Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | June 6, 2011

Giving Yes’s!

One of the techniques that Dr. Purvis discussed at the Summit was the idea of giving your child yes’s.  During the first year of a child’s life, they are constantly receiving yes’s from their parents. They cry because they are hungry, and mommy or daddy says, “Yes, I’ll feed you.” They cry because they need their diaper changed, and mommy or daddy says, “Yes, I’ll change you.” They cry because they need to be held and loved, and mommy or daddy says, “Yes, I’ll hold you… I’ll love you.” But think of the first year of a child’s life in an institution. Feedings and diaper changes are done on a schedule, not when the child is hungry or needs their diaper changed. Hugs and affection are not freely given, because there just are not enough workers or time. A baby is not usually rocked to sleep, but placed in a bed with other children to fall asleep. During the first year of an institutionalized child’s life, they are receiving no’s, not yes’s.

So when the child is placed in their Forever Family, mommy and daddy need to give that child yes’s.  There is no better way to help establish trust than to give your child a yes. Your child must learn to trust that mommy and daddy are going to provide food, warmth, a bed, and constant love. So the more yes’s you can give your adopted child, the more you are reinforcing to your child, “Yes, I’m here for you… I will always take care of you, love you, and provide what you need.”

I want to encourage all of our adoptive parents, next time you want to give a quick no, stop and think, “Can I give my child a yes… can I take this opportunity to help build trust?”

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