Posted by: fatherof11 | March 9, 2006

Attachment Disorders the "Cure"

Having discussed the causes of attachment disorders I want to layout the solution. The solution is simple yet hard. The solution is Biblical parenting. My first thought was that there are many who have done a much better job of describing what Biblical parenting is than me. So I went looking. What I found was this, a succinct description of Biblical parenting.

What I intend to do is to reference you to this and then use it as an outline for a series of posts on Attachment Disorders. I will expound on each point and try to relate them to the particular issues of children who would be considered to have attachment disorders. So lets start with point 1:

Praise a Lot

A child that is praised consistently as well as corrected consistently can tell the difference in what the parent wants and does not want. We are to give honor to whom honor is due and rejoice when our children walk in truth. Romans 13:7, III John 4.

This issue is really important to the kids we are considering. Because of their neglectful or abusive background most of their experience with parents and authority figures has been negative. The result is that their response toward correction is often improper. Correction appears to them as the start of an abuse cycle. Thus they will try to deflect, deny, or avoid correction rather than respond in a positive manner. We need to restore this balance and teach them to respond properly. Add a balancing amount of praise will help put correction in the right perspective for them.

It is interesting to note that, in the book of Revelation, Jesus commends the churches before he corrects them for their problems. Likewise, the Apostle Paul in many of his letters will point out the good points of the church he is writing to before delving into correcting their errors. We could learn well from these examples. It is a good habit to find positive things to say to a child before seeking to correct them.

Getting a child to the point where they accept praise and correction properly is a process that takes time. Some of our children came to us not knowing how to respond to praise. This may be because they have received so little praise in their life that they do not recognize what it is, or it may be that because what praise they did receive was a means of manipulation In either case they tend to not respond properly at first. One example of this is our son who becomes giddy when he receives praise. It seems that the slightest amount of praise convinces him that he is the supreme ruler of the universe and that all power is in his hand. At the same time he is almost impervious to rebuke because he came to us so accustomed to deprivation and pain that he does not recognize either as something to be avoided but merely endured. With him it has been a very slow process.

Others will respond more readily. The key is to balance the praise and correction. How we balance depends on the condition of the child. 1 Tim 5:14 suggests says that we should admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. Those who are seeking to do what is right but are struggling should be encouraged. Those who have no desire to do what is right show be corrected, the strength of correction being determined by the state of their heart.

This can become hard at time because some kids, particularly when they first come, have very few positive traits to praise. We want to encourage them so that they will see that positive behavior produces positive results. This is hard when little of what they do is truly right. Sometimewe must go out of our way to look for things to praise. Thankfully, as time goes on this tends to get better.

I must admit that this is one area in which I personally struggle. I am a very analytical person. I am good at my job because I find the potential problems before theyoccur and try to fix them. This works well with computer software, not so well with children. Children need the balance between praise and correction. Thankfully, my wife is a natural encourager.

Next up: Play a Lot!

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Responses

  1. We call this “consequences” (you should hear the twins pronounce it… they can even define it)… We tell them that there are essentially two types of consequences. The consequence of sin and the consequence of obedience…
    I could go on about this. But I think you get the picture.


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