by Nancy Thomas
Children with broken hearts and wounded minds have special needs. When children have had early separation, abuse, neglect, or medical interventions, they are at high risk for Attachment Disorders.
Let me give you an example: If you had child “A” with diabetes and child “B” standing next to him that was healthy, would you look at child “A” and say, “He doesn’t look like he has diabetes to me!?” People do that all the time to parents with an emotionally disturbed child!! How rude and discounting! What if child “A” & “B” were both at a birthday party and were both given big pieces of cake because, “All children should be treated the same?” Child “A” could end up in the hospital. It is the same with children who have special needs because of mental illness. If they are both given the same privileges, a child with Attachment Disorder will not feel safe and could also end up in the hospital – a psychiatric hospital!
Picture yourself as a parent of child “A” that must be given painful insulin injections to stay alive. Imagine how difficult it would be to have to cause pain to your child, that you love, by giving them an injection to keep them healthy! What if some well-meaning, ‘clueless’ person stood by as you had the needle poised to inject your child with life-sustaining insulin and said, “Oh! Don’t do that! It’s mean! I don’t do that to my children and they turned out fine!” Would those comments make it any easier to do what must be done for your child? Would it help the child who must endure the injections? Why then do folks feel it is okay to say those kinds of things to parents with children that have wounded minds?! Children that are sexual perpetrators or violent with others cannot run and play with other children. Other parents do not understand how quickly one of these children can ‘grab’ a crotch or ‘poke out’ an eye. They often judge and condemn parents for keeping their child ‘in close’ and out of trouble, rather than realizing how difficult it is to watch them every second to keep them and others safe. How tacky it is to have to explain to every interferer that your child has this problem and how humiliating for the child to hear it told to all!
What happened to trusting and honoring each other for our efforts to help our children? Most parents love their children and are doing the best they can for them. How about supporting and encouraging those with difficult children! Yes, there are wackos out there, but thankfully they are few. The rest of us parents are doing the best we can. We all make mistakes but we make less when we are supported and understood than when we are judged and condemned. You want to help? Let a parent know what they are doing RIGHT and give them a hug and a smile!