#111 – It’s all in your point of view

August 26, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Posted in adoption issues | Leave a comment
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Our family has been dealing with, actually struggling with, a close relative who to us appears to be making decisions about their life that are not what we would expect or agree with.  We’ve all been trying to find some semblance of logic to their current life, but it has escaped us.


One family member came across an article and sent it to all of us who are concerned.  It described the generation this young person is in and how their thinking and living is logically different than what we experienced.  It was so well explained that at the end of the article, our angst was gone.  We felt, “Of course, he is going to act the way he is.  For him, it is normal.”  It’s not the way he was raised or what our expectations were, but for him it is normal.


I thought of the struggles that adoptive parents have with their expectations of their children and how much angst that can cause for both parents and children.  It really is so simple, but so hard to see on a daily basis.  It’s all in your point of view.  Considering the generational differences, there are obviously differences in the outlook toward life.  It’s natural to want our children to see life as we see life.  They never will because the circumstances of our childhood are now history.  Our children are raised in another era.


As adoptive parents it seems we cling closely to our children and desperately want them to be like us – even more so because they were not born to us.  We try harder.  So – the adopted child not only has a different life era to grow up in, he is in a different category than we were.  He lives in an adoptive family and we grew up in (in almost all cases) a biological family.


Adoptees have two main areas where their point of view toward life differs from their adoptive parents. (1) The era in which they were born and (2) family emotional security; do they belong where they were born or where they were adopted? Our children live with the trauma of loss at a level that we as their parents cannot ever conceive of.  We expect them to absorb into their souls the fact that they are not living with the family they were born into – and to act as if that were normal.


In our parenting as adoptive parents, I don’t think we respect these differences enough.  We must deal with where our children are and where they are coming from, not where we wish they were.  Wishing will not make it so.  Respecting our children’s point of view can give us an avenue into their minds and souls.  We may or may not agree with how they look at life, but we must respect their outlook because for them it is normal.


As my mother aged, she often said, “I wish I could meet someone just like me.”  She became tired of adjusting to others.  She felt it would be so nice to have a friend who looked at life the way she did.  Not to be, and so with our children, adopted or not, but particularly with adopted children.  We have a different point of view than they do.  They have a different point of view than we do.  To parent successfully, it helps to see and respect their point of view.  They will never have the experiences that shaped us through our years, and as much as we love them, we will never experience theirs.  But, if we are open to where they are coming from, we can be so much more effective as loving parents.


This is not easy, but the rewards are immense.  We can have happier families with more respect for each other.  We need to remember that our point of view is not the same as our children’s.  It never will be, so we need to learn how they are thinking and why they are thinking the way they do. We can help them to understand our point of view as well.  Then we can all connect. There really is no right or wrong, just ‘normal’ and that differs for us all.

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