79 – I love you vs. I believe in you

February 16, 2017 at 10:29 am | Posted in adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's | Leave a comment
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I love you.

I believe in you.

 

Two different phrases.  Both essential in parenting, but they don’t have the exact same meaning. The adoption expert,  Robert Hafetz, in his papers emphasizes how important the second phrase is – “I believe in you”.

 

A child can feel loved, but still feel he is wanting, inferior, not as good a person as other people.  If adopted, he can feel this way because he knows he was relinquished by his birth mother and adopted by strangers.  This can be a long battle for a child and adult to overcome.  The words “I believe in you” gives the meaning that the speaker (parent) has faith in his child, thinks he is of value, and is an important person.  This is love, but it goes in a little different direction, a more practical message perhaps.

 

In our culture winning is emphasized in almost every endeavor in our lives.  When one loses, the message by society (people) is that he or she is not as good as others.  This can only cement the loser attitude. Our societal message is the winner is good and the loser is bad.

 

Mr. Hafetz says that effort should be emphasized instead.  Win or lose, there is always another chance and the effort to gain more knowledge or skill should be the issue.  This creates a lifestyle of resilience, a quality we all need in this life.  As the saying goes, “It’s not how many times you are knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up”.  We all need to remember this and we all need to help this be a motto for our adopted children.  Everyone is valuable, but many adopted children have a hard time feeling and accepting their intrinsic value.  We need to help them see how wonderful they are and that we not only love them, but we have faith in them and believe in them.

 

A link to all of Robert Hafetz’s writings is listed under Favorite Links, bottom of screen.

 

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