Love Them Anyway

“The children who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways,” said the sign, tacked to a pin board with a thousand other scraps of paper. Seen on a visit to a child in a daycare who had recently been removed from home, this quote really resonated. It is so, so true. Bed wetting, roaming about the house at night, throwing tantrums, hyper focusing, hoarding food, refusing to follow directions, ignorance of proper hygiene; CASA has encountered a child exhibiting one or more of all of these behaviors. Does it mean the child wants to be unlovable, to isolate? No, it means just the opposite. This child needs to be loved, like all humans do, but does not know how to offer or accept it and cannot trust that anyone will be able to give it unconditionally. Sometimes, children in the system even sabotage good placements because they believe that eventually their foster parents will reject them. To them it can be better to get the hurt over with sooner rather than later.

So how do children themselves define love? See the quotes below for some examples-

  • “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.” — Greg, age 8
  • “I’m in favor of love as long as it doesn’t happen when Dinosaurs is on television.” — Jill, age 6
  • “Don’t say you love somebody and then change your mind. Love isn’t like picking what movie you want to watch.” — Natalie, age 9
  • “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.  So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca – age 8
  • “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  Billy – age 4
  • “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” Bobby – age 7
  • “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it.  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget.” Jessica – age 8

To see more visit RinkWorks and SoBadSoGood.

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