Aiming at Trustworthiness

(6th in a series on trust in relation to Reactive Attachment Disorder)
Surveying the field, it is apparent that in RAD camps, much effort is aimed at achieving attachment and gaining the child’s trust. This target has given rise to treatment centers for attachment and an arsenal of therapies, including attachment therapy, corrective attachment parenting, and holding therapy. While relational trust is a good thing, there is a better target. I say this for three reasons, some of which I have previously discussed.
  1. God is the only One worthy of the core trust needed for breaking the child out of his prison, Self-trust.
  2. Gaining a child’s trust is not a parental responsibility. Godly parenting is. Shouldn’t parents be aimed at being trustworthy ourselves?
  3. In the end, he will have to give an account to God for his character, not for whether he “attached” to his parents. Shouldn’t we be shifting the child’s aim toward being trustworthy?

Proverbs 12:22 says that “those who deal faithfully are His delight” (emphasis added). Scripture does not require that the child trust other people; it requires that he trust God and be trustworthy.

Of course we want our child to cultivate a trust that will open the door to enjoyment of rewarding relationships. Sure we feel sorry about his past tragedies. Sure we ache over his present struggles. Yet no past hurt, present “neediness,” or continued disappointments can lower the bar of responsibility. He is not without resources. When he is tempted to lie or steal or manipulate, what he could do is to drink of God’s compassion and arm himself with God’s grace and strength to do what is right.

We parents must call our children, even our fearful, distrustful children, to trustworthiness. We don’t have to disarm the child so much as shift his aim. Of course, he will protest. He might try to run or to shoot us. Who doesn’t try to avoid responsibility at some time in their lives? We still can make every effort to lovingly wrap our arms around him and reasonably, gently guide his aim from selfishness toward integrity, toward respect of others, toward obedience, toward trustworthiness. In love, we must urge our children to aim at the glory of obedience and the joy of rewards from God Most High.

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About Linda

Wifing, Singing, Studying, Counseling. I counsel at Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center. M.A. in Biblical Counseling. Certified by Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
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