One moment your child is clinging to you at breakfast, with loving arms encircling your neck. The next moment she screams and smashes the cereal bowl following a simple request to wipe Cheerios off the table. That same child, who was just doting on you, is now reminding you that you’re the worst parent ever, there’s never been anyone more horrible than you, and she wants to hurt you. You’re bewildered. You ask yourself why this is happening when the same request the day before yielded swift compliance—a completely different response.
Does reading this bring validation, intense emotions, or your own physical reaction? If you said yes to any of these, then chances are you’ve experienced this, first-hand. This attachment pattern is the most confusing and troublesome for adoptive and foster families.
Attachment is one of the most talked about issues in adoption and I pulled the above description from an article by social worker Amy Price for a blog called Parenting with Connection. If you are unfamiliar with the many ways attachment can manifest itself, read the article. If nothing else it will help you to know you are not alone in your struggles. Every adoptive parent has navigated some of the same things. Sometimes bizarre behavior is rooted in fear and attachment issues that can be improved with patience, time and love. Price gives some examples in her article.