Sunday, June 30, 2013

If Only She Had Asked

My daughter unloads a dirty dishwasher full of dishes into the cupboards .  If only she had asked.

My daughter eats something that was meant for someone else.  If only she had asked.

My daughter turns off the light that indicates the dishwasher is clean so it gets washed twice.  If only she had asked.

My daughter tries to unclog the toilet by herself.  If only she had asked.

My daughter dices the tomatoes for sandwiches instead of slices.  If only she had asked.

My daughter gets rid of three pairs of shoes that could have gone to another sister.  If only she had asked.

My daughter accidentally erases all of the songs off her MP3 player.  If only she had asked.

Now please understand that these are not big deals in the grand scheme of things.  They certainly make things a little inconvenient, but nothing I haven't dealt with as a parent in the past.  What makes them a problem is that my daughter is not letting me be her Mom.  She is not allowing herself to be taught.  My daughter would rather do something wrong than ask for help. And not just my help but anyone's help.   Then watch out when I try to correct and teach her.  It ends up the same way.  She chews nails for the next hour because she took it way too personally.

I explain to her that it is normal for her to not know how to do everything.   It's okay.  I tell her that I had to ask my Mom lots of things growing up and still do.  She has only been in America for a few years.  She has only had the opportunity to do these things since she has been my daughter.   She is learning everything at a much older age so she has three times as much to learn in order to catch up to her sisters.   She shouldn't beat herself up for not knowing how to do certain things yet.  I told her how I want to help her, teach her..... be her Mom.  I know that once she learns, she will be able to do it right without asking.  I am certain of it.  I remind her that if would just ask she would avoid doing it wrong and getting upset when I correct her.

I think she is beginning to realize that asking for help is better than not asking for help.  Finally.   It took many talks, but I do think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now we are moving on to getting her to think ahead.  We have canned and dry food for the dogs.   Since she feeds the dogs she knows when their food is getting low.  We ran out of wet food about a week ago and I found out only because I asked.  I used this time to teach her to tell me when there is only one or two cans left so I can get more before the dogs run out.   I was so pleased when she seemed to get what I was saying. 

I am hopeful. :)


  1. Hi! I think it is nice that your daughter has someone to teach her because in the orphanage she had no one.Pat

  2. Oh my can we relate to this post! :)

  3. I think, she simply did not feel she needed help, some children are more independent than others, they learn by making mistakes, I have bilogical daughter, she would have done the same. I try to see positive in this, she is very independent and successful. My son asks me everything before doing, unfortunately he is less successful. Kids are very different.

  4. Thank you for this post. My daughter has just turned 4 and came home at 17 months. I have two sons who are adopted from Russian Orphanges also however, it is my daughter who does the same things all the time at a much lesser scale since she is 4. I often worry she has FAS or something as the boys always have been able to figure out or learn what to do while my daughter misses everything from social cues to many such examples of what you have mentioned in your post. Her brain does not function the same way the other three kids do. I am sure she has RAD. She is very bright and coordinated and very social but she has what I think of as holes in her brain. ANy thoughts on this? Thank you!

  5. Do you write down all these small "bad" things she has done? It reminded me of my brother who wathed his stepson to do any small " bad" thing.

  6. Lovely post! We just did respite care for a few weeks for a boy who was SO GOOD about appropriately asking and thanking. My! How I appreciated that (and his good example to everyone else!)

  7. This post reminded me of when I moved overseas with my family when I was young & I wanted to fit in so much that I didn't want to be perceived as "different" in any way. My lack of language, tastes in different food, even knowing some things that others did not know - i felt that all those things singled me out. She could be experiencing something similar & may not want to draw attention to herself by being the only one that doesn't know, the only one that needs to ask for help. Maybe it would help if she sees the other girls asking for help as well? It could help make it seem like something normal that everyone does.

    Lovely post, always so encouraging.

  8. WE have the exact same issues with our son home from ukraine almost 5 yrs. But he refuses to ask because he feels he is much smarter. He has several personality disorders we r dealing with as well as him being 15 which causes a lot of atitude as well.

  9. Our kiddos are so used to being on their own it does not cross their mind to ask for help. To the outside observer they may think our kids are creative-not recognizing the subtle survival mode they have been in since infants. O will try to tackle projects using her Ukrainian intuition and orphanage induced independence and then be amazed when later we tell her if she had asked us there was a quicker or easier way to do it. I pray too for the day she realizes she does not have to go through life alone, she can only rely on herself, and family means support! I remind too that she isn't expected to know it all and that is why asking questions and making plans prior to just "figuring it out" is a healthy way to learn!
    Great progress for your daughter though!

  10. So glad I'm not the only one who deals with this. Our daughters have been home for 5 years. They so want to be trusted to do everything that our other kids do, but they just do not have the critical thinking skills developed yet, and they are afraid to ask for help. It is so hard!



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