The Wright Stuff… Janie

On Monday morning The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 ran a phone in about the contraversial topic of whether a 2 year old should be told that her father killed her mother and then took his own life in prison.

Here is the news link.

Here at the POTATO group we understand that many of our members had their children due to reasons of extreme violence, and it is important to give their children a narrative.

This is based on the work in Greg Keck’s 2002 book “Parenting the hurt child” and sits alongside the respected work by Bessell Van De Kolk “The body keeps the score“. The approaches to life story work such as Rose and Philpot “The Childs Own Story” and “Story Re-Visions” by Parry & Doan are related to this therapeutic understanding. Other experts such as Dr Bruce Perry and the respected Dan Hughes and Family Futures  with a multitude of current trauma specialists follow the “full disclosure” school of thought.

“Janie” is one of our founder members and continues to contribute on the committee and our private facebook group. Janie says re disclosure of life story to adoptees: “After all if we cannot give our children the truth, what can we give them?”

We would like local and national government to give full disclosure about their childrens past when they are adopted. This rarely happens and a censored version of events is given to families so they are in effect, parenting blind. We think this needs to change. Here are some quotes from Greg Keck explaining why.

“In therapy, Rita [approx. age 7] was capable of expressing what she thought she might have felt when she was two years old”. — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 82

“We need to validate their truth, document their truth, and where possible show them the truth. Sometimes in therapy we have used police or hospital photos to show the child exactly what “bad touch” means. These photos do more to affirm the child’s reality than the nice smiling photos taken at a supervised visit.” — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 249

“I don’t think we should keep any information about a child from that child. And I don’t think we have to wait until he is old enough to understand what happened to him. After all, most atrocities committed by parents are done before their children can truly understand them. We talk to babies”. — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 250

Greg Keck passed away in 2015 and is missed by the adoption community worldwide. You can access his powerpoint explaining his approach in detail here.

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