Friday, January 23, 2009

How do you know what's right?

There's been a lot of chatter on my various Yahoo! groups this week about doing right by our kids.

One thread hotly debates whether it's smart to read everything there is to read about attachment disorders or whether doing so makes us see emotional wounds where there are none and encourages us to over-dramatize every tear shed and every toy hurled as signs of bonding issues.

Another discusses whether it's better to let your kids sleep in your room or whether you should sleep in their room.

One mom said that if you think your kid doesn't need to be in therapy to deal with his attachment issues you probably shouldn't have adopted from China. Another wondered -- seriously, I think -- whether it hurts kids more to be adopted or to spend their entire childhoods in orphanages.

I read them all. And they all leave me wondering whether I'm doing the right thing. For example, Quinn sleeps alone in his room with no issues - he goes down easily, sleeps through the night and wakes up with a smile. But is that traumatizing him in some way? Am I doing him harm that will manifest itself down the line? If he's crying for a bottle, I ask him to calm down before handing it over. It works, but is it doing him damage? He can now stand up on his own but cries to get down; the last few days I haven't rushed right to his aid, hoping he'll learn to get down on his own. But am I really helping him learn a skill or making him flash back to times in the orphanage when he cried and nobody came?

For now, I trust my gut and Quinn's responses more than I trust posts from other parents or even books by experts. But I can't help but wonder: When it comes to parenting, do you ever really know what's right???

5 comments:

Snickerdoodle said...

I meant to post this earlier, when you first mentioned it: about your ds's inability to "get down" from standing position. Mine did the same thing, until I taught her how to get down.

Bend his one knee and sorta lead his little knee to hit the crib mattress (gently, of course). Then do it with the other leg/knee. It won't take long before he figures it out by himself, but showing him will speed it along. I showed mine once or twice, and whammo, lots more independence. :)
Best,
Snick :)

Jill said...

Great idea - I'll try it! Thank you!

Phil and Sherry said...

No, you never know if you are doing the right thing. Our big parenting "breakthrough" was to stop doing what all the families around us with adopted children said to do and follow our gut. We still lay in bed at night debating if we are making the right choice, but she seems much calmer now that we feel more confident.

Susan said...

Hi Jill and Tom! And Quinn-Quinn! I just got caught up on your blog and it is hard to believe how much Quinn has grown and developed in such a few short months...you all are doing so well. Don't second guess yourselves. Do what you feel is right in your heart. Some things you will get wrong...but the VAST majority you will get right. You guys have such great parenting instincts. It was a pleasure being with you the day you got your precious Quinn. Hope to talk soon. Lots of love, Susan

Susan said...

Hi Jill and Tom! And Quinn-Quinn!! I just took some time to get caught up on your blog and I cannot believe how much Quinn has grown and developed over the past few months. He is absolutely precious! As far as parenting goes...you guys are doing a beautiful job. Follow your heart. With the love that you have for Quinn, it will guide you in the right path. Some of your decisions may be wrong (and he will survive those), but the VAST majority of them will be right on target! I was thrilled to be with you both the day you got Quinn and I know first hand the great parents you are...researching, studying, thinking things through. You'd doing everything you can to ensure he has a wonderful childhood. Every child should be so fortunate.

Lots and lots of love,
Susan