Susan wrote on my last post regarding attachment and counseling:

“I have wondered about that emotional regulation. I might be reaching here and only guessing, but 3 years seems like it would be a normal amount of time? Non- adopted, never taken from their family kids go through the baby, then the terrible twos, then the more terrible want-to-jump-out-a-window 3’s, and then about 4 I think they seem like they morph into a small human. So, and again just reaching here, but older kids starting at a baseline level might be at a baby level and then move through the same process when in a safe and nurturing environment to emerge as a not so small human. As we have been working through the process of figuring out if we are right for adoption I have been wondering about this but really haven’t been able to find out anything, or I am not looking in the right spot. What do you think? Am I way off here?”

This is what I wrote to her in return:

I definitely did not think that the 3 year window she gave me was abnormal. I didn’t get the chance to pick her brain and see whether that time frame is usual for children with this kind of attachment and regulation issues because she is just so scattered.

I hate the 3s. I would take two years of the 2s over a year of the 3s any day. At three is also when children really have attachment issues, which we are going through with Madeline right now. I know that the psych eval placed Huck at a maturity level of a 4 year old. I don’t know much about childhood development but it’s hard to say they start as babies with each new home and grow from there, so that it would be three years as if they were maturing from infancy. It almost seems more complicated than that. They are attached and have attached already, but it wasn’t to us as their new parents, it was to their biological family. So instead of just growing from infancy and working on attachment/maturity until the fourth year that seems to be golden in terms of emotional regulation, they are fighting their biology and trauma past with road bumps that they just might never get over.

For example, Scarlett will attach to any adult that will pay her any attention, and goes through about four heart breaks in a day when she has to leave said adults. But I am concerned that she will never truly attach to anyone, including future partners, because she does not understand/can’t commit to actual attachment and love. She seeks love and attention whether it is positive or negative. Granted she is still young but I do worry about that for her.

It’s interesting to consider and it’s so complicated. Maybe I’ll have more answers in a year or so!

Good luck with your journey, it sounds like you would be a great resource for kids!”

Anyone have some resources regarding emotional regulation/attachment in children with a trauma past? I’m doing a search tonight so I will share anything good that I find!


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