Sep 2, 2010


Manny came to us HATING water.  The sound of water.  The feel of water.  The hint of water would send him into a screaming fit that would last until we dried him off and removed any hint of the feel or sound of water. 
 Rain.  Bathwater.  Splashes from the pool.  Anything would start this fit. 

Makes it very difficult to bathe a baby like this.  But we did our best to go slowly and work with him.  Afterall, we live in Florida.  We're surrounded by water.  We have a pool.  It rains a lot.  I have 5 other kids who like to splash.  He needs baths due to the profuse sweating he does.
  Just recently he started tolerating water without freaking out. 

Today, he actually seemed to enjoy it!  All worth the patience it has taken over the past 5 months. 

I was struck by a thought.  I know many adoptive families feel the same way as I do about easing a kid into behaviors that we prefer.  But I also know a great deal of adoptive families who feel we need to "force" a kid to do what we want from them, to show them the expectations of them and hold them to it immediately.  (Wo ai ne Mommy show comes readily to mind in regards to this topic.) 

I tend to lean towards compassion over compliance.  Bonding over behavior.  Long-trm over legalism.  Relationship over respect.  Attachment over anger-fits.  Especially with a newly adopted child.

I have NO clue why my new son was deathly afraid of water.  I just know 2 things. 
1) it would be helpful if evantually he wasn't. 
2) FORCING the issue only breaks down, not promotes our attachment.

baby burrito

I am by no means saying I am a perfect parent.  But I am saying that *I* would like to be treated this way - with kindness, compassion, patience and mercy,  Why wouldn't our kids want and deserve anything less?

And for ME ... the proof is in the results. 

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