How many times have you been in the check out line at your local grocer, calmly flipping through your favorite magazine, when the shrieking wail of a tantruming four-year-old echoes through the aisles? "I want candy NOW," he bellows, his face purple with rage, lying flat out on the floor, kicking and banging his legs into the linoleum. His mother, bending down on her knees, pleads with him to get up and 'be a good boy'. Near tears, she fights her own rage at her son's behavior, and feels humiliated and embarrassed. Finally, out of desperation and with gritted teeth, she tells him to get his candy fast, so they can get out of the store.
Before I had children, I self-righteously vowed that no child of mine would ever act that way, especially in public. I would never have children who were so demanding or who acted so inappropriately, and I would never give candy to my children just to get them to stop screaming. My children would be sweet, kind, and quiet, and would immediately obey every word from my mouth. It's amazing what a few years and two children later will do to change a person's perspective!
Now when I witness a child melting down in the candy aisle at the grocery store, I look with tremendous sympathy to the poor mother. I want to go up to her, put my arm around her shoulder, and tell her I know exactly how she feels. I want to offer her candy from the stash I keep in my purse for my own kids at all times!
The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox Building Connections, edited by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae Copyright © 2006 EMK Press, all rights reserved. The complete 520 page book covering all aspects of becoming and being an adoptive family is available at Amazon.com.