Band Aids

Giving and receiving love may seem like an easy thing, but for many adopted and foster kids this is hard. They have given love to people only to have those people disappear from their life or not return their love. They have received love only to be moved to a new home, or the “love” they received was not love at all. These kids are confused about what it means to give and receive love.

Applying a band aid

Many of them are indiscriminately friendly with adults and other kids. While on the surface it seems that they are so affectionate and loving, as a mom it is scary to watch. They don’t understand appropriate interaction with others and must be both shown and taught how to appropriately give and receive love. We talk often about personal space and when and how it is appropriate to give hugs and kisses.

I remember being at an Empowered to Connect training and seeing a video of Dr. Purvis doing what she calls a nurture group with a bunch of teenage kids. She gave all of them a box of band aids and told them to put them on each others hurts. At first the kids thought this was kind of silly, but soon the kids began asking them to put band aids on their heart and on real scars they had from previous abuse. These kids were learning how to receive nurture from someone else, and how to give nurture to someones wounds (whether inside or out).

I remember this often when my kids come to me with a wound. You know the one. You can’t see the itty bitty cut on the top of their hand, but it is causing them lots of pain. I used to be the mom that said, “You’re fine! I can’t even see it! Just go play,” but then I realized that I had a great opportunity to help my kids learn about giving and receiving love in a safe and appropriate place. Now we have TONS of fun band aids and a new house rule: You may have a band aid anytime you want, but you must ask someone else to put it on for you. This goes for Mom and Dad too. 🙂 Often times the kids think it is silly, but it is great daily practice on giving and receiving love.

How do you teach your kids about giving and receiving love? Leave a comment below.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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1 Comment

  1. oh Kayla, this just made me cry.
    Maybe a bit off topic, but I need to share 2 things.
    It reminds me that when my son first came to stay with me at 15months old he did not know how to give a kiss or to give a hug. now somebody that doesn’t have kids may thing that’s not much of a deal, but as a parent of many children you know that even the youngest babies learn how to lean forward and give big sloppy wet kisses. my son did not. it took 6 months for him to freely give me a hug and kiss without my asking for one.. I got it on Valentines day.. and I walked out of the daycare crying (with a couple of parents looking at me like I was crazy)… but I was celebrating that my buddy was able to freely touch me, love on me, and hug on me. Greatest Valentine’s gift ever!
    On another note, my son has always been terrified of bandaids for some reason. the medicine was no problem, even the kinds that sting, but whip out the bandaid and he would scream down the house. Just recently has become very interested in them… probably because not only did I make sure we have his favorites (snoopy or super heroes), but if one of his babies gets hurt (ie.. falls of the bed, gets chewed on by the dog) we put one or 2 on it. This week I cut my finger making dinner, and he wanted to run and get me one of his bandaids. He told me that even if there was only 1 bandaid left, that I cud have it. Because when we went to the store we could buy ‘smore. Love that he trusts me enough that he knows that I will buy him bandaids when if we run out of his.

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