Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro
Wow! I feel so bad for those babies. And I can only imagine how difficult it is for you. I would feel totally inadequate and ignorant of how to best help them.
The thoughts that come to mind are - if it's only been six months that is a very short time compared to the whole of their lives before they came to you. Everything that your kids have learned in their two years or four years about how the world works, what/who is safe, how to behave, what is appropriate, how to love, deal with emotions, people meaning what they say, etc these kids have no clue about. It is going to take a tremendous amount of time teaching all these things concentrated down into as short a time as they can process it. And it's going to be so much harder for them to learn it as it goes against all of their experience. So you really have to try to view them as the age of the things they need to learn rather than their biological age.
Minute example - you tell them to stay on the porch and they last 30 seconds. When your girls were one and were first confronted with the word 'No' from you regarding something they wanted you had to teach them patiently and repeatedly to accept that. After having every need met as infants it was a totally foreign experience to not get to go or do or have what they wanted when they wanted it. You might have to tell a toddler not to pull the cat's tail ten times in one day. You might have to distract. You might have to remove. You have to stop what you are doing and be firm and consistent. But, you don't let them pull the cat's tail. We expect to do that for a one year old. We don't expect to have to do that for a four or seven year old. We expect to tell them something and have them do it. We expect that when they were that age they learned to obey a parent's directives. But, these kids haven't. So it will take the same kind of time consuming teaching that it takes to teach a toddler but even more effort, time, attention because older kids are bigger and can push you harder. But, eventually comes the same reward, the child understands that you mean what you say and there is no getting out of doing it.
And all that to only address one small part of all you wrote, some of the everyday frustration and upheaval that comes from trying to incorporate kids who do not have the same experience as yours into your family. There is so much more. But, that's just what I thought of first off. And maybe it is a little encouraging to think about why they are that way and that there is a lot of hope that they will eventually learn much better behavior! I don't know what I would do in your shoes. Frustration and discouragement would be inevitable at times. But, getting the kids out of that living situation is worth it and you already did that!