Friday, November 4, 2011

Preparing for Nesting and Bonding at Home: Practical Suggestions for Simplifying the Arrival Home

Keep it simple
  • Complete or delegate (or postpone for a much later date) as many chores, responsibilities, and obligations in and out of the house that you can before you make your adoption trip.
  • Get a trusted person to help you with routine chores like meals and cleaning when you return, so that you can rest, recover, and spend time together alone with your child.
  • Let your answering machine do it’s job: record a message announcing your good news, and that you are spending time as a family resting, recovering, and bonding. Limit visitors to very short visits, one or two at a time, after the first two weeks.
  • “Cocoon” together as a family, blocking out as much of the world as is practical, and concentrates on learning about and enjoying each other.
  • Keep the home environment, especially your child’s room, simple and uncluttered. Reduce possible sensory overload.
Build a secure structure and routine.
  • Try to arrange a simple routine that lowers stress and helps your child feel that things in this home are dependable.
  • Expect that a somewhat untidy house is a positive reflection on your commitment to spend time first with your child.
  • Take time for yourself and take care of yourself, but in ways that allow the child to have the consistency of parent as caretaker.
  • (sitters after bedtimes or during naps; switching off childcare with the other parent.)
Don’t expect instant attachment or parenting perfection
  • Attachment is not a prize you win or an immediate goal, but a developmental process that keeps growing over time.
  • You didn’t create the issues your child struggles with. Your child’s behavior or misbehavior should not be viewed as a personal and purposeful insult to your parental skills, authority, or love.
  • Children don’t need (or appreciate) perfect parents. Children need parents who are there for them, no matter what.
  • Although we learn from our mistakes, so do our children: they learn from our example how to graciously admit mistakes, correct them and ask for forgiveness.
Focus on your child above all.
  • Your most important role right now is parent. Your most critical job right now is parenting. All else is secondary.
  • Attachment takes time. It also takes effort from you to keep it growing.
  • If you are having a hard time connecting with your child, you may need to find even more ways to enjoy each other, to share healthy touch and share fun. Usually the more than children (and parents)resist this, the more they need this vital connection.
  • Hold, rock, cuddle, touch, soothe, sing, play, laugh, tickle, smile.
Attachment and International Adoption. From Choices and Challenges in International Adoption by Joan McNamara ©2009

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