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Second Childhood

February 23, 1992

I was particularly interested in "Second Childhood" (by Jim Robbins, Jan. 19), which presented concepts for handling children who have never been able to form an attachment. Our daughter was placed with us when she was 8 months old after being bounced back and forth between the birth mother and various foster homes. She brought to our home a new meaning for the words "temper tantrum"--kicking, screaming, spitting, breath-holding, vomiting, biting and, in time, vulgar language.

I decided to look at my daughter's rages from her point of view. It seemed to me she did not understand what triggered her tantrums or what to do about them either.

Therefore with each tantrum, and she presented several every day, I held her until the worst was over. The response was so good my husband followed suit.

Two years ago my daughter, then 19, moved away to live and work in another county. She has kept in touch with us through wonderful letters, phone conversations and occasional visits. She and I have great chats, and I have come to feel that the bridge mentioned in Robbins' article--from learning to trust others, a child learns to trust himself--has been built.

PHYLLIS ANSLEY DONALDSON

Van Nuys

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