understanding, empathy and hope


I love new beginnings, change, the seasons renewing.  I enjoy the chance to reflect and improve and also to savour what has beeen achieved.

My daughter returned to school today for her new school year.  Year 6, final year of primary school, a lot of responsibility for a little girl.  The desire to “grow up” is so strong in her, while I push just as strongly to keep her “little” for as long as possible.  She was full of brightness this morning, wearing a new skirt and tights, new pencils packed.  She went to school feeling proud and full of hope.

Unfortunately the little girl that I delivered to school was not the little girl who came home.  Who was anxious and agitated in the car.  Who lay on her bed quietly for 30 minutes not fully understanding what led to her day being so bad.

Attachment disorders in children who have been neglected can cause illogical, disruptive, “naughty” behaviour.  Behaviour that can push adults to the edge of sanity.  Slowly, month after month, year after year, attachment is built and behaviour starts to slowly ‘normalise’.  Unfortunately, the school environment is not always conducive to building strong attachment in wounded children.  I don’t expect children to understand “bad” behaviour, to be able to manage it, to empathise with those who are scared and angry.  But I hope.

So, for this new beginning, I am going to embrace hope.  I, and my daughter, will grow even when lots and lots of walls are put in our way.