You know that feeling when you want something so badly you feel like you’d give or do just about anything to get it? The feeling that tells you if you try harder or work more it will happen? There will be a day that feeling directly correlates with the relationship you have with your children.
I pray that it is short-lived and inconsequential. I pray that maybe it doesn’t happen at all, but when/if it does, my advice to you is to not force it. Don’t put so much energy into forcing a relationship that you inflict more cracks than repairs.
Children are fickle beings especially as they get older (I haven’t yet experienced this, but have heard from those who have!). Even when they know, wholeheartedly, they need and love you, they will push boundaries and push you away. This is not the time or opportunity to exhibit dominance and force your position in their life. This is the time for you to be the steadfast, unfaltering rock they need.
As a foster / adoptive parent, it is our desire to lift up every child who enters our home. We wish to surround them with our love and dote on them tirelessly, but some simply aren’t ready for it. Some are trying to understand and work through the trauma they’ve experienced while others are so used to being let down their walls are built of sturdy rock.
These moments are not our opportunity to push harder, but rather stand firmer. In not forcing a relationship, but rather enduring the storm by their side, you are showing them you respect their boundaries, but are still available.
Encourage bonding with your children by not forcing it, but allowing it to happen more naturally. Show your child respect by maintaining the boundaries they set while still enforcing your own. Build bridges by giving them space to work on themselves and they will eventually invite you in to help.