Chapter 16 – Solving the Puzzle of Our Kids – Parent Discussion

chapter16-parent-discussion-harry-potter-adoption

Chapter 16 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is all about breaking the enchantments protecting the sorcerer’s stone. Dangerous spells are guarding the stone from falling into the wrong hands, but Harry and his friends have come to realize that it is going to happen if they don’t do something since none of the adults are listening to them. (That’s another blog in and of itself!) They have to use not only the touted characteristics of Gryffindor—friendship and bravery—but also the more Ravenclaw-esque qualities of book smarts and cleverness, and all their talents down to how to play a good game of chess.

“As a result of trauma, children in foster care, kinship care, institutions, or adoptive homes have become complicated puzzles, a series of enchantments or spells, if you will, needing to be broken.”

Looking at our kids, they look like “typical,” “normal” kids, but not much about their childhood has been very “normal.” As a result of trauma, children in foster care, kinship care, institutions, or adoptive homes have become complicated puzzles, a series of enchantments or spells, if you will, needing to be broken. A child may be chronologically 10 years old, physically 6, academically 5, developmentally 4, emotionally 3, and experientially 25. The goal is to take their lives and create one piece—one age—that is the child, to bring up the areas that are lagging behind their chronological age and to reign in the ones that have gotten too far ahead.

The only way to do this is to look at the whole child, to use all your skills and knowledge and that of every professional you know, to continue researching and learning more, and to apply all that you learn in any way possible to solve the puzzle of the child in your care, to get the help they and you need. You have to become puzzle solvers like Harry, Ron, and Hermione and determine what calms “Fluffy,” how to defeat the “Devil’s Snare;” which key will unlock a door; how to play your way across the chess board; which potion will advance you, which will send you backwards and which will kill you; what to see in the mirror; and how to protect something precious and valuable.

“There is no magical answer here. It’s a daunting and overwhelming task, and it never ends.”

There is no magical answer here. It’s a daunting and overwhelming task, and it never ends. It can take years to find the correct diagnoses, or therapies, or nutrition, or activities, or relationships, or doctors, or medications (…You get the picture) to get a breakthrough in an area. Halting their experiential age often means putting rules into place that “normal” families don’t have. We have had to enforce rules that neighborhood friends think odd and don’t always want to abide by, such as no sharing blankets, no children allowed in Mom and Dad’s room, members of the opposite sex are not allowed in bedrooms, and bedroom doors stay open when anyone else is in them aside from the child who lives in that room.

Catching up a child’s emotional age may involve doing activities with them that they are “too old” for. This is one area of the puzzle we probably struggle with the most. I, in particular, have had a hard time with this, especially after six years of parenting our kiddos and not seeing progress in some areas. I have a hard time looking at a teenager or tween and not expecting age appropriate responses and behaviors. Also, in preparation for foster care and adoption, professionals may tell you to rock a teenager in a rocking chair to help “unlock” developmental progress which may have stalled when a child didn’t receive the physical affection needed at important developmental stages. Taking in an older male child who wants to snuggle into an adult’s chest can be awkward for moms to say the least.

“As difficult as solving these puzzles in our children’s lives can be, it is also one of the most rewarding accomplishments you will EVER experience…”

As difficult as solving these puzzles in our children’s lives can be, it is also one of the most rewarding accomplishments you will EVER experience, and it must be done to achieve healing, to break cycles, and to help these little humans be all they can and fulfill the purpose of their lives.

Your Turn:

  1. Take a moment to reflect on each child in your care. What is their chronological age? Emotional? Physical? Academic? Experiential? Developmental?
  2. Which areas need to catch up and which need to be halted?
  3. What steps will you take to solve the puzzle of your child?
  4. Comment below with ways you have found breakthroughs with your child to help others.

chapter16-parent-discussion-social-media

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Leave a Reply