In 2009, I launched My Learning Curve, a series of posts with practical tips for parenting children from “hard places.” I’m reaching back into my archives to share some of these newly updated posts with you. We are nine years into our adoption journey, while many of you are at the beginning; I hope these posts are useful to you.
So many of our children from “hard places” experienced extreme deprivation. They may have lived in an orphanage, neglectful home, or in a place where there simply was not enough to go around. These experiences wired their brains to believe that there would never be enough of anything: food, clothing, attention, love.
We spent years helping Kalkidan work through these fears. Back in 2009, she created the photo above during a therapy session. With help, she made a list of the things she feared she did not have enough of, and then drew the picture showing that there is enough to go around.
One evening, shortly after that therapy session, food was being passed around the dinner table and Kalkidan was very concerned that we would run out of something she wanted. We all knew she wanted the chicken because she was giving a constant commentary on the amount left in the bowl as it passed from one person to another.
Russ reminded her to breathe and say, “I have enough.” At first she said, “No, I don’t have enough and we are going to run out of food!” A few moments later, she calmed herself and said, “I have enough.”
“I have enough” is a phrase we practiced saying each day for a long time. Try it with a few deep breaths alongside for ultimate calming impact. Maybe it will reach your child’s heart and begin the process of healing that fear.
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