s always our goal to free up and reveal this magnificent inner core and to enable the child to experience his or her full potential as a loving, connected, and competent individual.
This helps us remember that when we see these behaviors in our children or in others that we remember that they are a reflection of past hurt. It brings us back to compassion and encourages patience and perseverance.
It honestly reminds me of how God approaches us as His children – unconditional love regardless of how we behave, patience with us as we react to our own sin and the sin of others and compassion as we seek to become more like Him.
*The Connected Child book club is hosted by Sarah Thacker.