Why Would An Abused Child Want To Return Home?

There are many preconceived stereo types and misconceptions in foster care. Many can’t relate or understand what abused children go through or why they act the way they do. Many times we don’t know ourselves why we feel a certain way. One of the common things people can’t quite understand is why abused kids would want to go home to their parents.

Being older I didn’t want to go home. I was made to believe everything that was going on was just normal punishments, but as I got older I realized more that we were really in trouble. After the fact I could see how good my parents were at hiding what was going on and for how long it went unnoticed. I knew that if we went back we wouldn’t be so lucky. At 15 I knew that I couldn’t go back to my parents and had already decided I was going to go into life without parents. I wanted to be on my own, but many foster kids, maybe even most, would like to be with their parents. Why is that…?

As a society, we are trained to love our parents. Even if your parent isn’t taking care of you the best,  someone won’t tell you that your parents are bad. They will skew it to make it look different or not the parents fault. When we are young we are taught to look up to our parents and to respect them. We are supposed to listen to what they say. We feel like we have to listen and forgive them. In the bible it tells us to honor our mothers and our fathers, it doesn’t break it down and tell us when.

It’s hard to understand, but sometime when you go through something really bad, something not so bad looks pretty good. For example, if you haven’t eaten all day a little bread and water look pretty good. Yea it’s just bread and water, but if puts something in your stomach and keeps you alive. Your’e thankful your being fed. At times I felt like I owed my parents when they let up on abuse or it wasn’t as bad as previous times. I was thankful they stopped so I would make excuses of how this made them not all bad.

Living in abusive household you learn to survive. Sometimes just surviving through the day is the main goal. You learn methods to try to make things easier on yourself. You do things to please the abuser to make the abuse not happen. It becomes a habit it and apart of life. It instills in your brain at a time of development. Some kids feel responsible for the abuse in the first place. Many abusive parents will blame their child for the abuse. Children feel like if they were better kids then their parents wouldn’t do those things to them. They are convinced that it is their fault and they want to please their parents.

It doesn’t make sense to some people until you really look at all the factors. We want to believe in people and we want to be loved. We don’t want to believe that the people that were supposed to love us the most did such horrible things. Should everybody get a 2nd chance?

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11 Responses to Why Would An Abused Child Want To Return Home?

  1. Mie says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this subject. It is hard for people from “normal” circumstances to understand why children would want to go back.

    In addition to what you mentioned, I also believe children have an innate desire to be with their parents and need to bond with them. We were created with the need for our parents to care for us and raise and there are certain built in dependencies on those parents that make us desire them. Add that to the cultural influences you mentioned and it exacerbates the child’s desire for good parents.

    In reality children deserve good parents and it is entirely the parents fault when they harm their child. Nevertheless, children often feel like it is their fault as you mentioned or as if there is something innately wrong with them if their parents are bad apples. Even if the child can recover to understand that they were not at fault for the abuse it is very difficult to get over the feeling that he/she is bad just because the parents must have passed bad genes (or something) to their children too. Of course I don’t say this to you because you know these types of things more than I do – it’s more for your readers.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your comments are thought provoking and thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your post. I can’t help but think that some children want to go back to their parents or are afraid to leave because even in the most frightening or deplorable conditions there is a certain comfort level. At least the child knows what to expect. But leaving the parent(s)home is to journey into the unknown and many are more frightened of the unknown than hunger or abuse.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I never wanted to go back because each time It got worse and I was blamed and endured greater abuse, great abuse. Yea, I longed for their love then, still todat 54, when they have passed.Also long for my siblings who are all estranged. So I am still longing for family and will till i pass on. Never had my own.

  4. Imafoster says:

    Thanks you guys for stopping by and sharing your comments. Parental abuse is a tough subject that effects kids even after foster care and into adulthood. @Anonymous, I’m sorry your hurting. I know easier said then done, but try not live your life hurting. Sometimes great friends can fill the void. We don’t want to look back on life and see that we spent a lot of time living in the past when there’s time to enjoy now and in the future. Make sure you live life to the fullest!

  5. NK says:

    I ‘forgave’ my dad for his indiscretions recently. We are pretty close, but as much as I have forgiven if he ever does what he did again then I probably worn stick around.

    • Imafoster says:

      It’s awesome that your were able to grant some sort of forgiveness. The reminders may never go away but it is good to let as much of the anger go as possible. It’s a lot of work sometimes to hold grudges and can sometimes take you over.

  6. rene howitt says:

    Children love their parents. Children that are neglected and abused don’t necessarily know that all children aren’t treated this way. When they are removed, the parents will be given the chance for reunification. They will tell their children that thing will be better. Children are naive and will most always believe this because they love their parents.

    Parenting education must become a priority in our school systems. Waiting for the abuse/neglect to happen and then trying to reverse or change behavior is really not all that effective. Reaching all of our youth before they become parents and preparing them for the stresses and responsibility of parenting offers the opportunity for better results.

    The decision to become a parent should be the most important decision we will ever make. Through education our youth can know it’s really okay if you don’t want to parent. It’s the toughest job you will ever do!

    • imafoster imafoster says:

      I think you made a point too many don’t think of, “the decision to become a parent should be the most important decision we will ever make”. It’s about making good situations and becoming pregnant isn’t just about what you go through as the parent, but also what the kid goes through growing up. It’s up to adults to try to mentor all kids to remind them of ALL the impacts of their decisions.

  7. Gloria R. says:

    I appreciate your post.
    As a foster parent who is getting ready for adoption, I always have to work hard to give my child the truth about the birth parents without making it more than he can handle.
    My fear is precisely this, that I will paint a rosy picture of a parent that actually hurt him too much. On the other hand, somehow they loved him. She loves him, I know. I also want him to know that she was struggling so much, and that got in the way of her parenting, but that he has never done anything to deserve that kind of treatment.
    It is a delicate and fine line to walk on, as a foster parent.

  8. Tiffant says:

    As a Mother of two adopted children, I encourage you to always have the most Parental/Family interactions as possible. Even when it’s mediocre, for the child it’s everything. Remember they will know the truth and leaving it up to them it will reassure your trust because of how you’ve raised them. They already find trusting very hard (understandably) so. If YOU break this that will be pretty much everyone in their life. However the situation that placed them away from their family, people change all the time & it’s not worth making the kid feel punished. After all none of its their fault. Always make sure it wasn’t a case where the Parent was not treated fairly as that will make a person lose it and lose their child. You never know until you ask. As a Mother and I’ve had another child, 6 1/2 and twice exceptional and advanced. However my love has NOT and I’m sure, never will change for my other children and having him has nothing to do with them. Blessings

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